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Maine Mariners announce affiliation with Boston Bruins

The Mariners-Bruins affiliation means three Boston sports franchises have minor league affiliates in Portland.

PORTLAND, Maine — EDITORS NOTE: The above video was published in March when the Mariners announced their schedule. 

The Maine Mariners announced a new affiliation with the Boston Bruins on Wednesday.

The Mariners had previously been affiliated with the New York Rangers since they joined the ECHL in 2018. Now they will be the Bruins' ECHL affiliate. 

The New York Rangers announced Tuesday that they had entered into an agreement with the Jacksonville Icemen to be their ECHL affiliate starting in the 2021-22 season. 

The Mariners-Bruins affiliation means three Boston sports franchises have minor league affiliates in Portland, Maine’s largest city. The Portland Sea Dogs are affiliated with the Boston Red Sox. The Maine Celtics, who were until recently called the Maine Red Claws, are a farm team of the Boston Celtics.

“We are extremely excited to be affiliated with the Bruins organization and we’re proud to solidify the Boston-Portland connection with all three of Maine’s professional sports franchises,” Mariners President Danny Briere said during a press conference at the Cross Insurance Arena on Wednesday. “We can’t wait to bring live hockey action back to Portland this fall, and we know that Mariners fans will be thrilled to watch players from the Bruins organization playing right here in Maine.”

The Mariners will be affiliated with the Providence Bruins at the AHL level. Ironically, Providence represents the original Maine Mariners AHL franchise. The AHL’s Mariners were Bruins affiliates from 1987 until 1992, when the franchise was relocated to Rhode Island.

According to a press release from the Mariners, the Bruins have had an ECHL affiliate since 1991. They’ve partnered up with the Johnstown Chiefs (1991-93, 2007-08), Charlotte Checkers (1993-94, 1995-98), Greenville Grrrowl (2001-02), Reading Royals (2009-12), South Carolina Stingrays (2012-15), and most recently, the Gwinnett/Atlanta Gladiators (2015-20). The Mariners will represent their geographically closest ECHL affiliate.

“The Boston Bruins are excited to establish an affiliation agreement with the Maine Mariners of the ECHL,” Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney said. “The Bruins and Maine Mariners have a long player development history, as well as having a passionate fan base in Portland and throughout the state of Maine. We are looking forward to building a strong working relationship with Comcast Spectacor, Daniel Briere, and the coaching staff of the Mariners.”

To commemorate the new partnership, limited edition Mariners throwback t-shirts, with the AHL throwback logo in the black and gold Bruins color scheme, are now on sale at the Mariners Team Store.

The Mariners' 2021-22 season begins with a home opener against the Worcester Railers on Oct. 22. The team's full schedule can be found here.