Mariners sail back to Portland as ECHL team

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PORTLAND — A blast from the past will push the city’s new hockey team forward in 2018.

Paul Holmgren, president of both the NHL Philadelphia Flyers and the new Portland entry into the ECHL, announced Sept. 29 the Portland team will be named the Maine Mariners.

His announcement was made at the Boys and Girls Club of Southern Maine on Cumberland Avenue as club members unfurled a banner above him. The Mariners was the name of the American Hockey League team that played in Portland from 1977-92.

The new team, owned by Philadelphia-based Comcast Spectacor, will begin play at the Cross Insurance Arena in about a year. The new name was chosen through an online vote. Other choices were Watchmen, Wild Blueberries, Lumberjacks and Puffins.

Adam Goldberg, Mariners vice president, said a mascot and color scheme for the team will be revealed next month. The team has also yet to reveal the naming contest winner, who will receive four season tickets for the inaugural season, and will take part in the ceremonial puck drop at the team’s first home game.

Goldberg said the Mariners are now accepting $50 deposits for season tickets, with former Portland Pirates season ticket holders getting the opportunity to buy tickets for the same seats they previously used.