Tonight will mark a milestone for hockey in the Quad Cities, as the Quad City Mallards are beginning their 20th season.
To arrive at 20 seasons, hockey in the Quad Cities had to face plenty of adversity. The original Quad City Mallards debuted in the fall of 1995 as members of the United Hockey League (UHL). Following the 2006-07 season, the UHL incarnation of the Mallards folded and were replaced by the AHL’s Quad City Flames, who relocated to Abbotsford, BC after two seasons.
Fortunately for fans in Moline, IL, the Quad Cities received another franchise when the new Quad City Mallards arrived for the 2009-10 season. Those Mallards started out in the UHL (by then known as the International Hockey League), but when the league folded in 2010, they shifted to the ECHL, where they remain today.
Essentially the Mallards are counting their 1995 origin in the 20th season anniversary. As part of the milestone, the Mallards unveiled a commemorative logo (shown above) and are planning some celebrations during the course of this season. More from the Quad-City Times:
“It’s quite an accomplishment for our franchise to be here for 20 seasons and it’s certainly not possible without the support of all the media in the Quad-Cities as well as the fans,” team president Bob McNamara said. “We would not be here were it not for the immense support we’ve received over the 20 seasons and we hope this is going to be a special one.”
There’s a lot of history to be celebrated this season — the three Colonial Cups won from 1996-2001; the characters that earned the love of the fans like Hugo Proulx and Kerry Toporowski; the players who endured the toughest of times when a franchise was at its lowest, and brought the team back to playoff relevancy under current head coach Terry Ruskowski.
All of that will be highlighted throughout the year, with the marquee event the alumni weekend scheduled for Jan. 13-14.
The Mallards will begin their 20th season on Friday when they host the Fort Wayne Komets at the iWireless Center.