[dropcap letter=”W”]hen the puck drops at Cross Insurance Arena on October 13, pro hockey is officially back in Portland for the first time since the Pirates left town two years ago. Who’s who on the new Maine Mariners?
Play-by-play guy Michael Keeley has a couple of tough acts to follow: Back when Portland had another Mariners franchise, in the ’70s and ’80s, Doc Emrick (NBC lead hockey announcer) and Dale Arnold (NESN Bruins game-day host) were making the calls.
Last year, Trevor Fleurent was playing pro hockey in Norway. Now, the Biddeford native gets to play a half-hour up the road from where he won three state high school championships and captained the University of New England team.
X’s and O’s Guy
As a journeyman player on teams from Cleveland to Worcester to Astana, Kazakhstan, Riley Armstrong saw a range of tactics. After two seasons assistant-coaching the Wheeling Nailers, the first-time head coach gets to devise strategies of his own.
In the NHL, ex-Philadelphia Flyer Danny Brière confounded defenses for the better part of two decades, netting 307 goals. Now, he’s learning the ropes of the game’s business side, running the day-to-day of sales, advertising, and personnel.
A native of the puffin colony on Machias Seal Island, herring-aficionado Beacon might have hit the big time, but he hasn’t forgotten his roots: he and the Mariners support Project Puffin, Audubon’s Maine-based seabird restoration program.