An Open Letter to the Buffalo Sabres: Keep the Pirates in Portland

Anthony EmersonAnalyst IFebruary 26, 2010

Dear Buffalo Sabres and Portland Pirates executives,

There are a lot of rumors flying around about the potential that the Portland Pirates are leaving Maine and heading to Albany, New York.

There are a few reasons why the Pirates should stay in Portland:

 

1. Maine breathes hockey

Portland has had a team since 1977, when the Maine Mariners joined the American Hockey League, and stayed until 1992 before their parent team, the Boston Bruins, moved the team to Providence, Rhode Island.

Portland was awarded the Baltimore Skipjacks in return, and renamed them the Portland Pirates. They won the 1994 Calder Cup.

However, Albany's old AHL team, the Albany River Rats (affiliates of the Carolina Hurricanes) are moving to Charlotte, North Carolina to be closer to their affiliates.

 

2. Portland will fight to get the Pirates back

The Facebook group "Keep the Pirates in Portland" already has over 1,000 members, and was created less than a week ago (you can find it here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/KEEP-THE-PIRATES-IN-PORTLAND-ARRRRGHHH/315359767157?ref=ts).

People in the group are picketing. Maine Senators Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe (both Republican) have each released statements regarding the "Pirates Situation."

Snowe said "The [Pirates] are a tremendous economic asset to the city of Portland and part of the fabric of the greater Portland area. It is vital that their home remains in Maine."

 

You see, hockey is the most popular sport in Maine. Our QMJHL (Quebec Major-Junior Hockey League) team, the Lewiston MAINEiacs (the only QMJHL team located outside of Canada), is rumored to be moving out of Lewiston and into Ontario. It seems as though the deal is all but finalized.

Losing the MAINEiacs hurts, but losing the Pirates would put a dagger in the hearts of most southern Mainers.

Hockey is the fabric of Maine. The University of Maine Black Bears hockey team has one two national championships in the last fifteen years, after the hockey program was founded in the late 1970s. The Pirates and the Black Bears rule the sports headlines in Maine.

So you see, if the Pirates do move out of Portland, expect an all-out war, courtesy of the State of Maine.

You've been warned.

 

Sincerely,

Anthony Emerson

Proud Mainer

Related

    Report: NHL Told Marchand to Stop Licking Players

    NHL logo
    NHL

    Report: NHL Told Marchand to Stop Licking Players

    Kyle Newport
    via Bleacher Report

    McDavid, MacKinnon, Hall Named Ted Lindsay Award Finalists

    NHL logo
    NHL

    McDavid, MacKinnon, Hall Named Ted Lindsay Award Finalists

    Timothy Rapp
    via Bleacher Report

    Sabres prospect Hudson Fasching ends season struggling with Amerks

    Buffalo Sabres logo
    Buffalo Sabres

    Sabres prospect Hudson Fasching ends season struggling with Amerks

    Bill Hoppe
    via Buffalo Hockey Beat

    Laine Misses Jets Practice with 'Malaise'

    NHL logo
    NHL

    Laine Misses Jets Practice with 'Malaise'

    NHL.com
    via NHL.com