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MOLINE -- The Quad-City Mallards suspended operations Wednesday less than a year after Canadian clothing magnate Eric Karls purchased the team in advance of its Central Hockey League debut season.

"We've worked extremely hard to make the Mallards a successful franchise but in our current position we felt this was the proper decision given the uncertainty of the landscape of the industry," team president Chris Presson said in a statement.

Karls could not be reached for comment after the team issued a four-paragraph statement.

Massive changes are looming in the CHL, with as many half of the 18 teams that took the ice last year rumored to be leaving or ceasing operations.

The Mallards are the second team to confirm their departure, joining Odessa, Texas, which is dropping to a Junior A league.

Professional hockey has been in the Quad-Cities since 1995.

The Mallards averaged an all-time Q-C pro hockey low 2,870 last season, 13th in the 18-team CHL.

Meanwhile, U.S. Cellular Coliseum in Bloomington remains without a hockey tenant for next season. The lease with the Bloomington PrairieThunder expired last month and both parties have been hush-hush about any negotiations.

 

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