In the wake of on-ice struggles and changes within the organization, Quad City Mallards owner Jordan Melville has voiced his commitment to making the changes necessary to improve the team’s performance.
Melville, who has committed to spending more time in the Quad Cities from this point forward and who will be on hand for the Mallards’ home games this Friday and Saturday, has placed all areas of the franchise under review. In addition to addressing on-ice performance Melville is simultaneously working to both build on the team’s business operations successes and also focus on those areas where room for growth exists.
Melville will be assisted in the review process and in the overall operation of the team by Special Advisor to Ownership Darryl Porter. Porter brings to the Mallards a wealth of experience and expertise in hockey and sports in general, having previously owned or served in leadership roles for a trio of Western Hockey League teams, consulted for hockey teams at virtually every level and also operated as a scout for both National Hockey League and major junior clubs.
“Our recent results on the ice are unacceptable to us and our fans. We need to look in the mirror and do better,” said Melville.
Accordingly, the Mallards have made the following announcements:
• While the detailed review of the entire team will continue until season’s end, Director of Hockey Operations Jon Piche has been released. “We thank Jon for all his work for the team and wish him the best,” said Melville.
• Director of Communications and Broadcasting Brian Lavelle will take on expanded duties along with the additional title of director of team services. Lavelle’s added duties will see him serve as the Mallards’ liaison with the ECHL on player transactions, salary cap compliance and other team matters and also oversee the club’s travel arrangements. “Brian knows the workings of our team as well as anyone and I know this move will make us better league partners,” said Porter.
• Further announcements regarding hockey operations will be made in the coming months.
• The Mallards have extended their ECHL affiliation agreement for three more seasons. “We are happy to renew our commitment to the ECHL and look forward to working to strengthen the league and our fellow member franchises in the coming years. We value stability in our league partner and we certainly have that in the ECHL, which has been the premier development league at this level for three decades,” said Melville. “To coincide with this commitment, we will continue to work with the TaxSlayer Center and the city of Moline on a new lease that will help the Mallards remain a solid and sustainable franchise going forward.”
• The Mallards will launch their season ticket renewal drive later this month. The club will also introduce an array of improved ticketing options to insure all fans will have the chance to watch Mallards hockey at the TaxSlayer Center. “We need to continue to grow our fan base and make Mallards games a destination for even more folks in this community in order to take further strides as a franchise,” said Porter.
Melville assumed ownership of the Mallards in 2012 after the Central Hockey League was forced to take control of the team’s operations prior to the start of the 2012-13 season. Since taking the reigns of the franchise, he has guided the team through the transition from the CHL to the ECHL- the premier “AA” hockey league in North America- and overseen significant growth in both attendance and corporate partnerships while the team has posted winning records and qualified for the playoffs in each of the five full seasons of his ownership.
“My family is proud of our commitment to the Quad Cities as we’ve owned this franchise for better than five years now,” said Melville. “In that time, that commitment has only grown deeper as we’ve faced and overcome some very daunting challenges. I have no doubt now that by further improving our business operations, completing a new lease and putting a competitive, exciting team on the ice we will make this an even stronger franchise.”