Bruins enter minor-league affiliation agreement with Maine
The Boston Bruins are bringing their ECHL affiliation up to Maine, as the B’s and Maine Mariners Hockey Club finally confirmed the rumors and announced a new affiliation agreement Wednesday morning.
“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 in a statement. “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 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.”
The Mariners had previously been affiliated with the New York Rangers since they joined the ECHL in 2018, while the Bruins were essentially left without an ECHL team last year when the Atlanta Gladiators opted out of the 2020-21 ECHL season.
At the ECHL-AHL level, Maine will be affiliated with the Providence Bruins, which will bring the franchises full circle in a weird way, as Providence represents the original Maine Mariners AHL franchise that served as the B’s top minor league affiliate from 1987 through 1992 prior to their move to Rhode Island.
The affiliation agreement with the Bruins gives New England a three-headed monster of Portland-Boston affiliations, with the Portland Sea Dogs and Maine Celtics having existing agreements with the Red Sox and Celtics.
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