MOLINE, IL – The Quad City Mallards dropped a bombshell on fans Tuesday afternoon, with the announcement that Team President and General Manager Bob McNamara has been relieved of his duties, and team Owner Jordan Melville will assume McNamara’s role for the time being. McNamara had served as the team’s president since 2012. He had been a hockey executive since the 1992-1993 season, seeing time in the American Hockey League and International Hockey League between the Cleveland Lumberjacks, Grand Rapids Griffins, and Hamilton Bulldogs.
From the team’s press release:
“Bob did a great job for the organization in his time with the Mallards and I will always be grateful to him for everything he did for this team. He rebuilt the Mallards’ brand from the ground up and built a very strong relationship between the organization and this community,” said Melville. “I look forward to leading the organization as we begin the next phase of the franchise’s growth and as we continue building on what we’ve accomplished over the last five years.”
There isn’t much doubt that the decision to shake up the front office comes as a result of the club’s lackluster performance on the ice. 21 games into the 2017-18 campaign, the Mallards sit in the cellar of the Central Division with an 8-12-1-0 record and 17 points. With 49 goals for, the flock are the worst offensive team in the ECHL. To add to that, the Mallards do not have one player on their active roster that is on the plus side of the plus-minus rating. Granted, plus-minus isn’t all that reliable of a stat, but it’s still pretty telling when all of your guys are minus players.
“I appreciate the opportunity Jordan gave me to spend five tremendous years with the Mallards and the confidence he showed in me in that time. I feel very good about the job we were able to do during my time with the Mallards both on and off the ice,” said McNamara. “We’ve received tremendous support from this community during that time, so I will always be thankful to the people of the Quad Cities for making our success possible.”
Since McNamara was named president, the team has qualified for the playoffs in all but one season, however were bounced in the first round in each postseason appearance.
Another factor that may have played a role in the decision was McNamara only managed to secure a one-year lease at the TaxSlayer Center that expires at the end of this season.
“We’re currently working to continue to strengthen our partnerships with the TaxSlayer Center and the ECHL to build on what we’ve been able to accomplish over the last five years. The process of extending our lease with the TaxSlayer Center is underway and we are looking forward to completing an extension in a timely manner,” said Melville. “We’re also focused on becoming an even stronger presence in the community and I’m excited about spending even more time in the Quad Cities personally as we move forward.”
It’s also worth noting that attendance has seen a big decrease from last season. We’re only a portion of the way through the season but last season, the Mallards averaged 3,697 fans per home game. Through 12 home games, they’ve only averaged 3,211 fans per game this season. That’s a -486 drop.
And this may not be the last big news story to break from the team. If things do not start to turn around and fast, there soon may be more bodies that get sent packing.