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Lewiston MAINEiacs

The Lewiston MAINEiacs were the QMJHL’s second foray into expanding into the United States. The first was the Plattsburgh Pioneers, who debuted in 1984 and were a disaster, lasting only 17 games before folding. The MAINEiacs fared much better than the Pioneers did and spent eight seasons at The Colisée in Lewiston, Maine. The Colisée was also the home of the Maine Nordiques many years before. 

The MAINEiacs were a solid team in the ‘Q’ throughout their tenure, as they made the playoffs in each of their eight seasons. It should be noted however that the Q’s playoff structure is generous, as twice the MAINEiacs made the playoffs despite finishing 20 games under .500. The high point for the team was the 2006-07 when they won 50 of 70 games and won the Presidents’ Cup. That team was led by David Perron and Jonathan Bernier. 

In 2009, during the team’s sixth season in Maine, it was revealed that the owner was actively looking to move the team to Canada. It was messy as the team actively tried to move seemingly any Canadian city that would take them, and was further derailed by other QMJHL teams enforcing their geographic rights to keep the MAINEiacs out of their territory. This took a toll as over the next two seasons the team kept looking for a Canadian home and only gave lip service to the idea of staying in Maine. By 2011, the situation was such that the team didn’t find a Canadian home, so the Q paid the owner $3.5 million and disbanded the team with a dispersal draft.