World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Portland Pirates

Portland Pirates
2015–16 Portland Pirates season
City Portland, Maine
League American Hockey League
Conference Eastern Conference
Division Atlantic Division
Founded 1975 (In the NAHL)
Operated 1993–present
Home arena Cross Insurance Arena

Black, Red, Silver, White

Owner(s) Ron Cain [1]
General manager Eric Joyce
Head coach Tom Rowe
Media Portland Press Herald
WPEI (95.9 FM)
Maine Hockey Journal
Affiliates Florida Panthers (NHL)
Franchise history
1975–1982 Erie Blades
1982–1993 Baltimore Skipjacks
1993–present Portland Pirates
Division Championships 2 (2005–06, 2010–11)
Conference Championships 1 (1995–96)
Calder Cups 1 (1993–94)

The Portland Pirates are a minor professional ice hockey team in the American Hockey League. They are the top affiliate of the Florida Panthers of the National Hockey League. Their home arena is the Cross Insurance Arena in downtown Portland, Maine. The franchise was previously known as the Baltimore Skipjacks from 1982 to 1993. Previously, the Pirates were affiliated with the Washington Capitals (1993–2005), the Anaheim Ducks (2005–2008), the Buffalo Sabres (2008–2011) and the Arizona Coyotes (2011–2015).


  • History 1
    • Sabres era 1.1
    • Coyotes era 1.2
    • 2013 lease dispute 1.3
  • Season-by-season results 2
  • Players 3
    • Current Roster 3.1
    • Team Captains 3.2
    • Pirates Hall of Fame 3.3
  • AHL awards and trophies 4
  • Team records 5
    • Single season 5.1
    • Career 5.2
  • References 6
  • External links 7


The Portland Pirates were founded in 1993–94 as an affiliate of the Washington Capitals. The majority owner was Tom Ebright, and the other owner, GM & CEO was W. Godfrey Wood. The team was previously known as the Baltimore Skipjacks, who Wood and Ebright relocated to Maine. On August 4, 1993, forward Eric Fenton was signed to a professional contract to become the very first member of the fledgling Portland Pirates team.[2] The Pirates replaced the void made by the Maine Mariners who departed to become the Providence Bruins a year earlier. The Capitals affiliation ended after 12 seasons in 2005.

The Pirates first season proved to be their most successful one to date, as they won the Calder Cup with a 43–27–10 record. Their next season they had 104 points but were upset in the 1st round of the playoffs. In the 1995–96 season they again reached the Calder Cup Finals, despite a sub-par record of 32–34–10, but lost to the Rochester Americans.

Since then, it has been a roller coaster ride for the Pirates. Despite an excellent 100 point season, they were eliminated from the playoffs in the first round in 1999–00.

For the first four seasons, they were coached by current Washington Capitals head coach Barry Trotz. They have played host to the AHL All-Star Classic twice (in 2003 and 2010).

In the 2006 AHL playoffs the Pirates went for a playoff run, only to be defeated by the eventual Calder Cup-winning Hershey Bears in a seven-game series.

In 2005 the Pirates announced a five-year lease extension at the Cross Insurance Arena, ending speculation that the team might relocate. The Pirates also signed a three-year affiliation agreement with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in 2005, but the Ducks announced on June 3, 2008, that they were affiliating with the Iowa Chops instead of renewing the agreement.

Sabres era

On June 10, 2008, the Pirates and the Buffalo Sabres announced that they had reached a new affiliation agreement, ending several months of speculation.[3]

On August 5, 2008, the team announced that Kevin Dineen has been retained as head coach.[4]

On February 10, 2009, the team played in Buffalo at HSBC Arena for the first time before a crowd of 11,144. The Pirates lost 4-3 in a shootout to the Albany River Rats. The Sabres faithful were pleased with the aggressive play and numerous fights during the game. It was then announced that the Pirates would play in Buffalo twice in 2009–10. The first game would be played on November 12 and the second would be March 7; both games would be against the Rochester Americans (the Sabres' then previous AHL affiliate).

