Skip to main content
The Official Site of the Florida Panthers

Panthers News

Pirates History At a Glance

by Nathalie Sczublewski / Florida Panthers

On March 18, 2015, the Portland Pirates announced an American Hockey League affiliation agreement with the Florida Panthers. The fourth-longest tenured AHL franchise operating continuously in its current market, the Pirates are set to begin their first season as an affiliate to the Panthers for the 2015-16 season.

The History

•The Portland Pirates were founded in the winter of 1993 - 1994 as an American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate to the Washington Capitals.

•The team was formerly known as the Baltimore Skipjacks from 1982 to 1993, until majority Owner Tom Ebright and General Manager and CEO W. Godfrey Wood, relocated to Portland, Maine.

•Past affiliates include the Washington Capitals (1993 - 2005), Anaheim Ducks (2005 - 2008), Buffalo Sabres (2008 - 2011) and Arizona Coyotes (2011 - 2015).

•On August 4, 1993, forward Eric Fenton signed a contract, becoming the first professional member of the Portland Pirates.

•Washington Capitals Head Coach Barry Trotz, coached the Portland Pirates for their first four seasons.

•Portland’s first season ended with winning the Calder Cup Trophy with a 43-27-10 record.

•The only official number retired from the Pirates is 50. Portland’s founding owner Tom Ebright, always wore a Pirates jersey with the number 50. The team retired the number as a tribute to Ebright when he passed away in 1997.

•The Portland Pirates played host to the AHL All-Star Classic twice back in 2003 and 2010.

•A total number of 19 former Pirates (two coaches and 17 players) have won Stanley Cups.

•Notable Pirates Alumni currently in the NHL include Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Bobby Ryan, Chris Kunitz, Alex Semin, Sergei Gonchar, Daniel Cleary, Tomas Fleishmann, Jonas Hiller, Curtis McElhinney, Jhonas Enroth, Tyler Ennis, Nathan Gerbe, Curtis Glencross, Michael Stone, Connor Murphy, Tobias Rieder, David Rundblad, and Florida Panthers forward Shawn Thornton.

•From 2006 - 2007,  Shawn Thornton was Portland’s team captain.



General Information

•Portland’s Chief Executive Officer is Ron Cain. Lyman Bullard is Portland’s Chairman and Governor. Bullard was the organization’s majority owner from 1999 to 2013.

•Portland’s General Manager is Eric Joyce, formerly of the San Antonio Rampage.

•Portland’s Head Coach is Tom Rowe, formerly of the San Antonio Rampage.

•Portland’s Chief Operating Officer is Brad Church. Church played for the Pirates from 1996 to 2002. He was inducted into the Portland Pirates Hall of Fame in 2012.

View More