The Maine Mariners return to Portland hockey

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What was old is new again.

Portland’s newest professional hockey franchise will be known as the Maine Mariners, the same name given the American Hockey League franchise based in downtown Portland from 1977 to 1992. The team made the announcement Friday afternoon at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Portland.

The Mariners will begin play in the ECHL – considered one step below the AHL in hockey’s minor leagues – in October 2018 at Cross Insurance Arena. Mariners was chosen over four other finalists from a contest that received more than 18,000 votes.

Finishing a close second was Wild Blueberries. The other names not selected were Watchmen, Lumberjacks and Puffins.

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“The team name is just one step in this whole process,” said Adam Goldberg, vice president of business operations for the Mariners. “We will be a part of this community regardless of what the crest is on the jersey.”

Because the contest allowed only one vote per IP address, Goldberg said it was possible to see where the votes originated. He also received feedback from fans.

“We definitely heard directly from fans a lot more about the Mariners name,” he said, “than directly about the Blueberries.”

This story will be updated.

The Maine Mariners wore orange, black and white when they started play in Portland in 1977. The city will soon have another Maine Mariners team.

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