On March 17, 2010, the Pirates signed a 2-year lease extension with the Cross Insurance Arena. The agreement prevented any further Pirates home games from being played outside the arena.[5]

In May 2011, the Sabres had indicated a willingness to break from its affiliation agreement with the Pirates and reaffiliate with the Rochester Americans. The Pirates had to sign off on the agreement, since their agreement with the Sabres ran through 2014.[6] On June 24, 2011 the American Hockey League approved the sale of the Rochester Americans, it also included the buyout of the affiliaton contract with the Portland Pirates.

Coyotes era

On June 27, 2011 the Phoenix Coyotes announced that the franchise had entered into a five-year player development contract with the Pirates.[7] WMTW-TV mentioned that during the announcement of the Coyotes being the Pirates affiliate that 2 of the 4 teams that were negotiating with the Pirates wanted the Pirates to change the team name and logo, but the Pirates agreed to the deal with Phoenix in order to keep their name and logo and because the Coyotes "wanted it the most".[8]

During the 2012-13 Season, the Pirates played 6 games at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, Maine in preparation of renovations at the Cross Insruance Arena. On April 17, 2013, the Pirates and Cumberland County announced a 5-year lease, with the option for another 5 years, to stay at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland, though that has been thrown into question due to a dispute over revenue from food sales (see lease dispute section below). Due to the dispute, the Pirates played their entire home schedule in Lewiston.

The Pirates were forced to play their final game of the 2013-14 season at their 400-seat practice facility in Saco, due to the Colisée being double booked with the game and a circus. The Pirates promised refunds to those who had bought tickets for the game in Lewiston, and stated that all ticket proceeds from the Saco game would go to the Barbara Bush Children's Hospital in Portland.[9] They announced on 5/7/2014 a 1-year extension of the affiliation agreement, also a small increase in ticket prices as part of the changes the team is doing to rebuild confidence with the community. Ron Cain the new majority owner is not concerned about getting a new affiliate in 2015 with the Coyotes likely to move their affiliate closer to Glendale, due to the popularity of the Portland market and the renovated arena. [10]

On March 18, 2015, the Pirates announced an affiliation agreement with the Florida Panthers to begin in the 2015–16 season and that Eric Joyce, the general manager of Florida's previous AHL affiliate, the San Antonio Rampage, would take over the same position in Portland.[11]

2013 lease dispute

In 2013, the Pirates negotiated a new lease agreement with arena trustees, but refused to sign it after they determined that the percentage of food sales they were to receive under the lease would not result in the same amount of money as previously agreed terms calling for the Pirates to get a percentage of food and alcohol sales, which was ruled illegal by the State (as alcohol sales can only be controlled by the property owner).

The Pirates then announced that they would look for another arena to play their 2013-2014 season in, most likely the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, where they were already playing the start of the season due to renovations at the arena. Arena trustees stated there would be no Pirates hockey at the arena this year and began seeking other tenants for the dates originally given to the Pirates. They further claimed to only break even on the presence of the Pirates and that their expenses would actually be less without them.[12] The Pirates responded by filing a lawsuit against the arena seeking enforcement of the original unsigned agreement outline and an injunction to prevent the arena from reassigning dates for Pirates home games to other events.[13]

The Pirates announced on September 26, 2013 that they would indeed play their entire 2013-2014 home schedule at the Colisée. The dates for four games had to be changed from the original schedule. A spokesman for the AHL said that the Pirates had the rights to the Portland market and could play anywhere within a 50-mile radius of the city. The Phoenix Coyotes said they were prepared to move forward despite having hoped differences with the arena would be resolved. The Chairman of the Cross Insurance Arena Board of Trustees criticized the Pirates for demanding more of a "subsidy" for themselves and stated their desired lease agreement would cost county taxpayers money. The Pirates also stated they would continue their lawsuit against the arena with the hopes of playing there in the future.[14]

