On June 3, 2008, the Anaheim Ducks announced they were affiliating with the Iowa Chops instead of renewing the agreement with the Pirates. [15] 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. Tom Ebright, owner of the Baltimore Skipjacks, had a daughter who was an intern at the East Coast Hockey League's Nashville Knights. 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 May 4, 2016, the Pirates announced it had signed a letter of intent with an outside buyer to sell and relocate the franchise for the 2016–17 season. Their home arena was the Cross Insurance Arena in downtown Portland, Maine. [20], 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 had called for. The Portland Winterhawks continue to be one of the top junior hockey franchises in developing and producing NHL talent. [21], 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. Last week, the Glendale City Council voted to terminate that lease, sending the franchise back into uncertainty bordering on purgatory before a move. 52 comments. Seems like the hockey world is too. 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 league is still interested in the untested horizon of Las Vegas – for reasons passing understanding – and Seattle still seems to be the preferred Northwest destination. But it was a team from Portland, that in 1916, became the first American club to engrave its name on the Stanley Cup — and they didn't even win it. They could put the team in the same arena as the Trail Blazers. [16], The Pirates announced on September 26, 2013, that they would indeed play their entire 2013–14 home schedule at the Colisée. Do you think that Portland could support an NHL team? Cain said that Alfond's efforts did not play a role in their decision on the lawsuit, but could help the team going forward. With the Ducks, the Pirates had more mixed success. [28] By March 8, the arena owners had narrowed their choices to the proposals submitted by Spectra and National Sports Services, with both groups having been involved with managing ECHL teams in their past. The Phoenix Coyotes said they were prepared to move forward despite having hoped differences with the arena would be resolved. What about a team shared between Portland/Seattle and one for Cleveland/Cincinnati? The feeling around the situation is that Allen would like to buy a team, but only at the right price-point. The Western Hockey League’s Portland Winterhawks may not boast big-name talent, but make no mistake — the National Hockey League starts here. But the relocation of a pre-existing NHL team is always a possibility for future hockey hotbeds. [6] Their next season they had 104 points but were upset in the 1st round of the playoffs. Officially only #50 has been retired by the Portland Pirates. Its team in Florida is an albatross; its team in Atlanta moved to Winnipeg. It’s simple. The rumor mill will likely continue to churn until the Coyotes settle on their final destination. The organization hosted the AHL All-Star Classic in 2003 and 2010. 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. Here's a fun piece of speculation going around today: It's possible that the Arizona Coyotes may be moving to the Pacific Northwest, and Portland may be an option for the National Hockey League team. NFL in LA, Toronto and Birmingham too? Some big cities in this country are bad sports towns. Includes news, scores, schedules, statistics, photos and video. On March 17, 2010, the Pirates signed a two-year lease extension with the Cross Insurance Arena. Since then, the Pirates had mixed success, routinely making the playoffs and being eliminated early on. The Pirates were affiliated with the Washington Capitals, the Anaheim Ducks, the Buffalo Sabres, Arizona … Yes, Phoenix. 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