Everything came full circle Wednesday as the Maine Mariners returned to being an ECHL affiliate of the Boston Bruins.

The original Maine Mariners were formed in 1977 and were an affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers until they were sold in 1983 to the New Jersey Devils. In 1987 the Mariners moved to Utica, New York, and became the Utica Devils. But another Maine Mariners team was created as an affiliate of the Boston Bruins.

That franchise lasted until 1992 when the Mariners moved once again. This time they went to Providence Rhode Island and became the Providence Bruins.  A year later, the Portland Pirates were born and lasted in Portland until they moved to Springfield, Massachusetts in 2016 and became the Springfield Thunderbirds.

In 2018, the Maine Mariners were resurrected with a new logo and affiliation with the New York Rangers. But this is Maine. We don't really want our teams to be affiliated with New York if we can help it.

On June 30, the Maine Mariners announced that had created an affiliation agreement with the NHL's Boston Bruins and AHL Providence Bruins, the very team the Maine Mariners became when they left Portland.

Talk about full circle!

And now all three of Maine's sports teams are now affiliated with their Boston counterparts. The Portland Sea Dogs are the minor league team of the Boston Red Sox, The Maine Red Claws are the minor league team of the Boston Celtics and the Maine Mariners are the minor league team of the Boston Bruins. How perfect is that?

By the way, the Maine Mariners will have their home opener at the Cross Insurance Arena on October 22, their first as an affiliate of the Boston Bruins.

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