The Quad City Mallards of the “AA” Central Hockey League today announced they have acquired defenseman Jared Lavender from the Missouri Mavericks in exchange for future considerations. The Mallards further announced today that center Joel Gasper has departed the Flock and that forwards Jesse Biduke, Phillip Ischi and Billy Siers; defensemen Peter Drikos and A.J. Simone; and goaltender Nick Neidert have been waived.
Lavender, 27, picked up ten assists and posted a plus/minus rating of +7 in 45 games with the Mavericks last season. The Cleveland Heights, Ohio, native broke into professional hockey with Missouri in 2009-10, scoring twice and posting seven points in 49 games.
“Jared will bring jam and mobility to our defense corps,” said Mallards coach and general manager David Bell. “Over the weekend during the Ice Breaker [preseason event during which the Mallards played the Mavericks] he stuck out as player who was hard to play against- there were comments made on our bench about how difficult it was to play against him.”
Before joining the Mavericks, the 5’ 11, 188-pound Lavender spent four seasons at Division III Castleton State College. He scored eight goals and produced 35 points in 107 career collegiate games.
Gasper, 28, spent the last two seasons as a Mallard alternate captain. He scored nine goals and notched 24 points in 62 games last season. Over his two Quad City campaigns, he recorded 23 goals and 56 points in 138 games.
“Joel is a great person who’s been a fine player for this team. Unfortunately our system didn’t really fit his style of play,” said Bell. “We certainly wish Joel the best going forward and thank him for everything he’s done for the Mallards.”
The Mallards originally acquired Gasper in a September, 2009 trade with the International Hockey League’s Flint Generals. Gasper broke into pro hockey with the ECHL’s Johnstown Chiefs in the spring of 2008 immediately after completing his college career at Robert Morris. He spent the bulk of the 2008-09 season with Flint after starting the year with the Port Huron Icehawks. In 115 career games at RMU Gasper notched 12 goals and 37 points.
In the wake of today’s transactions the Mallards’ roster now consists of forwards Obi Aduba, Jeremy Boyer, Jared Brown, Justin Chwedoruk, Sean Flanagan, Eric Giosa, Jason Kostadine, Mickey Lang, Brandon Marino and John Snowden; defensemen Lavender, Tyler Gilmore, Martin Kubaliak, Karl Linden, Shane Lovdahl, Darren McMillan, Jeff Moor, Bobby Preece, Tyler Sheldrake and Quinn Waller; and goaltenders David McKee and Brad Fogal.
The Mallards will open their second CHL regular season on home ice Saturday night against the Rapid City Rush. Opening night will kick off at 4:30 p.m. with a Fan Fest outside the i wireless Center featuring Kiss tribute band Strutter, kids’ activities, food and beverages and more. The Mallards’ curtain raiser against Rapid City will follow at 7:05 p.m. Admission to Fan Fest is free with the purchase of a ticket to the opener.
Opening night is the first of the Mallards’ 33 home games and 25 weekend dates. 2011-12 season tickets are still on sale- season ticket holders receive significant savings and a host of exclusive benefits. Single game tickets for all of the Mallards’ regular season contests- including the opener- are also now on available. Fans can contact the Mallards at (309) 277-1364 or email@example.com for more information about both season and single game tickets.
Single game tickets are also available at the i wireless Center box office, at Ticketmaster outlets, through www.ticketmaster.com or through Ticketmaster charge-by-phone toll free. The box office is open weekdays from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and on game days from 10:00 a.m. until the start of the second period. Individual game tickets will be available for $12 in the upper level and $17 in the lower level.