JOHNNY MCINNIS LANDS COACHING JOB WITH CANTON CUBS

PORTLAND, ME – May 30, 2019 – The Canton Cubs (Canton, MA) of the NA3HL, named former Mariners forward Johnny McInnis as their new Head Coach and General Manager on Wednesday. The 29-year-old Boston native finished up a five year professional playing career in 2018-19, playing 24 games with the Mariners. McInnis will carry over the close proximity from the end of his playing career, into the beginning of his coaching career. Canton is 20 minutes from his home town and the Cubs play in a rink he played in growing up.

“I’ve always had the mentality that I’m playing forever,” McInnis said. “But at my age you’ve got to start thinking about what to do next and I just wanted to stay involved with the game somehow if I could and to be able to do it in New England is icing on the cake.”

The Canton Cubs franchise has just relocated and rebranded for 2019-20, having moved from Cape Cod, MA where they had been known as the Cape Cod Islanders since 2011. The “Cubs” name is not new however, as the franchise was originally the “Cape Cod Cubs” in its first three seasons of existence from 2008-2011.

“We hit it off right away,” McInnis said in reference to the interview process with the Cubs. “I wasn’t sure how serious I was going to be about going into coaching but when this opportunity popped up, I jumped at it. I wouldn’t have taken the job if I didn’t think I could be successful at it. It’s not going to be easy but nothing is so I’m looking forward to it.”

The NA3HL, short for North American 3 Hockey League, is a Tier III Junior hockey league in the United States, operating under the leadership of the NAHL (North American Hockey League). The NA3HL is comprised of 36 teams, making up six divisions. The Canton Cubs compete in the Coastal Division, along with the Lewiston/Auburn Nordiques, Northeast Generals, New England Stars, Long Beach Sharks, and Maine Wild (Biddeford). In 2018-19, the Cape Cod Islanders finished in last place, with a record of 8-37-2-0.

McInnis turned pro in in 2014 after a four year NCAA DI career at Minnesota State-Mankato. He was captain in his senior season. In April of 2014, McInnis signed an ATO with the Lake Erie Monsters (AHL), and appeared in two games. The following fall he signed with the Florida Everblades, and would spend the remainder of his playing career bouncing around the ECHL. His journey took him to Orlando, Utah, Reading, South Carolina, Indy, Allen, and finally Maine. The forward was traded six times and claimed off waivers to make it a lucky seven transfers. The final one came in January of 2019, when the Allen Americans dealt him to the Mariners in exchange for forward Justin Breton. For Mariners head coach Riley Armstrong, the addition of McInnis was about more than just his on-ice performance.

“Johnny was a welcomed addition to our roster in Maine last season to help with the development of our younger players,” said Armstrong. “He was a voice in our locker room and an extremely hard worker on the ice scoring some big goals for us. Johnny will be a good coach for the way he will be able to develop players and work with the younger generation. I would like to thank Johnny for coming to Maine and congratulate him on his playing career.”

With the Mariners, McInnis played 24 games, scoring three goals with eight assists. All 11 points came in a very productive 13 game span between February 10th and March 8th. Perhaps his best performance as a Mariner came on February 24th, 2019 in a shootout win at home against the Worcester Railers. McInnis had an assist, the game-tying goal in the third period, and also scored in the shootout.

McInnis, who majored in communications and history at Mankato, said he knew he wanted to eventually get into coaching as early as college, and that his interactions with coaches along the way is the main reason why.

“I’ve always had a good relationship with assistant coaches and head coaches and I think I’ve gathered traits from each one” he said. So what did he pick up from Riley Armstrong?

“Riley gets to know his players, he does his homework on his players, and he knows how to interact with them. He knows when to push the gas, when to lay off, when to lean on guys, and when to leave them alone. Some coaches don’t value the relationship with their guys but you can tell that Riley genuinely cares about every guy that comes through the room. That’s the culture that I want to bring to a team as coach.”

The second season of Maine Mariners ECHL hockey will begin in October. Full and half season ticket packages are available by calling 833-GO-MAINE or visiting the Mariners front office located next to the Cross Insurance Arena at 94 Free Street. Registration for Beacon’s Kids Club and the Mariners inaugural summer reading program, “Read with ME” are also underway.

