|League:||American Hockey League|
|Home Arena:||Cumberland County Civic Center|
|Colors:|| Black, red, silver, white|
|General Manager:||Brad Treliving|
|Head Coach:||Ray Edwards|
|Media:||Portland Press Herald|
|Affiliates:||Phoenix Coyotes (NHL) Las Vegas Wranglers (ECHL)|
|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 Phoenix Coyotes of the National Hockey League. They play in Portland, Maine, at the Cumberland County Civic Center. 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) and the Buffalo Sabres (2008-2011).
Official Portland Pirated Website: http://www.portlandpirates.com/
The Portland Pirates were founded in 1993–94 as an affiliate of the Washington Capitals. The owner was Tom Ebright, and the GM & CEO was W. Godfrey Wood. The team was previously known as the Baltimore Skipjacks, who relocated to Maine. 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 Nashville Predators 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 Cumberland County Civic Center, 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 Stars instead of renewing the agreement.
On June 10, 2008, the Pirates and the Buffalo Sabres announced that they had reached a new affiliation agreement, ending several months of speculation.
On August 5, 2008, the team announced that Kevin Dineen has been retained as head coach.
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 has been announced that the Pirates will play in Buffalo twice in 2009-10. The first game will be played on November 12 and the second will be March 7; both games will be against the Rochester Americans (the Sabres' previous AHL affiliate).
On March 17, 2010, the Pirates signed a 2-year lease extension with the Civic Center. The agreement prevents any further Pirates home games from being played outside the Civic Center.
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 would have to sign off on the agreement, since their agreement with the Sabres runs through 2014. 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.
On June 27, 2011 the Phoenix Coyotes announced that the franchise had entered into a five-year player development contract with the Pirates.. 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".
The market was previously home to:
- Maine Mariners (1977–1992)
|1996–97||80||37||26||10||7||—||91||279||264||3rd, New England|
|1999–00||80||46||23||10||1||—||103||256||202||2nd, New England|
|2000–01||80||34||40||4||2||—||74||250||280||5th, New England|
|Season||Prelim||1st Round||2nd Round||3rd Round||Finals|
|1993–94||—||W, 4–1, ALB||W, 4–2, ADIR||bye||W, 4–2, MONC|
|1994–95||—||L, 3–4, PROV||—||—||—|
|1995–96||—||W, 3–1, WOR||W, 4–2, SPR||W, 4–3, SJNB||L, 3–4, ROCH|
|1996–97||—||L, 2–3, SPR||—||—||—|
|1997–98||—||W, 3–1, FRED||L, 2–4, SJNB||—||—|
|1998–99||Out of playoffs.|
|1999–00||—||L, 1–3, WOR||—||—||—|
|2000–01||—||L, 0–3, SJNB||—||—||—|
|2001–02||Out of playoffs.|
|2002–03||L, 1–2, MTB||—||—||—||—|
|2003–04||W, 2–0, PROV||L, 1–4, HART||—||—||—|
|2004–05||Out of playoffs.|
|2005–06||—||W, 4–2, PROV||W, 4–2, HART||L, 3–4, HER||—|
|2006–07||Out of playoffs.|
|2007–08||—||W, 4–1, HART||W, 4–2, PROV||L, 3–4, WBS||—|
|2008–09||—||L, 1–4, PROV||—||—||—|
|2009–10||—||L, 0–4, MAN||—||—||—|
|2010–11||—||W, 4–2, CON||L, 2-4, BIN||—||—|