Photo: Mark Newman/Grand Rapids Griffins
The Quad City Mallards have named Jamie Tardif the team’s new player/assistant coach, the Mallards announced today.
Tardif, a 32-year old forward, returns to North America with the Mallards after playing in Germany for Adler Mannheim for the last three seasons. The 6-foot, 205-pound Welland, Ontario, native played two National Hockey League games for the Boston Bruins in 2012-13 and has totaled 181 goals, 178 assists and 359 points in 642 games over the course of his 11-year career.
Tardif will assist Phil Axtell, who is approaching his first full season as the Mallards’ head coach. In joining the Mallards, Tardif has been reunited with team president and general manager Bob McNamara, who served as general manager of the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Griffins during the five seasons Tardif spent with the club between 2006 and 2011.
“I’m excited to be joining the Mallards as a player/coach, which is a great fit for me since it gives me the opportunity to continue playing and also coach and develop young players. I look forward to being able to help the younger guys with what it takes to be a pro both on and off the ice and what it means to be a good teammate and person,” said Tardif. “I’m also very excited to have the chance to work with Bob McNamara again. I have a lot of respect for him and I’m looking forward to learning from him and from a great coach like Phil. I can’t wait to get started in the Quad Cities.”
Tardif last season scored three goals and picked up five assists in 24 games for Mannheim. He began his European excursion by helping Mannheim to the 2014-15 Deutsche Eishockey Liga championship.
Tardif last played in the United States in 2013-14 when he scored 18 goals and added 19 assists for the 37 points in 51 games with the AHL’s Rochester Americans. Tardif took over as the Americans’ captain for the second half of that season after acting as the Griffins’ captain for his final two years in Grand Rapids. He has also suited up in the AHL for the Manitoba Moose, Iowa Stars and Providence Bruins and has produced 142 goals and 125 assists for 267 points in 487 career AHL games. The 2012-13 campaign not only saw Tardif reach the NHL but also set a career high by scoring 30 goals for Providence. In 2010-11, he capped off his run with Grand Rapids by piling up a career high 54 points.
“I have known Jamie since having him as a player and captain in Grand Rapids and he will be a tremendous asset on the ice as well as a strong resource for Phil on the coaching side,” said McNamara.
Tardif, who was selected by the Calgary Flames in the fourth round of the 2003 National Hockey League Entry Draft with the one hundred twelfth overall pick, makes his return to the ECHL after last playing in the league as a rookie in 2006-07. He scored ten goals and notched 20 assists for 30 points in 34 games with the Toledo Storm during the first half of that campaign.
“I’m absolutely thrilled to have Jamie as our player/assistant for the 2017-18 season,” said Axtell. “I believe his experience and knowledge of the game will improve our team immensely, not only on the ice but off the ice as well.”
Tardif spent five seasons with the Ontario Hockey League’s Peterborough Petes before turning professional. He finished his junior career in style by captaining the Petes to the 2006 Memorial Cup, the championship of Canadian major junior hockey.
The Mallards will open their twenty-first season- and their fourth in the ECHL- on Friday, October 13 against the Toledo Walleye at the iWireless Center. Mallards 2017-18 season tickets are now available. Season ticket holders enjoy significant savings of the walk-up ticket price and receive a host of exclusive benefits. For more season ticket information, fans can contact the Mallards at 309-277-1364 or firstname.lastname@example.org.