PORTLAND, ME – July 28, 2023 – The Mariners made a pair of trades this week, acquiring the rights to forward Gabe Guertler from the Atlanta Gladiators and goaltender Shane Starrett from the Kansas City Mavericks. Going the other way in each trade are the rights to forward Mitch Fossier and defenseman Marc-Olivier Duquette, respectively, with future consideration also included in both deals.
In the first trade, Guertler’s rights and a future consideration are acquired by the Mariners from Atlanta for Fossier’s rights. Guertler, 28, has played his first two professional seasons with the Gladiators. Each season he’s finished in the top five of team scoring, posting 38 points (16 goals, 22 assists) in 68 games in 2022-23. He spent the 2020-21 campaign in the state of Georgia as well, playing for the Macon Mayhem of the Southern Professional Hockey League. Prior to turning pro, the Florida native bounced around the amateur hockey ranks. Guertler played junior hockey in both the United States Hockey League and Ontario Hockey League circuits, briefly joining the University of Minnesota’s NCAA Division I program in between. In 2016-17, he made the move to the Canadian college ranks, and the University of Prince Edward Island, where he’d stay until turning pro.
“We’re excited to bring Gabe on board,” said Mariners Head Coach & General Manager Terrence Wallin. “He brings the type of sandpaper to our lineup that sometimes we were lacking last year. He’s a guy who can impact the game in a few different ways and we can’t wait to see him in October.”
Mitch Fossier gets a chance to play for his hometown team in the trade. The former University of Maine captain is a native of nearby Alpharetta, GA. Fossier netted 57 points in 47 games for the Mariners in 2022-23, his first ECHL season.
The Mariners also acquire the ECHL rights of goaltender Shane Starrett from Kansas City, who signed an American Hockey League contract with the Providence Bruins earlier this month. A New England native from Bellingham, MA, Starrett has significant experience at both the AHL and ECHL levels. He enjoyed one of the best seasons of his career with Kansas City in 2022-23, including being named the ECHL “Goaltender of the Week” three different times. He posted a record of 24-21-5 for the Mavericks, with a 2.68 goals-against average and a .913 save percentage. His postseason numbers were even better (2.16 GAA, .930 SV%). Starrett is also a former ECHL All-Star, representing the Wichita Thunder in 2017-18.
A season later, Starrett was a member of the AHL’s All-Rookie team, after boasting a record of 27-7-7 with a 2.33 goals GAA and a .918 SV% for the Bakersfield Condors in 2018-19. He’s played 64 career AHL games with Bakersfield, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, and Coachella Valley. In additional to Kansas City and Wichita, Starrett has also played for Wheeling, totaling 116 career ECHL games. The 29-year-old netminder has played in Maine before – for the Portland Jr. Pirates USPHL Premiere program in 2013-14. He went on to play collegiately for the Air Force Academy.
“It’s always nice when you can add a veteran goalie with size,” said Wallin. “Shane has proven he’s a good goalie at not only our level but the AHL level. We’re excited to welcome him to the organization.”
The rights to defenseman Marc-Olivier Duquette plus a future consideration head to Kansas City in the Starrett trade. Duquette has spent the last two seasons in Maine and will join his fourth ECHL organization.
The Mariners kick off their fifth ECHL season on October 20th, 2023 in Trois-Rivieres, QC against the Trois-Rivieres Lions, with the home opener presented by Evergreen Credit Union on Saturday, October 21st at 6 PM, also against the Lions. The full schedule for the 2023-24 season, presented by Hannaford to Go, can be viewed here. Full and half season packages plus 12-game plans are on sale now by calling 833-GO-MAINE or visiting the Mariners front office at 94 Free St. in Portland. Prospective package holders can also put down a deposit or fill out an inquiry form at MarinersOfMaine.com. Single game tickets will go on sale this fall.