Mallards veteran Chris Lipsett. (Larry Fisher/QUAD-CITY TIMES) Larry Fisher

Chris Lipsett doesn't see himself as the face of the new Quad-City Mallards.

He would prefer to promote tough guys Jonathan Tremblay and/or Jason Goulet for the job.

Yeah. But wouldn't that scare the kids?

"I don't think it has to be pretty," Lipsett said of the franchise's face. "Their style of play is a little more suited to the International Hockey League."

No doubt, in a league with no instigator penalty beyond a game's final 2 minutes, rough and tumble certainly will be a key part of a team's personality.

Still, the Mallards also will be looking for leadership and scoring.

Lipsett, a 35-year-old right winger in his 15th professional season, figures to be a candidate to provide both.

In fact, his value is trebled when you take into account his familiarity with Mallards coach Frank Anzalone.

"I think he's going to be a real good voice to carry a message, and Jean Desrochers the same way," Anzalone said. "Really good sounding boards, like, 'Where do you think we're at? How do we look?' That's all I ask of those guys."

For his part, Lipsett doesn't want to exert leadership by design.

"I think everyone needs to be a leader out there," he said. "Just because somebody has played 13, 14 years doesn't mean they are a leader. It's all about putting it on the ice, being an example. If you are doing what you are supposed to be doing on the ice, working hard, playing the system, we'll all lead by example."

There is, though, no denying Lipsett is the senior citizen in the youthful Q-C dressing room. Of 20 players in training camp, only two, forwards Ryan Fultz and Terry Harrison, also are over 30, and both are four years younger than Lipsett.

Meanwhile, 14 players are 25 or younger.

Lipsett was the first player Anzalone signed after he took the Mallards job in August and, not long after that, the forward from Ottawa, Ontario, moved his family to the Quad-Cities, enrolled his oldest son in grade school here and began preparing for season No. 15.

"We have been here, I guess, a month now," he said. "I am real excited about the city. It's a nice place to live. I have enjoyed some things in town."

He sure knows his way to the Quad-City Sports Center. Lipsett has been working out there the last several weeks with players from the Junior A Quad-City Junior Flames as well as the Quad-City Blues high school squad.

"Skating with them was a big help," he said.

The Mallards think the affable Lipsett can be an off-ice asset as well, and to hear him talk about his reasons for making this his 14th career stop, it's not hard to see why.

"I heard a lot of great things about the Quad-Cities, the Mallards in the past, and the fans," he said. "Great fans. Great support. When I heard they were getting their team back and that ownership was committed to getting the team back to the way they were before, and I enjoyed playing for Frank ... All those things made it a real good opportunity."