On the morning of Wednesday, June 30th, the Maine Mariners announced their new affiliation as they have joined in a partnership agreement with the Boston Bruins. Previously partnered with the New York Rangers, it’s a three-year deal between Boston and Maine. This transition comes at the end of a two-year contract in which the Rangers were affiliated with Maine since their 2018 inception.
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,” said Danny Briere, President of the Mariners. “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.”
Why This Move Works Well For Both Sides
I absolutely love this deal for both parties because it’s going to make it so much easier for the Bruins to be able to spread out the prospects in their pipeline. Prior to Wednesday’s relocation, Boston had been partnered for five seasons with the Atlanta Gladiators. This didn’t make much sense geographically and the move to Maine puts all three affiliates in the New England area.
This is also the second time that the Boston Bruins will have an affiliate in Maine. When the Mariners were in the AHL from 1987-1992, they served as the primary developmental league of the Original Six franchise. Bruins GM Don Sweeney and Colour Commentator Andrew Brickley both competed in Maine throughout those five seasons.
Now that they have a team closer by, I believe that we will see the Bruins starting to take advantage of their farm club, and like most NHL teams, they will probably stash a goaltender on the roster in Maine. The move also competes the Maine/Portland trifecta, as The Portland Sea Dogs are the AA affiliate of the Boston Red Sox and the Maine Celtics are the D-League affiliate of the Boston Celtics.
The Boston Bruins are excited to establish an affiliation agreement with the Maine Mariners of the ECHL,” said Don Sweeney, General Manager of the Bruins. “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.”