By: Tom LaPlante | Follow me on Twitter @tlaplante7
It’s another Tuesday which means the Maine Mariners, the ECHL affiliate of the Boston Bruins, have a player signing to announce! Today it’s a defenseman with ECHL experience in Marc-Olivier Duquette. Duquette, 23, is from Chateauguay, Quebec, the same hometown as last Tuesday’s signing Pascal Laberge.
Known more as a stay-at-home defenseman, Duquette turned pro in 2019-2020, playing four games with the Fort Wayne Komets. He was then traded to the Wheeling Nailers, where he played 39 games that year and only one in 2020-2021. At 6’4′ 201 pounds, Duquette will bring some size to the Mariner’s blue line, and his signing brings the total number of players on the Maine roster to 8, with 4 forwards, and 4 defensemen committed so far.
How can a team who has only existed for three years and two seasons on the ice have a “legend” amongst their ranks, you might be asking after reading that headline? Well, when that player is Dillan Fox is how that happens. Fox announced his retirement from pro hockey on Monday with a heartfelt letter to the fans in Maine and across the country.
The recently turned 30-year-old from Hummelstown, PA, leaves the game as the Mariners’ all-time leader in goals scored with 39, power-play goals scored, and is 5th all-time in points for the club. His career lasted 216 games between the SPHL and the ECHL, with a two-game tryout with the Hartford Wolf Pack during the ’19-’20 season. Prior to turning pro, Fox played four years with NCAA Division III SUNY-Plattsburgh.
If Foxy wasn’t your favorite player, he was your wife/girlfriend/daughter’s favorite player, as not only did he score goals, but his flowing hair was easy to spot wherever you were sitting in the arena. While he’ll go down in Mariners lore for his offense, Fox played a complete 200-foot game and was always on the ice in the biggest situations.
Both offensively and defensively. One has to assume he will get into coaching, and I’m sure most Mariners fans wouldn’t complain if he found a role with the team as Terrance Wallin did. His on-ice presence will truly be missed by Mariners fans and staff; watch his Maine career highlight film below. There are some beauties, but the one from center ice will always be my personal favorite.
It’s funny that only two seasons played somewhere can elicit this kind of emotional outpouring from a fanbase, but in my opinion, that is exactly the best part of minor-league hockey and minor-league sports in general. Players that may never make the highest ranks in professional sports are legitimate legends in smaller cities across North America.
Ten years from now, the Maine Mariners could have a reunion, and Fox would get the loudest applause from the Mariners faithful. The third season, and first without Dillan Fox, starts October 22 in Portland against the Worcester Railers. Check out the Mariners website here and pick up your merchandise, ticket packages, see the roster, and more. Make sure to follow me here on the blog and on Twitter for all things Mariners, and we’ll see you at the Cross Insurance Arena in October.