The Flames are out. After two years in the Quad Cities, the franchise has decided to move it to a probably more deserving Abbotsford, British Columbia.
The Quad Cities Sports Venture Inc. couldn't manage to draw enough interest from the QC area to get a decent following like the Mallards did just a few years ago. Perhaps their problems came from an inability to differentiate the Flames from the Mallards.
In their late years, the Mallards following dropped off considerably. When the Flames came to town soon after the Mallards departure, no one seemed to want to make the effort to explain that the Flames were in the AHL and not the pathetic UHL that the Mallards were a part of. The AHL, being one step below the NHL, is the highest level of sports to come to the Quad Cities since the 1940s (You know the Atlanta Hawks? They used to be the the Blackhawks and were in the Quad Cities). As a result, many Quad Citians believed that the Flames were simply the Mallards with a new name.
You know what other results this had? NOBODY CAME! The only people who did come were the people who understood the difference. And those who didn't understand, didn't have much reason to come. They figured it was the same old show and there weren't enough promotions to draw them and show them otherwise.
One more point of contention. Ryan McGill SUCKS as a coach. The guy didn't know how to coach. He didn't know how to congratulate his team when they won and he didn't know how to correct their mistakes except for just berating his players to the press. I can remember a few specific instances that highlighted his idiocy.
One time the Flames were up by 2 or 3 goals at the end of the 2nd period. At the end of the game, which the Flames LOST, by the way, McGill told the newspapers that he didn't talk to his team in between the 2nd and 3rd period because he didn't think he needed to be their cheerleader when they were up like that. One quick question, WHAT THE HELL ELSE WOULD YOU BE DOING IN BETWEEN PERIODS, THEN? Seriously. Someone pays you to COACH, so do it!
Another time, after the Flames actually won, McGill said about the game-winning goal scorer, that it made up for the turnover that caused them to lose the lead in the first place. He can't find anything positive to tell the newspapers. I can't imagine that the team would feel anything but hatred for the guy. And how do guys follow a man they hate? They don't. And they lose.
What was the result of all of McGill's antics? The Flames lost...A LOT. They were bottom-dwellers last year and they're bottom-dwellers this year. Yet, the ownership couldn't make the connection that this idiot was incapable of producing a winning team. So the team kept losing, and the people that did come to the games started wondering why they should come back.
As you can tell, I'm a little bit fumed about the Flames leaving town. It's because it could have totally been avoided. However, no one could pull their head out. Not the ownership, not the coach, not the public who refused to support a high-caliber sports team. Good luck attracting another hockey team, Quad Cities, because I think you really screwed yourselves this time.