|2014–15 Iowa Wild season|
|City||Des Moines, Iowa|
|League||American Hockey League|
|Founded||1994 (In the IHL as the Houston Aeros)|
|Home arena||Wells Fargo Arena|
Green, Wheat, White
|Owner(s)||Minnesota Sports and Entertainment (majority), Chuck Watson (minority), Nick Sheppard (minority)|
|General manager||Jim Mill|
|Head coach||Kurt Kleinendorst|
|Affiliates||Minnesota Wild (NHL)
Alaska Aces (ECHL)
Quad City Mallards (CHL)
|1994–2001||Houston Aeros (IHL)|
|2001–2013||Houston Aeros (AHL)|
The Iowa Wild is an ice hockey team in the American Hockey League, that began play for the 2013-14 season. The team plays at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa, as the AHL affiliate of the NHL's Minnesota Wild.
The team was previously known as the Houston Aeros, calling Houston, Texas, home and most recently playing at the Toyota Center. On April 18, 2013, it was announced that the Aeros would be moving to Des Moines, beginning with the 2013-14 AHL season and be known as the Iowa Wild.
The Wild is the second AHL team to call Des Moines and the Wells Fargo Arena home; the city previously was home to the Iowa Stars, which had been the Dallas Stars' AHL affiliate from 2005 until 2008 (in the team's final season in 2009, they were known as the Iowa Chops and were affiliated with the Anaheim Ducks).
The Houston Aeros were an expansion team in the International Hockey League in 1994. The team's name is a homage to the Houston Aeros of the World Hockey Association in the 1970s, one of the teams Gordie Howe played for in the WHA. The Aeros were the second IHL team to be named after a WHA franchise, the first being the Phoenix Roadrunners; unlike the Roadrunners, who used the same logo as their WHA predecessor, the IHL Aeros used a new logo, a bomber flying over the team name (essentially their current logo) based on the Boeing B-17 or B-25 Mitchell. The Aeros would defeat the Orlando Solar Bears to win the 1999 Turner Cup, following an impressive 54-win season.
The Aeros were one of six IHL teams to join the American Hockey League (AHL) in 2001 when the IHL folded. The AHL version of the Aeros would go on to win the 2003 Calder Cup; they would reach the 2011 Calder Cup finals as well but lost to the Binghamton Senators. They served as the AHL affiliate of the Minnesota Wild and were affiliated with the ECHL revival of the Orlando Solar Bears for the 2012–13 season.
In 2003, the Aeros replaced their original bomber logo, carried over from their IHL days, to a new logo featuring a forward-facing modern fighter jet below a bold "AEROS", and using the WHA Aeros' colors of light and dark blue. In 2005, as part of their affiliation with the Wild, the Aeros changed their colors to the Wild's forest green and Iron Range red. This new logo was not popular with many of the long-term fans. On April 18, 2006, the team announced that the 2006–07 season would see the Aeros return to their original bomber logo associated with their championship seasons, with only minor color alterations; the blue elements of the original logo were replaced with green.
The principal owner was Minnesota Sports and Entertainment, with Chuck Watson, the former owner, owning a 10% minority share along with Houston Native, Nick Sheppard, holding a 4% share.
On April 18, 2013, the Minnesota Wild announced that Minnesota Sports and Entertainment were unable to reach a lease agreement with the Toyota Center, and the Aeros would be relocated to Des Moines, Iowa beginning with the 2013–14 season and play their home games in Wells Fargo Arena. The Iowa Wild inaugural season was opened on October 12 with a win, 1-0, over the Oklahoma City Barons. The opening night attendance was 10,200.
|2013–14||76||27||36||7||6||67||.441||169||235||5th, Midwest||2014||Out of playoffs|
Updated July 3, 2013.
- "Wild AHL Affiliate Moving To Iowa". Minnesota Wild. 2013-04-18. Retrieved 2013-04-18.
- Birch, Tommy & Leistikow, Chad (2013-04-18). "Is Des Moines ready to try pro hockey again?". Des Moines Register. Retrieved 2013-04-18.
- As former sole owner of the team, Chuck Watson owns the rights to the Aeros name, prompting the name change."Wild statement on AHL affiliate". Houston Aeros. 2013-04-18. Retrieved 2013-04-18.
- "TheAHL.com –Houston Aeros Roster". Retrieved 2012-12-12.