PORTLAND — The American Hockey League has approved the shift of the Portland Pirates to Springfield, Massachusetts, beginning next season.

The unanimous vote by the AHL Board of Governors was announced Monday, along with the sale of the team by CEO Ron Cain to Springfield Hockey LLC. The move had been expected since the May 4 announcement that Cain had signed a letter of intent to sell the team.

The Pirates began playing in Portland during the 1993-94 season. Godfrey Wood, an original team owner, and husband of Karen Wood, The Forecaster publisher, is now organizing a group of investors interested in replacing the Pirates with an ECHL team that would bear the same name.

Wood has been joined by former Pirates player and executive Brad Church in the effort.

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