It was officially announced that professional hockey was making a triumphant return to town in June of 2017 when Comcast Spectacor purchased the ECHL membership of the Alaska Aces and relocated it to Portland. With Philadelphia Flyers brass Paul Holmgren and Danny Briere at the helm, the Mariners were “re-born” in September 2017 when they got their name, winning a naming contest and paying homage to Portland’s first pro hockey franchise. The original Mariners were an AHL franchise that competed in Portland from 1977-1992 as affiliates of the Philadelphia Flyers, New Jersey Devils, and Boston Bruins. The area was then served by the Portland Pirates (also an AHL team) from 1993-2016. Other potential names were the “Lumberjacks,” “Watchmen,” “Puffins,” and “Wild Blueberries.” 2018-19 will be the Mariners inaugural season in the ECHL.