While the Chops hang in limbo our former American Hockey League rival, the Quad Cities, has received some fairly decent news.
Calgary Flames yanked the Knights out of Omaha and relocated them to the Quad Cities, the long time United Hockey League Mallards were nixed. The QC Flames took over their renovated home but the spark died within two seasons. Since the NHL club pulled out of QC in favor of Abbottsford, BC a couple of months ago, the i wireless Center (formerly The Mark)saw a potentially empty 2009-10 season.
Luckily the hockey fans in that metro loved their Mallards much more than the Flames. Attendance rates were actually better in the lower league. Because of this, much speculation has been made this spring/summer about QC's return to AA level hockey. Rumors from a joint entry by QC and Des Moines in the ECHL (technically it stands for nothing now) or Central Hockey League to single bids to join the International Hockey League (the re-christened UHL) have run rampant. Now it looks like the latter is coming to fruition.
At this point all we know is that QC will be rejoining their former league this fall. They will continue playing at the i wireless Center. Even without an official name announcement, expect the Mallards to quack once again.
In other hockey news, the University of Nebraska at Omaha Mavericks ice hockey team is moving from the Central Collegiate Hockey Association to the Western Collegiate Hockey Association beginning in the 2010-11 season. This move will pit them against more regional competition like the Minnesota and the University of Denver rather than schools located further away including Michigan and Michigan State. Moving to the WCHA should give the program an increased amount of exposure in our area.