The Mallards City informed the ECHL that they were ceasing operations at the end of the current season. According to a post on the team’s website, team owner Jordan Melville said that it was a difficult decision but that he had come to the decision to cease operations.

“This was an extraordinarily difficult decision to reach and one that I arrived at only after lengthy deliberation and a lot of soul-searching,” said Melville in a press release. “In the end it became clear I would no longer be able to make the financial commitment required for the team to continue and that, as hard as it was to reach this conclusion, the time has come to cease operations.”

Quad City currently sits last place in the Central Division with 44 points, 20 points out of the final playoff spot in the division. With just 11 games remaining on the schedule, and five of them at home, it is unlikely they will qualify for the postseason, meaning the final game in Mallards history will be played at home on April 7 against the Cincinnati Cyclones.

There is a chance the Mallards could be back in the ECHL. However, even if the team was sold between now and the conclusion of the season, they would not be able to start play until the 2019-20 season according to league commissioner Brian McKenna.

While the league is losing a team, the number of teams will grow to 28 teams. The Maine Mariners will join the league after they were relocated following the sale of the Alaska Aces. Also joining the ECHL in time for the 2018-19 season will be St. John’s.

On March 7, St. John’s Sports and Entertainment reached a deal to formally operate an ECHL team out of the Mile One Centre, the former home of the St. John’s IceCaps of the AHL who moved to Laval, Quebec prior to the start of this season.

Eight days later the ECHL approved the addition of the team to the league.

There is a long and proud hockey history in St John’s and they look to add to it with this team. Unlike the IceCaps, the new St. John’s team will be locally owned by Deacon Investments Ltd., which is controlled by local businessman Dean MacDonald.

When the announcement was made of the city getting the franchise they also announced that they will be affiliated with the Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL) and Toronto Marlies (AHL). This is full circle for the city who once was the home city for the Leafs’ AHL farm system.