Around the Minors

I've actually got a lot to talk about on this Friday, including a few minor league-relating items.

We'll begin with a shoutout to PuckDrawn, with a first look today at the new uniforms of the IHL's Quad City Mallards. Icethetics first took you "quack to the future" with the unveiling of the team's new logos back on July 1. Now see them on the jerseys.

Mallards unveil uniforms (via PuckDrawn)

You can see the home, road an alternate sweaters being modeled here. A little shockingly, those neon greens are not the third jerseys. So they're going to see a lot of ice time this year. The Mallards also made available the lowest quality images ever of the designs.

Typically, we like these images to be larger for the purpose of seeing the detail of the design. But we'll live. One thing worth noting is that the green in this image and the actual green of the jersey look nothing alike. I like the one shown here better.

It also appears that the alternate sweater in the photo is dark blue while seeming to be black in the following image. Not sure which one is playing tricks on my eyes.

Next, we move on to another obscure minor league — the SPHL. On Wednesday, the Pensacola Ice Flyers announced they have sold enough ticket packages to be able to field a team this season. Now it's time for a real web site. But that also means they need a logo.

This morning I checked back in on the poll being conducted by the Pensacola News Journal. Much to my disappointment, SixZero's design (Logo 3) has fallen behind option 4. After 2,776, Logo 4 is ahead with 35% of the vote, just three percentage points ahead of SixZero. Normally, I'd tell all of you to get over there and get voting, but this isn't for us, it's for hockey fans in North Florida. If that's what they want, that's what they get.

However, the poll, which began on July 17, indicates no end date. Therefore, there's no way to know when the Ice Flyers club will make its decision with regard to the team's logo. So I will keep an eye out for that and keep you all updated.

Quack to the Future!

Just days ago, hockey fans in Moline, Illinois were mourning the loss of hockey as the Abbotsford Heat unveiled its new logo and uniforms. But happiness now reigns as the league that once hatched the Quad City Mallards resurrects them — and with six new logos to boot.

Today the International Hockey League announced the approval of the expansion franchise. The team now has a bare-bones web site set up with the following splash page graphic — from which I borrowed tonight's headline.

It features six different logos, two of which are textless. I didn't think you could make a mallard look intimidating but somehow these guys actually managed. And while I'm impressed by the look of this club, I can't help but wonder how wise it is to exist in the first place.

An article in the Quad-City Times points out the frequency of attendance trouble the i wireless Center has faced for hockey in the last decade. (Also talks about the management's marketing strategy for getting fans back.) The arena has been home to the sport since 1995, but has also lost two different teams — the original Mallards shut down when the Calgary Flames moved the AHL's Ak-Sar-Ben Knights to town in 2007.

Now they're gone and I hate to pass judgment on the fans, but it just doesn't seem like there are enough of them in Moline to warrant a team. Maybe you just make the 90-minute trip down I-74 to see the Rivermen in Peoria.

Having said that, there's more to this story. See, the IHL used be called the United Hockey League — the home of the first Quad City Mallards club. So in a way, it's like they just took a two-year vacation while the AHL tested the waters of a market that it found couldn't quite support it. So maybe they're right where they're meant to be.

Thanks to J.D. for the tip on this story and for making the "Mallards are re-hatching" joke. And now that you've heard enough from me, what do you guys think of the menacing green-headed bird logos above?