In the wake of the excitement and joy surrounding Wednesday’s announcement that the Quad Cities would indeed have hockey this coming season, with a new team joining the SPHL, one little thing needs to be addressed before we can really get excited about this new franchise:
The team doesn’t have a name.
After 22 seasons as the Mallards, the ECHL is keeping the Mallards nickname, forcing the new owners to come up with a new name for their new team in a new league. That’s a bummer, because the Mallards nickname has a ton of history dating back to the start in the old CoHL and UHL, so it feels a bit like they’re losing their hockey history with this forced name change.
But what should this new team be called? I’m off the belief that minor league teams should try to capture something that embodies their region or town, like the Lumberjacks in Muskegon, or Bulls in Amarillo. That’s what they’re known for, so it makes sense. Here’s what myself and Shawn think this new team should be named:
The Quad City Rapids.
The cities in the area basically owe their existence to the fact that this area of the Mississippi River has rapids, which forced boat drivers to seek shelter in the region to help make it easier to navigate.
Per the Quad Cities’ Wikipedia page, emphasis mine:
The history of urban settlements in the Quad Cities was stimulated by riverboat traffic. For 14 miles (21 km) between LeClaire, Iowa, and Rock Island, the Mississippi River flowed across a series of finger-like rock projections protruding from either bank. These rapids were difficult for steamboats to traverse. As demand for river-based transportation increased along the upper Mississippi, the navigability of the river throughout the “Rock Island Rapids” became a greater concern. Over time, a minor industry grew up in the area to meet the steamboats’ needs. Boat crews needed rest areas to stop before encountering the rapids…
This is a great local tie-in, and gives the new team a name that has history and meaning in the region. I get Mallards had history because it was the name so long, but Mallards is a pretty generic name, almost every city has Mallards. Rapids is something Quad City can be proud of, and also kind of sort of ties in with the indoor football team, the Quad City Steamwheelers.
My suggestion: the Quad City Flock.
Stick with me here.
The main focus of this period of time between the announcement of the fold, and the pursuit of keeping (professional) hockey in town for next season, what was the number one focus? The need for the community to push and work to keep hockey.
They showed up with endless social media fervor, deposits on season tickets, and the city of Moline even made a preferable tax for the arenas to financially support hockey’s return (as well as give a boost to their indoor football team).
I read a quote yesterday that rung to this area. “Lost hockey cities are like funerals…you only hear how great they are once at the end.” The entirety of the Quad Cities prevented this narrative together. Community. The entirety of everyone.
They no longer can be the Mallards, but they can keep that waterfowl theme by embracing the idea of not one but many. Let the flock fly. The logo doesn’t change all too much, you’ve got a great rhyme scheme with “Quad City Flock Hockey”, and you can keep the same themes. Multiple Mallards, though.
But if you think those stink or have something better, well you’re in luck. The SPHL league site is holding a Name The Team contest for the new Quad City franchise. I assume there is some sort of prize if they pick your suggestion, but I have no idea what it is.
It’s a new era of hockey in the Quad Cities, which will feature a new league, and a new team name. What do you think the next Quad City hockey team should be called?