MARINERS LAUNCH STATEWIDE “READ WITH ME” PROGRAM

PORTLAND, ME – May 8, 2019 – The Maine Mariners launched their new “Read with ME” initiative on Wednesday, a summer program that will incentivize students across the state of Maine to read, with the chance to win Mariners prizes. All Maine students enrolled in grades K-8 are eligible and the program is completely free.

“Read with ME” is an hours-based reading program that will allow parents to track the amount of hours read by each student over the summer. If a student reaches 500 minutes, he or she will receive a Mariners bookmark, pencil, and a kids ticket voucher to a 2019-20 game. At 1,000 minutes, a Mariners sticker and an additional kids ticket voucher is added. The maximum prize level of 1,500 minutes includes all of the above plus a team signed card and third kids ticket voucher. Upon registering online, a tracking form will be sent via email, and must be returned to the Mariners office no later than August 30th in order to be eligible for prizes. Students who are located a great distance from Portland are eligible for a substitute prize for the ticket vouchers, if desired.

“We are excited to kick off the ‘Read With ME’ program to get kids reading over their summer break,” said Mariners V.P. of business operations Adam Goldberg. “Reading a variety of stories will help create new and different passions for the kids to start their school year with. I’m looking forward to hearing about the books kids read over the summer at a Mariners game next season.”

The Mariners believe reading is the foundation to success and hope to help youth in Maine cultivate a life-long love of reading. The “Read with ME” program focuses on volume based reading with the hope of helping students with reading proficiency and comprehension. The registration page can be found at MarinersOfMaine.com/read-with-me.

The second season of Maine Mariners ECHL hockey will begin in October. Full and half season ticket packages are available by calling 833-GO-MAINE or visiting the Mariners front office located next to the Cross Insurance Arena at 94 Free Street. Beacon’s Kids Club has also launched for the 2019-20 season, with great benefits for Mariners fans ages 2-12. More information can be found at MarinersOfMaine.com. The Mariners are also asking fans for feedback from their inaugural season. A survey can be accessed here.

ALL SIX EPISODES OF ‘PUCKLAND’ AVAILABLE ON NBCSPORTS.COM

PORTLAND, ME – May 6, 2019 – All six episodes of the docuseries Puckland are now available on NBCSports.com. Produced locally, Puckland follows the Maine Mariners organization in the months leading up to their inaugural game in October of 2018. Episodes are roughly ten minutes in length, and have been airing locally on News Center Maine before dropping online at NBCSports.com each Sunday morning since March 31st.

The series is mainly focused around the on and off-ice journeys of first year V.P. of Operations Daniel Briere and Head Coach Riley Armstrong, including their appearances in the Flyers vs. Bruins Alumni game at the Cross Insurance Arena in the winter of 2017. Armstrong was uniquely introduced as the first head coach in franchise history during the game, which also allowed many of the hockey-hungry Maine fans to share their excitement on camera. The show also touches on the front office’s preparation for the inaugural season and dives deep into the process of building a roster, with players – first year and veteran attempting to make the team. The series culminates with opening night puck drop on October 13th, 2018.

The idea for Puckland came from local TV producer, Devon Platte, who was intrigued by the naming contest for the team in the summer of 2017. Platte has also worked on Maine-centered North Woods Law (Animal Planet) and Emmy award-winning The Amazing Race (CBS). To help fund the project, Platte partnered with Shamrock Sports & Entertainment and CEO Brian Corcoran, who became executive producer. The show features local art and music to add to the Maine authenticity.

The direct link to stream the series online is here. The sixth and final episode, just released is here.

The second season of Maine Mariners ECHL hockey will begin in October. Full and half season ticket packages are available by calling 833-GO-MAINE or visiting the Mariners front office located next to the Cross Insurance Arena at 94 Free Street. Beacon’s Kids Club has also launched for the 2019-20 season, with great benefits for Mariners fans ages 2-12. More information can be found at MarinersOfMaine.com.