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Komets negotiating with reigning MVP

Right winger led CHL in goals with Mallards last year


The Komets already bolstered their lineup with the addition of one former Quad City Mallards star.

Now, they could be getting an even bigger one – in productivity, if not in stature.

The Komets have been in negotiations to sign Brandon Marino, the prolific-scoring 5-foot-9 right wing, according to multiple sources. Marino was named the CHL’s MVP last season.

“We have had discussions with him,” general manager David Franke said. “We’ve talked to him and that’s about where we’re at.”

Marino led the CHL in goals (41) and was second in points (90) in 65 games last season.

Fort Wayne is embarking on its first ECHL season and has already signed an impressive group of forwards: captain Colin Chaulk, alternate captains Brett Smith and Lincoln Kaleigh Schrock and Eric Giosa, who had 28 goals and 70 points in 64 games last season with Quad City.

The Komets have also signed defensemen Daniel Maggio and Kyle Atkins.

Marino, 26, had 65 goals and 175 points in 200 regular-season and playoff games in three seasons with Quad City.

Before that, the native of Riverside, Calif., skated at Bemidji State University.

Marino’s productivity would be felt in several areas, including on special teams. He led the CHL in power-play goals (13) and was second in power-play assists (22). He also scored three short-handed goals.

He also had seven game-winning goals for Quad City, which was 37-27-2 and didn’t make the playoffs last season.

The core group of Chaulk, Smith, Marino and Giosa combined for 111 goals and 282 points last season. As a whole, the Komets had 228 goals and 608 points.

While there had been some fears that the Mallards would suspend operations this month, they made their first signing of the offseason Friday – defenseman Darren McMillan – and Franke said Quad City could be vying for Marino’s services, too.