The Portland Pirates, in need of a face-lift after a painful six months, shook up their management team Tuesday.

The Pirates hired former player Brad Church as the team’s chief operating officer, replacing Brian Petrovek, who becomes team president in charge of business development.

Team owner Ron Cain will assume the position of managing partner/CEO. Lyman Bullard will remain as the Pirates’ chairman and American Hockey League governor.

Church will manage the Pirates’ day-to-day operations, including oversight of the hockey operation along with the communication, administration, merchandise and finance departments.

The management restructuring caps a tumultuous six months in which the team and Cumberland County Civic Center trustees couldn’t reach an agreement on a new lease last September.

The impasse was based mostly on how to share concession revenues, particularly alcohol sales.


The Pirates elected to play games in Lewiston at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee, where attendance has been low. The Pirates are in last place in the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference.

Under Petrovek, the team sued the Civic Center trustees over the impasse. Cain became majority owner and the team dropped its lawsuit in December.

A month later the Pirates and the Civic Center reached an agreement on a new five-year lease.

As part of the new lease deal, the Pirates will get 57.5 percent of the concession revenues, including alcohol sales.

Church said the team is looking forward to playing its games in a renovated Civic Center next season and re-energizing the team’s fans.

“We’re extremely excited to bring the team back to Portland and to a fresh, new building,” said Church. “I’m excited to be the face of the organization. My job is to bring the hockey passion back to the community. A lot of things have added to the frustrations over the last few months. All those things are in the rearview mirror.


‘‘Both parties didn’t get everything in the lease agreement so that probably makes it a good deal. We’re looking forward to making an impact on the community again.”

Tom Chard can be reached at 791-6419 or at:

Twitter: TomChardPPH


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