Maine Mariners (ECHL)
|2018–19 ECHL season|
|Founded||1989 (In the PSHL)|
|Home arena||Cross Insurance Arena|
Blue, green, silver, white|
|General manager||Daniel Briere|
|Head coach||Riley Armstrong|
New York Rangers (NHL)|
Hartford Wolf Pack (AHL)
|Beginning in 2018||Maine Mariners|
The Maine Mariners are a professional ice hockey team in the ECHL set to begin play for the 2018–19 season. Based in Portland, Maine, the team will play their home games at the Cross Insurance Arena. The team will be based in the North Division of the Eastern Conference.
On May 23, 2016, the Portland Pirates' franchise was sold and relocated to Springfield, Massachusetts, and became the Springfield Thunderbirds. A team of investors headed by former Pirates executives W. Godfrey Wood and Brad Church—the latter a former Portland player as well—announced their intentions to put an ECHL team in Portland to fill the void, joining as early as 2017. However, progress to attain a franchise by the Portland group stalled until four groups, none of which involved Wood, submitted their own proposals at the end of February 2017. By March 8, the arena owners had narrowed their choices to the proposals submitted by Spectra and National Sports Services, with both groups having been involved with managing ECHL teams in their past.
In June 2017, Comcast Spectacor, the operators of the Cross Insurance Arena and the NHL's Philadelphia Flyers – the founders and NHL affiliate for years of the original Maine Mariners AHL franchise in Portland – purchased the franchise rights of the recently dormant Alaska Aces of the ECHL. The league approved of the sale and relocation of the franchise to Portland on June 15. Philadelphia Flyers president Paul Holmgren will serve as the team’s governor with former player Danny Briere overseeing the day-to-day operations. In August 2017, the team announced their five finalists for a team name: the Mariners, Watchmen, Lumberjacks, Puffins, and Wild Blueberries. The name was announced as the Mariners on September 29. On November 29, the Mariners' logo and color scheme were revealed. On February 17, 2018, the Mariners hired Riley Armstrong as head coach. On April 9, 2018, the Mariners announced they would be affiliated with the NHL's New York Rangers.
- Springfield investors step up to save hockey for city
- Portland blindsided by Pirates’ plan to leave for Springfield after 23 seasons in Maine
- Pignatiello, Jim (June 15, 2016). "Springfield Thunderbirds announced as name, mascot of city's AHL franchise". MassLive.com. Retrieved June 15, 2016.
- "Effort underway to bring pro hockey back to Portland". Portland Press Herald. May 11, 2016. Retrieved May 11, 2016.
- "Group pulls plug on effort to return pro hockey to Portland later this year". Portland Press Herald. January 11, 2017.
- "Four groups submit proposals to return pro hockey to Portland". Portland Press Herald. March 1, 2017.
- "Negotiations to begin with two groups to bring ECHL team to Portland". Portland Press Herald. March 8, 2017.
- "Portland lands a pro hockey team for the fall of 2018". Portland Press Herald. June 15, 2017.
- "Comcast Spectacor buys another hockey team; ex-Flyer Danny Briere to run show". Philadelphia Daily News. June 15, 2017.
- "Wild Blueberries now finalist for name of Portland's ECHL team". Yahoo Sports. August 17, 2017.
- "Maine Mariners making a return to Portland". WCSH. September 29, 2017.
- "Maine Mariners Reveal Logo". ECHL.com. November 29, 2017. Retrieved November 29, 2017.
- "Maine Mariners announce affiliation with New York Rangers". marinersofmaine.com. April 9, 2018. Retrieved April 9, 2018.
- "Maine Mariners roster". Maine Mariners. 2018-07-07. Retrieved 2018-07-07.
- "Maine Mariners playing roster". eliteprospects.com. 2018-07-07. Retrieved 2018-07-07.