Maine Mariners (AHL)
Team Name: Maine Mariners
League: American Hockey League (AHL)
Year(s): 1977 – 1987 (First Franchise), 1987 – 1992 (Second Franchise)
History of the Maine Mariners
The Maine Mariners were a professional ice hockey team based out of Portland, Maine. They played in the American Hockey League as an affiliate team for three NHL teams throughout their history: the Philadelphia Flyers, the New Jersey Devils, and the Boston Bruins.
The team filled the niche of Maine professional ice hockey after the Lewiston-based Maine Nordiques left the state in 1977. Joining the AHL in the same year that the Nordiques played their final season, the new Maine Mariners began playing their games at the Cumberland County Civic Center, the new Philadelphia Flyers affiliate coached by Allen McGammon got off to a successful start.
They won the AHL Championship their first season in 1977, and repeated again the next year in 1978. Philadelphia sold the team to the New Jersey Devils in the 1983-1984 season, where the new ownership again found early success, bringing home the Alder Cup championship that season. Unfortunately, the team was moved to become the Utica Devils, leaving Maine after the 1986 – 1987 season.
However, the city of Portland retained the Mariners team name and history. An expansion team was added to the league for the start of the 1987 season, now affiliated with the Boston Bruins. This second iteration of the Mariners lasted until the 1992, when the team was moved and renamed to the current Providence Bruins.
Portland quickly regained a new hockey team to replace the Mariners in the Portland Pirates. This franchise had over two decades of success until it was sold in 2016. In 2017, it was announced that professional hockey would be returning to Maine. A new ECHL team, drawing on Portland’s hockey history, is now slated to play in 2018 as the third and current iteration of the Maine Mariners.
Vintage Mariners’ Gear on Ebay