Photo: Sean Flynn Photography/Quad City Mallards
Quad City Mallards coach and general manager Terry Ruskowski has signed a contract extension through the 2016-17 season with an option for the 2017-18 campaign, the Mallards announced today.
Ruskowski is approaching the start of his fourth season behind the Mallards’ bench and the final year of his existing contract. He has guided the Mallards to the playoffs each of his first three seasons in the Quad Cities.
“We are excited to announce we have extended Terry’s contract,” said Mallards president Bob McNamara. “He has been an integral part of the Mallards’ resurgence, both on and off the ice.”
Ruskowski last season reached the one hundred victory plateau as Mallards coach while steering the team to a 37-28-7 record in its first ECHL campaign. He has gone 104-77-23 since taking over at the iWireless Center in 2011 and in 2014 piloted the Mallards to the club’s first semi-final berth in 11 years.
“I’m obviously very happy with the extension,” said Ruskowski. “Everyone knows how I feel about the Quad Cities and the Mallards organization and about the organization extending my contract. Now it’s time to get to work and get the season going.”
One of the most successful coaches in all of minor league hockey, Ruskowski has gone 693-493-125 over the course of his 20-year professional head coaching career.
Ruskowski went 442-251-79 while spending 12 seasons in the Central Hockey League from 2002 through 2014. He ranks second in CHL history with 772 games coached and is tied for second in career CHL coaching wins. Prior to taking over the Mallards, he enjoyed great success over nine years with the Laredo Bucks and one campaign with the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees. Ruskowski piloted the Bucks to four straight finals appearances between 2004 and 2007 and twice won the CHL title (2004 and 2006) with Laredo. In 2011-12, the Killer Bees rebounded to post a 32-27-7 record under Ruskowski after enduring back-to-back losing seasons immediately prior to his arrival.
Ruskowski returned to the ECHL last season after last coaching in the league two decades ago. He went 96-80-20 in three seasons as coach of the Columbus Chill from 1991 to 1994. From Columbus, he went on to take the reins of the International Hockey League’s Houston Aeros and United Hockey League’s Knoxville Speed before beginning his hugely successful CHL run.
All told, Ruskowski, who first moved into coaching when he took over the Western Hockey League’s Saskatoon Blades after retiring as a player in 1989, has been behind the bench for a total of 1,311 professional games and steered his teams to 40 or more victories in a season on six occasions.
The Prince Albert, Saskatchewan native played 999 career games for six teams - the Houston Aeros, Winnipeg Jets, Chicago Blackhawks, Los Angeles Kings, Pittsburgh Penguins and Minnesota North Stars - over 15 seasons in the National Hockey League and World Hockey Association. Ruskowski is also the only player in major professional hockey history to have captained four different clubs: the Aeros, Blackhawks, Kings and Penguins.
The Mallards will begin their nineteenth season on the road against the defending champion Allen Americans this Friday before returning to the Quad Cities to play their home opener on Friday, October 23 at 7:05 p.m. against the Tulsa Oilers.
The home opener will also bring a postgame fireworks show outside the iWireless Center and the return of $1 Dog/$1 Beer Friday presented by 97X. In addition, Every Friday game will also be a MetroLINK College Night this season. The Mallards have once again partnered with Metro to provide transit service between Augustana College and downtown Moline during all Friday home games. As part of Metro’s unlimited ride program, Augustana riders can use their Augustana ID as their fare.
Single game tickets for all Mallards regular season home games- including the home opener- are on sale now at the iWireless Center box office, Ticketmaster outlets, ticketmaster.com and Ticketmaster charge-by-phone toll free at 1-800-745-3000. The box office is open weekdays from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Tickets are available for $10, $16, $20 and $28.
Mallards 2015-16 season tickets are also still available. Season ticket holders enjoy significant savings off 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 email@example.com.