The Maine Mariners are changing their NHL affiliate. The Mariners announced today that they will have a press conference next week regarding the teams NHL affiliation. In their first three seasons as a franchise the Mariners have been the ECHL affiliate for the New York Rangers. The team has been very successful under Head Coach Riley Armstrong. Armstrong lead the Mariners to a 37-32-2 record in their inaugural season and had the team right in the middle of the playoff race last year before the season was shut down due to the Covid-19 virus. The Mariners did not play this year due to the virus. They were one of eleven teams in the league to sit out the season.
Seems like the @NYRangers will no longer be the #NHL affiliate of the @ECHL @MarinersOfMaine. They have had some very good teams there under a great head coach in @rilesarmy #NYR https://t.co/Yw6HhGy6Fx— Kyle Hall (@KHallNY) June 24, 2021
Where are they going?
It is not official yet but a source has told me the team will become the new ECHL affiliate of the Boston Bruins. A move that makes a lot of sense for both Maine and Boston. Being affiliated with New England’s hockey team will only boost the teams popularity and grow the fan base. The Bruins ECHL affiliate has been the Atlanta Gladiators since 2015. This move puts a farm team closer to their AHL team in Providence, which will make shuttling players back and forth much easier.
What does this means for the Rangers?
Well as of June 30th they will be looking for a new ECHL affiliate. This season they loaned players out to other franchises since Maine was shut down. For example a recent guest on The Broadway Hat Podcast Jake Elmer was loaned out to the Jacksonville Iceman for playing time. There are rumors that they may move a team to Binghamton now that the Binghamton Devils of the AHL are leaving for Utica. The Atlanta Gladiators franchise is now also without an affiliate so that could be a possibility. There is also a new Savannah Georgia team coming into the league in 2022 that is unaffiliated at the moment. The hope I think would be to have an affiliate for next season so you can avoid the loan process and develop your players under your own watch.
Mariners on the Podcast
I have been lucky enough to have a few Maine Mainers and Coach Riley Armstrong on my show The Broadway Hat Podcast so its sad for me to see the franchise leave the Rangers organization. Check out the links below to listen to their episodes.
Head Coach Riley Armstrong
Assistant Captain Terrence Wallin (Second all time in franchise history in both goals and points)
All time franchise leading goal scorer Dillon Fox
2019-20 ECHL All Star Jake Elmer
Be sure to bookmark our hockey page for hockey coverage and follow Belly Up Hockey on Twitter: @BellyUpHockey. Follow me on Twitter for more takes on the New York Rangers and USA Hockey: @KHallNY. You can also listen to my NY Rangers podcast The Broadway Hat Podcast on Apple Podcast and Spotify for Rangers news and interviews with past and current players.