MOLINE, IL – Less than a month after the Quad City Mallards unceremoniously fired coach Terry Ruskowski, the organization has announced more changes throughout the organization.
Current head coach Phil Axtell will stay on as the coach for the remainder of the season. The team’s success through the remainder of the regular season and Kelly Cup Playoffs will judge whether he stays on as coach after the season. Currently, the Mallards are on a four-game winning streak and have won six of eight since the coaching change. For the first time in a decade, the Mallards offense has scored five or more goals in four straight games. They have a 25-18-2 record and 52 points, good for third in the midwest division, and sit just four points behind the Fort Wayne Komets for second in the division.
Moving into the General Manager’s office is team president Bob McNamara and Jon Piche will lead the team’s hockey operations department. McNamara spent 15 years as general manager of the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Griffins and has served as team president for five years.
“I’ve been very pleased that the team has responded so positively and so quickly to the change in leadership after we handed the coaching reins to Phil,” said Mallards owner Jordan Melville. “We not only have an impressive record under Phil, we have also been a very exciting team to watch over the last eight games. By now adding Bob’s extensive knowledge of the sport and considerable expertise to our hockey operations department, we are taking another significant step in the right direction in our effort to bring championship hockey back to the Quad Cities.”
The Mallards return to action tomorrow night against the Kalamazoo Wings, in a crucial divisional showdown.