On October 24, 2013, it was announced that the team had taken out an option on city-owned land in Saco for possibly building a $40 million arena with 5,000 seats as a new home. The team stated, though, that doing so was not the cheapest option for them and that they would prefer to return to Portland.[15]

After obtaining a majority share of the team, former minority owner Ron Cain stated on December 17 that should an agreement with arena trustees not be reached within a month, that he would consider moving the team to the aforementioned Saco land or even out of state if necessary. Continued requests for negotiation have been rebuffed by the trustees.[16] Two days later, Cain announced that the team dropped its lawsuit and that arena trustees would resume negotiations, both seeking "to strike a balance between the team’s business needs and the arena's financial obligations" according to Cain. The chairman of the trustees stated that he found Cain's comments on the issue "constructive" and he thus was willing to restart talks.[17]

Maine Senate President Justin Alfond, who is from Portland, announced that he submitted emergency legislation to the Maine Legislature to allow the Pirates to receive a share of alcohol revenue, as the original agreement called for. Cain said that Alfond's efforts did not play a role in their decision on the lawsuit, but could help the team going forward.[17]

On February 4, 2014, arena trustees and the Pirates announced that a five-year lease agreement had been reached and that the team would return to the Cross Insurance Arena for the 2014-15 season. Should the team make the playoffs, it is possible they could return for those games, though Pirates ownership joked that with the team at the bottom of the division that day such a scenario was unlikely. The agreement includes the sharing of concessions revenue the Pirates sought, which may or may not include alcohol sales pending passage of Sen. Alfond's bill. Owner Ron Cain also revealed that he had explored the possibility of moving the team to Glens Falls, New York to replace the departing Adirondack Phantoms, going so far as to send CEO Brian Petrovek to Glens Falls for discussions, but that he wanted the Pirates to remain in Maine too much to do so.[18]

The market was previously home to:

Season-by-season results

This is a partial list of the last five seasons completed by the Pirates. For the full season-by-season history, see List of Portland Pirates seasons


Current Roster

Updated October 15, 2015.[19]
# Nat Player Pos S/G Age Acquired Birthplace Contract
14 Acolatse, SenaSena Acolatse D R 25 2015 Hayward, California Panthers
13 Balisy, ChaseChase Balisy RW L 24 2015 Fullerton, California Panthers
1 Brittain, SamSam Brittain G L 24 2015 Calgary, Alberta Panthers
45 Brown, JoshJosh Brown D R 22 2015 London, Ontario Panthers
26 Flick, RobRob Flick LW L 25 2015 London, Ontario Panthers
24 Gaunce, CameronCameron Gaunce (A) D L 26 2015 Markham, Ontario Panthers
9 Grimaldi, RoccoRocco Grimaldi C R 23 2015 Rossmoor, California Panthers
11 Harper, ShaneShane Harper LW R 27 2015 Valencia, California Panthers
20 Knight, CorbanCorban Knight C R 25 2015 High River, Alberta Panthers
21 Matheson, MichaelMichael Matheson D L 22 2015 Pointe-Claire, Quebec Panthers
15 McFarland, JohnJohn McFarland LW R 24 2015 Richmond Hill, Ontario Panthers
39 McKegg, GregGreg McKegg C L 24 2015 St. Thomas, Ontario Panthers
56 McKenna, MikeMike McKenna G R 33 2014 St. Louis, Missouri Panthers
28 Megan, WadeWade Megan C L 25 2015 Canton, New York Pirates
16 Olson, BrettBrett Olson C R 29 2015 Duluth, Minnesota Panthers
3 Racine, JonathanJonathan Racine D L 23 2015 Montreal, Quebec Panthers
42 Rau, KyleKyle Rau LW L 23 2015 Eden Prairie, Minnesota Panthers
8 Regner, BrentBrent Regner (C) D R 27 2015 Westlock, Alberta Panthers
36 Saponari, VincentVincent Saponari RW R 26 2015 Powder Springs, Georgia Pirates
44 Sauve, YannYann Sauve D L 26 2015 Montreal, Quebec Pirates
10 Schremp, RobRob Schremp LW L 30 2015 Syracuse, New York Pirates
22 Shaw, LoganLogan Shaw RW R 23 2015 Glace Bay, Nova Scotia Panthers
7 Simpson, WayneWayne Simpson RW R 26 2015 Boxboro, Massachusetts Pirates
2 Weegar, MacKenzieMacKenzie Weegar D R 22 2015 Nepean, Ontario Panthers
19 Wilson, GarrettGarrett Wilson (A) LW L 23 2015 Elmvale, Ontario Panthers

