PORTLAND, ME – June 12, 2019 – The Mariners completed a future considerations trade on Wednesday, sending the rights of forward Wade Murphy to the Wheeling Nailers. The move completes the February 12th deal in which the Mariners acquired defenseman Josh Couturier from the Nailers.
In an interesting turn of events, the Mariners acquired Couturier just two days after they hosted Wheeling at the Cross Insurance Arena. The Mariners defeated the Nailers, 4-1 on February 10th in what would be Couturier’s final game in a Wheeling uniform. On February 12th, the Mariners announced Couturier’s acquisition and he made his Maine debut the following night at home against Worcester, scoring a goal in a 5-4 overtime victory.
Couturier, 24, saw a major jump in offensive production after the trade. In 32 games with Wheeling, the rookie defenseman had only two points. He’d play 19 games with Maine, scoring two goals and adding eight assists. Couturier grew up in New England (Newbury, MA) and also played his college hockey in the area – at Boston College and UMass-Amherst.
If the Nailers sign Murphy, he’ll join his 6th ECHL team in four seasons. Murphy debuted with the Manchester Monarchs out of Arizona State in 2017, and then split the 17-18 season between the Worcester Railers and Greenville Swamp Rabbits. From there it was off to the Kalamazoo Wings to start 2018-19, before the Mariners acquired him in January, completing a separate future considerations deal. Murphy will be remembered in Maine for his legendary shootout performance on March 17th, when he ended a marathon with the Newfoundland Growlers, by scoring the game-winner in the 18th round. It was his second goal of the shootout. Exactly three weeks later, Murphy scored another shootout winner against the Growlers in the inaugural season finale. Murphy finished with three goals and eight assists in 31 games for the Mariners.
All future considerations trades from 2018-19 must be completed by 3:00 PM ET tomorrow afternoon (June 13th). ECHL teams can start signing players to standard player contracts this coming Sunday, June 16th. The Mariners will announce their initial signings next Monday, June 17th and hold a meet and greet event for fans at Binga’s Stadium (77 Free St., Portland) on Tuesday, June 18th from 7-8:30 PM. The 2019-20 season is set to open on Friday, October 11th when the Mariners will host the Adirondack Thunder at 7:15 PM. Full and half season tickets are available now by calling 833-GO-MAINE.