As a long-time hockey fan, I can't help but be excited about the implications of the deal reached earlier today that will effectively merge the teams of the CHL (Mallards) and the East Coast Hockey League.

On it's face, it will allow players to be exposed to a greater audience of not only fans, but also coaches and team staff as the season will be longer, and the geographic coverage of Minor League hockey will be more consistent.

No official word yet on how this season will play out (The two leagues will most likely play their current schedules and then play a championship from the two different leagues in a winner-takes-all single season.  Next season rivalries could reunite Mallards with the likes of Peoria, which was always a fun series in the old days.  Fort Wayne and Kalamazoo would be in the mix as well!

joey dwyer/townsquare media

Coach Ruskowski will be on our show tomorrow morning, with probably still more questions than answers.  But a great move for Quad City Hockey!