A ceremonial puck flip Thursday at Cross Insurance Arena for Portland’s incoming ECHL franchise includes, from left to right, Cross Arena GM Matt Harpich, ECHL Commissioner Brian McKenna, Portland City Manager Jon Jennings, Philadelphia Flyers President Paul Holmgren, Cross Arena board of trustees chairman Mitchell Berkowitz, Portland GM Danny Briere and Portland Vice President of Business Operations Adam Goldberg.

A ceremonial puck flip Thursday at Cross Insurance Arena for Portland’s incoming ECHL franchise includes, from left to right, Cross Arena GM Matt Harpich, ECHL Commissioner Brian McKenna, Portland City Manager Jon Jennings, Philadelphia Flyers President Paul Holmgren, Cross Arena board of trustees chairman Mitchell Berkowitz, Portland GM Danny Briere and Portland Vice President of Business Operations Adam Goldberg.

PORTLAND — A hockey team with no name and no players found a way to create a buzz on the very spot where they’ll be skating 15 months from now.

With Thin Lizzy’s “The Boys Are Back in Town” playing over the speaker system, the yet-to-be-named ECHL franchise coming to Portland held a press conference at Cross Insurance Arena on Thursday, in part to introduce key executives to the community, as well as announcing a “name the team” contest.

“We’re proud to bring hockey back to … the city of Portland,” the new franchise’s Governor, Paul Holmgren, said.

The new franchise, to be born from the ashes of the former Alaska Aces, is owned by Comcast-Spectacor, which also owns the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League.

The new Portland team, which will fill the void left by the Portland Pirates after the 2015-16 American Hockey League season, won’t be affiliated with the Flyers, who have an ECHL affiliation with the Reading Royals.

The team also won’t start playing until the 2018-19 season, giving the off-the-ice officials time to prepare the on-ice product.

“We’re trying to set it up the right way,” Portland GM and former NHL player Danny Briere said. “I’m glad we have all that extra time. Although I would like to see us playing right away. It’s going to be a long winter.”

The “name the team” contest is only the beginning of the franchise’s ramp-up to October 2018, when the team will drop the puck for the first time. Fans can submit name ideas at portlandmainehockey.com until Monday, August 14. The five finalists will be announced on August 17. There is no date set for when the winning name will be announced.

Portland Vice President of Business Operations Adam Goldberg said he hopes the name “will show spirit of team that embraces its community.”

Holmgren said he didn’t want to speculate on if Pirates or Maine Mariners will be possibilities. The Flyers have the rights to the Maine Mariners name and logo.

“We’re hoping somebody comes up with a good idea for us,” Holmgren, also the President and former player for the Flyers, said. “We want to have some fresh blood. We’ll see.”

To keep the momentum from Thursday’s press conference — which was attended by dozens of fans — going, the franchise will scatter various events to keep “the interest up and make our name known around town,” according to Briere. “We really want the community to be involved with this team.”

Portland City Manager Jon Jennings, who helped bring the NBA Gatorade League’s Maine Red Claws to Portland eight years ago, said he hopes the new hockey team can join the Red Claws and Portland Sea Dogs as important pieces in the community.

ECHL Commissioner Brian McKenna said Comcast-Spectacor was the right choice as an owner for the franchise because the league “believed in their commitment to this market.”

“We want to do things right and let people know that we’re here for the long haul,” Briere said.

What players call Portland home remains to be seen. The team doesn’t have an NHL affiliation lined up yet, and Holmgren said they will go unaffiliated to start if they have to. An affiliation is the goal, however.

Until then, the team will start looking for a coach, who will hopefully be named in the spring. Holmgren and Briere will keep an eye on players this coming season, and will start to build a roster once the ECHL season ends next June.

“I only wish we could drop the puck right now and start playing,” Briere said.

Patience is something the 17-year NHL veteran is still working on as he learns the business side of the sport.

“Sometimes I have to calm down the intensity a little bit,” Briere said. “I think the patience is probably the toughest thing, being a little more patient. When something doesn’t go your way, you can’t just jump over the boards and go check someone. That’s what I’m trying to learn.”

It’s something fans in southern Maine will also have to learn as they wait for the “team-to-be-named-later,” as Jennings called it, to finally take the ice at Cross Arena.

“This is a great day for hockey fans across southern Maine,” Holmgren said.

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Former NHL player and current General Manager for Portland’s incoming ECHL franchise Danny Briere speaks during a press conference at Cross Insurance Arena in Portland on Thursday.

Former NHL player and current General Manager for Portland’s incoming ECHL franchise Danny Briere speaks during a press conference at Cross Insurance Arena in Portland on Thursday.

Philadelphia Flyers President Paul Holmgren speaks during a press conference at Cross Insurance Arena in Portland on Thursday.

Philadelphia Flyers President Paul Holmgren speaks during a press conference at Cross Insurance Arena in Portland on Thursday.

The video board at Cross Insurance Arena in Portland displays the ECHL logo before a press conference for the city’s incoming league franchise.

The video board at Cross Insurance Arena in Portland displays the ECHL logo before a press conference for the city’s incoming league franchise.

A hockey sweater emblazoned with the ECHL logo hangs from a hockey goal during a press conference at Cross Insurance Arena in Portland on Thursday.

A hockey sweater emblazoned with the ECHL logo hangs from a hockey goal during a press conference at Cross Insurance Arena in Portland on Thursday.

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