Quad City Mallards

The Quad City Mallards were a minor league professional ice hockey team based in the Quad Cities area of Illinois and Iowa that competed in the International Hockey League, Central Hockey League and ECHL.[1] They were named after the Mallards team that played in the United Hockey League from 1995 to 2007, this Mallards franchise marked their debut in 2009 in the International Hockey League.[2] The Mallards played their home games at TaxSlayer Center in Moline, Illinois.

Quad City Mallards
CityMoline, Illinois
LeagueIHL (2009–2010)
CHL (2010–2014)
ECHL (2014–2018)
Founded2009 (In the IHL)
Home arenaTaxSlayer Center
ColorsBlack, green, orange, white
                   
Franchise history
2009–2018Quad City Mallards

The Mallards ceased operations at the conclusion of the 2017–18 ECHL season.[3] The Mallards were replaced by the Quad City Storm of the Southern Professional Hockey League the following season.

History

The original Mallards franchise played in the Quad Cities from the 1995–96 season through the 2006–07 season. Their first two seasons were played in the Colonial Hockey League, which was renamed the United Hockey League (UHL) in 1997. The Mallards were an overwhelming success in their first few years, with attendance figures that regularly topped 6,000 per game. Attendance peaked in the 1997–98 season at over 8,500 fans per game, and while it declined, average attendance remained over 6,000 fans per game through the 2001–02 season. It continued to drop until it reached a low of 3,120 fans per game in the Mallards' final UHL season in 2006–07.

In 2009, a new ownership group, headed by Eric Karls, brought hockey back after two seasons and named the new team in honor of the former team.

On May 11, 2011, the Mallards originally ceased operations due to a lack of funding, but almost a month later, Club 9 Sports, a consortium between Chicago-based investment bank Prometheus Capital Partners, LLC, management and consulting firm Tobacco Road Capitalists and sports management and marketing firm ScheerSports, Inc. (headed by former National Basketball Association general manager Carl Scheer) bought the team from former owner Eric Karls and announced the team would return for the 201112 Central Hockey League season.[4]

The franchise, as well as the entire CHL, ran into financial difficulties during the 2012–13 season. The entire league was then operated by the T&M Group of Companies, the company that owns Boston Pizza. The Mallards' ownership group, T&M Management Services, was headed by Jordan Melville, son of Boston Pizza founder George Melville.[5] At the end of the season, Melville's organization obtained the Mallards' franchise in June 2013.[6] On August 27, 2013, a new affiliation agreement was announced between the National Hockey League Minnesota Wild, its American Hockey League affiliate Iowa Wild, and the Mallards.

On October 7, 2014, soon before the 2014–15 Central Hockey League season was set to begin, it was announced that the Central Hockey League ceased operations and the Mallards, along with the Allen Americans, Brampton Beast, Missouri Mavericks, Rapid City Rush, Tulsa Oilers and Wichita Thunder, were all approved the expansion membership application into the ECHL for the 2014–15 season.[7][1]

In 2017, the Mallards signed a multi-year affiliation with the NHL expansion team, the Vegas Golden Knights, and their AHL affiliate, the Chicago Wolves, for the 2017–18 season ending their four-year affiliation with the Wild.[8]

However, the Mallards would only play one season with the Golden Knights' affiliation as the team would cease operations. Owner Jordan Melville stated he was folding the team due to losing the passion for operating the team and losing about US$4 million since he became the sole owner in 2013.[3] A new ownership group obtained a team in the Southern Professional Hockey League called the Quad City Storm to replace the Mallards at the TaxSlayer Center for the 2018–19 season.[9]

Season-by-season records

Regular season Playoffs
LeagueSeasonGPWLOTLSOLPtsGFGAStandingYear1st round2nd round3rd roundFinals
IHL2009–1076293548702072636th of 7, IHL2010Did not qualify
CHL 2010–116634311691861827th of 9, Turner2011L, 1–3, COL
2011–126637272762302015th of 7, Turner2012Did not qualify
2012–136634266742192016th of 10, CHL2013L, 1–4, FTW
2013–1466332310762191985th of 10, CHL2014W, 4–3, RCL, 2–4, ALN
ECHL 2014–1572372843812051863rd of 6, Central2015L, 3–4, RC
2015–1672372942802032033rd of 5, Midwest2016L, 0–4, MO
2016–1772402822842322203rd of 7, Central2017L, 1–4, FW
2017–1872254241551962957th of 7, Central2018Did not qualify

References

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