Quad City Mallards Head Coach Terry Ruskowski followed through on his word to begin cutting players who weren’t playing to his standards, trading or cutting three forwards while signing a six-year AHL vet. The moves also got the Mallards within the active roster limits for the ECHL which go into effect on Sunday.
In one announcement, forward Cole Wilson and two-way player Nick Grasso were cut from the roster.
Wilson was acquired on October 15 from the South Carolina Stingrays for future considerations. The deal with South Carolina has yet to be completed. Wilson skated in five games for the Mallards, having a minus four in plus/minus rating and posting no points.
Grasso signed with the Mallards before the 2013-14 season, skating in 63 games last season and posting 16 points. He had a plus 15 in plus/minus rating, the highest on the team last season. Grasso played three games this season, two assists being credited to him. Here is a Sin Bin article about Grasso’s contributions to the team from last season.
It’s safe to say that Grasso was not released due to poor performance but due to the impending roster limits. Coach Ruskowski was unhappy to release Grasso. Ruskowski told the Quad City Times “It wasn’t an easy decision and it broke my heart to let him go but I’ve got to think about the team.”
In the same announcement as Wilson and Grasso’s release, it was disclosed that Kevin Henderson had signed with the Mallards. Henderson most recently played for the Texas Stars, having won the Calder Cup with them in 2014. Henderson made his AHL debut in 2009 with the now defunct Worcester Sharks. Last season he played 56 games for the Texas Stars, scoring seven goals and tallying five assists. During the lockout shortened 2012-13 season he played four games for the Nashville Predators.
An hour after the three player announcement, the Mallards tweeted that Logan Nelson had been traded to the Wichita Thunder for future considerations.
Nelson was traded to the Mallards from the Rapid City Rush on October 27, 2014 for future considerations. He skated in 43 games last season for the Mallards, tallying 28 points. He played seven times this season, with five points.
Of the Nelson trade, Coach Ruskowski told the Quad City Times, “I traded Logan because he’s inconsistent in this game. I needed him to work hard. I emphasized that to him numerous times and he wasn’t my type of player. Is he a good player? Absolutely when he wants to be, but he doesn’t have the work ethic that I asked of him.”
The Mallards take on the Cincinnati Cyclones tonight in Cincinnati.
This article was written by Sin Bin contributor Anna Headley.