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K's could land CHL MVP

The Komets have 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 who was the CHL's MVP last season, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.

Marino led the CHL in goals (41) and was second in points (90) in 65 games last season, when the Komets won the CHL championship.

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 inked defensemen Daniel Maggio and Kyle Atkins.

Marino, 26, totaled 65 goals and 175 points in 200 games during three seasons with Quad City, in the regular season and playoffs, combined.

Prior to 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), while adding three short-handed goals.

He also had seven game-winning goals for a Mallards team that was 37-27-2 and didn't make the playoffs.

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.

Justin A. Cohn, pro sports coordinator for The Journal Gazette, has been covering the Fort Wayne Komets since 1997. His reporting includes game stories from home and away, features about the players and personalities associated with the Komets, plus coverage of issues affecting hockey at all levels. A native of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., Cohn graduated from Emory University in Atlanta. He can be reached at 260-461-8429 or by email at jcohn@jg.net.

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