I know there are a few Quad City Mallards fans out there, and I've been away for a while so I don't know if this was posted yet...

The owners of the Mallards have been awarded the new American Hockey League affiliate of the Calgary Flames which was formerly located in Omaha. So I'm sad to say that the Mallards are no more, but they will be reborn as the QC Flames. This is exciting for hockey in the midwest. They will be in the same division as the Iowa Stars which should make for a great regional rivalry.

The Mallards were the cream of the crop when it came to minor league teams. The United Hockey League is a throw back to old time hockey, but most of the players will never go much further than that league. That said, the Mallards were among the top in attendance every year. They will continue to play in The Mark of the Quad Cities which is an ideal spot. With only 9200 seats to fill, they should have success. Hockey is always better in smaller buildings, though the Iowa Stars are beginning to gain momentum in the cavernous Wells Fargo Arena having made it to the AHL Playoffs last year.

I can't wait to see what happens in the QC. It should be great for hockey in Iowa. The team never worked in Omaha because they had to compete with the already well established UNO hockey team and the Omaha Lancers of the popular USHL Junior League. In the QC they are going to be the only show in town and they will play in the toughest and most exciting division of the AHL including the Rockford IceHogs (formerly of the UHL, Chicago Blackhawks affiliate), Chicago Wolves (Atlanta Thrashers Affiliate), Milwaukee Admirals (Nashville Predators affiliate), and the Iowa Stars (Dallas Stars Affiliate).

It's going to be a great year. If you live in or around the QC, you should check it out.