Ted Hart of Cumberland played 48 games for the Maine Mariners last season. This summer he’s been playing a lot of street hockey during the pandemic as he awaits the start of the 2020-21 ECHL season. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer Buy this Photo

Ted Hart has done what he can to try to stay in shape the last couple of months, working out in the gym in parents’ home in Cumberland and playing street hockey in their driveway, while waiting to see where he would play professional hockey next season.

Now he knows.

On Monday, the Maine Mariners announced that they had re-signed Hart, the Greely High graduate who last year became the first Maine native to play with the ECHL hockey team.

“I’m pretty excited,” said Hart, who scored 10 goals with eight assists in 48 games last year. “It’s nice being in Portland, being close to home, and playing really fun hockey. I can’t wait for it to start up.”

Hart, 24, was part of back-to-back state championship teams for Greely in 2012 and 2013, and went on to play at Yale University, where he scored 25 goals with 22 assists in his career.

Hart signed with the Mariners a year ago, but was cut in training camp. He signed with the Peoria Rivermen of the Southern Professional Hockey League and then joined the Mariners in early November, earning a regular spot in the lineup.

“Teddy showed tremendous resilience last season after not making the team out of training camp,” said Riley Armstrong, the Mariners head coach and assistant general manager. “His speed and hard work is what separates him. I feel Ted can be a 20-goal guy in the ECHL.”

Hart said his first ECHL season provided a strong foundation for his career. He learned to take care of himself on and off the ice.

“It was about working every day to get better,” he said. “You learn to work out correctly and eat right. You make sure that away from the rink, you’re on top of your rest. You realize you can’t overdue it, because it’s a long season.”

Hart scored what turned out to be the final goal of the Mariners’ season on March 10, assisted by his older brother Brian, who joined the team in January. The ECHL, the third-tier of professional hockey in North America after the National Hockey League and the American Hockey League, canceled the remainder of its 2019-20 season on March 14 in response to the coronavirus outbreak. The ECHL has yet to release a schedule for the 2020-21 season.

“Not knowing when the official start of season will be is challenging,” said Hart. “Maintaining that hockey shape is important and maybe use that extra offseason (time) to add a little skill.”

Brian Hart, who played college hockey at Harvard, recently moved to the Boston area and is unsure of his hockey future.

Ted Hart said Armstrong told him to work on finishing close to the net. He’s been working on that in his parent’s driveway. “I go out and either roller blade or I’m in my shoes,” he said. “I’ll stick handle a little bit. Anything hockey-related helps.”

And he shoots a lot of pucks. “Playing street hockey I’ll grab pucks and shoot top-shelf,” he said.

Hart joins fellow forward Dillan Fox on the Mariners’ early 2020-21 roster. He said signing so quickly shows the team has a lot of confidence in his ability.

“To me it was a no-brainer to run it back and do another season,” he said. “I can’t wait to get back with the team.”


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.