Team Captains

Pirates Hall of Fame

Officially only #50 has been retired by the Portland Pirates. However a banner still hangs in the rafters in tribute to the 5 Maine Mariners who had their number retired before moving to Providence.

AHL awards and trophies

Team records

Single season

Goals: Michel Picard, 41 (1993–94)
Assists: Jeff Nelson, 73 (1993–94)
Points: Jeff Nelson, 107 (1993–94)
Points (By a Defenseman): Marc-Andre Gragnani, 60 (2010–11)
Penalty minutes: Mark Major 355 (1997–98)
GAA: Maxime Ouellet, 1.99 (2003–04)
SV%: Maxime Ouellet, .930 (2003–04)


Career goals: Kent Hulst, 147 (1993–2001)
Career assists: Andrew Brunette, 224 (1993–98)
Career points: Kent Hulst, 360 (1993–2001)
Career penalty minutes: Kevin Kaminski, 797 (1994–95, 98)
Career goaltending wins: Martin Brochu, 79 (1995–99)
Career shutouts: Maxime Ouellet, 17 (2002–05)
Career games: Kent Hulst, 473 (1993–2001)


  1. ^ "Portland Pirates get new owner, score in courtroom". The Forecaster. December 17, 2013. Retrieved December 10, 2013. 
  2. ^ Under Wood's management and creative marketing, The Pirates led the AHL in tickets sold, sponsorships and sellouts for 3 years. id=FF8gAAAAIBAJ&sjid=hmUFAAAAIBAJ&pg=3183,726195&dq=eric-fenton&hl=en Sun Journal - Pirates ink Eric Fenton - Google News Archive Search
  3. ^ "Sabres to parent Portland". 2008-06-10. Archived from the original on 2008-06-13. Retrieved 2008-06-10. 
  4. ^ "Dineen Named Head Coach". 2008-08-05. Retrieved 2008-08-05. 
  5. ^ Dougherty, Pete (March 17, 2010). "It's Official - Pirates Sign Two-Year Lease In Portland".  
  6. ^ Wawrow, John (2011-05-17). AP Source: Sabres interested in AHL Rochester. Associated Press. Retrieved 2011-05-17.
  7. ^ "Coyotes enter into AHL agreement with Portland".  
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Pirates season finale moved from Lewiston to Saco".  
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Pirates announce affiliation with Florida". AHL. March 18, 2015. 
  12. ^ Hall, Jessica (August 31, 2013). "Civic Center, Pirates in standoff over concessions".  
  13. ^ Hall, Jessica (September 7, 2013). "Pirates file lawsuit against civic center".  
  14. ^ Lowe, Mike (September 26, 2013). "Portland Pirates leave Cumberland County Civic Center".  
  15. ^ "Hockey group with link to Pirates looks at Saco for arena".  
  16. ^ "Portland Pirates could move out of state if lease dispute isn’t resolved soon, new majority owner says".  
  17. ^ a b "Portland Pirates drop lawsuit against civic center".  
  18. ^ "Portland Pirates, civic center reach lease agreement".  
  19. ^ " - Portland Pirates Roster". Retrieved March 3, 2015. 
  20. ^
  21. ^

External links

  • Portland Pirates Official Website
  • The Internet Hockey Database - Portland Pirates
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.