By Staff

BOSTON (CBS) — The Boston Bruins have a new minor league hockey club in New England.

The Maine Mariners — based in Portland — announced Wednesday that they are the new ECHL affiliate of the Bruins.

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The Mariners, who joined the ECHL in 2018, had previously been affiliated with the New York Rangers.

“The Boston Bruins are excited to establish an affiliation agreement with the Maine Mariners of the ECHL,” Bruins general manager Don Sweeney said in the announcement. “The Bruins and Maine Mariners have a long player development history, as well as having a passionate fan base in Portland and throughout the state of Maine. We are looking forward to building a strong working relationship with Comcast Spectacor, Daniel Briere, and the coaching staff of the Mariners.”

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“We are extremely excited to be affiliated with the Bruins organization and we’re proud to solidify the Boston-Portland connection with all three of Maine’s professional sports franchises,” said Mariners president Danny Briere. “We can’t wait to bring live hockey action back to Portland this fall, and we know that Mariners fans will be thrilled to watch players from the Bruins organization playing right here in Maine.”

Previously, the Bruins’ ECHL affiliates were the Gwinnett/Atlanta Gladiators (2015-20), South Carolina Stingrays (2012-15), Reading Royals (2009-12), Greenville Grrrowl (2001-02), Charlotte Checkers (1993-94, 1995-98), and the Johnstown Chiefs (1991-93, 2007-08).

The Maine Mariners had been an AHL affiliate of the Bruins from 1987-92, before the franchise moved to Providence.

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Along with the Maine Celtics (formerly Red Claws) and Portland Sea Dogs (Double-A affiliate of the Red Sox), this affiliation now gives the city of Portland three minor league affiliates of Boston pro teams. Staff