MOLINE, Ill. – Six weeks after the Quad City Mallards ceased operations, a new team and new league have entered the area. On Wednesday it was announced in a press conference that the Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) was expanding north to the Illinois-Iowa border city of Moline.
A couple of familiar faces have taken ownership of the Quad City hockey team, as former season-ticket holders John Dawson and Ryan Mosley bought the defunct Louisiana IceGators franchise to transfer it to Moline.
“The Mallards and hockey mean a lot more than just being on the ice the last two decades. It has been a family, and probably the thing I’m most excited about is that these two gentlemen have been a part of the family almost from the beginning as season ticket holders,” former Mallards president, general manager, and owner Howard Cornfield said before introducing Mosley and Dawson. “We no longer have out of town owners that don’t understand or care about our community. These people care, and these people are stepping up big time to make this happen.”
Dawson and Mosley, who had attended Mallard games since 1996, formed Red Sky Sports Ventures LLC, which owns the new Quad City SPHL franchise after Jordan Melville announced in March that he was letting the team slip out of the ECHL due to monetary concerns.
Mosley is co-owner of Harris Pizza, which had in recent years sponsored the Mallards’ power play and handed out coupons featuring hockey-themed pizzas such as Hat Trick, National Anthem, and Shut Out Taco, as well as others. The website for the pizza chain even displays the USA Hockey logo, as Mosley has been a certified official for two decades. His son plays hockey, and can often be seen riding the Zamboni after games and has been featured as a future Mallard before games.
Dawson works for Cobham Mission Systems and plays dek hockey at QC Dek Hockey in Bettendorf; QC Dek Hockey was founded by former Mallard player Patrik Levesque after retiring in 2015.
Dawson had nothing but good things to say about the SPHL, telling of how when he and others attended the Presidents Cup Finals in Peoria, “It’s good quality hockey, and I can tell you that night after night they didn’t take shifts off. Everybody was hustling; everybody was playing. We saw a couple of guys that took more blocked shots than I’ve seen in a long time, and I’m not sure how they got off the ice.”
Mosley put out a call for more support from the community, saying, “Hopefully we all have fun and grow as a bigger family and make this even more fun. So if we can continue to support our team, our team will support you.”
There is now a Name the Team Contest occurring on TheSPHL.com, where fans can submit names for the new Quad City SPHL team. A few front office staff positions have been filled already, but more hiring will occur in the future. No general manager or head coach has been named as of yet, but Cornfield will serve as a special consultant to Mosley and Dawson this season. SPHL president Jim Combs said that an expansion draft would take place after the coach has been selected.
Season tickets will go on sale next week, and those who placed a $25 a seat deposit down before the 2017-18 season ended will be first on the list of those to purchase tickets. There is already a phone number and representative listed on TheSPHL.com for ticket information for the new team, as well a corporate sponsor number and representative. Until a name is selected, all information about the team will be disclosed on TheSPHL.com.
Follow @SinBinMallards on Twitter for the latest news on the unnamed Quad City SPHL team; the handle will remain the same as in previous seasons until the name is announced, but the display name is set to Sin Bin Quad City SPHL. Either name will bring up the correct Twitter account when searched.