The Norfolk Admirals have entered into a multi-year affiliation agreement with the Anaheim Ducks of the National Hockey League, Admirals president Ken Young and Ducks executive vice president/general manager Bob Murray announced today.
The Ducks organization will provide the Admirals with a full roster of players as well as a coaching and training staff in Norfolk.
Trent Yawney, who coached the Admirals to the Calder Cup Playoffs in each of the team’s first five seasons in the American Hockey League (2000-01 – 2004-05), will return as head coach in 2012-13. He will be joined behind the bench by assistant coach Marty Wilford, who is Norfolk’s all-time leading scorer among defensemen with 173 points (32g, 141a) in 318 games between 2000-01 and 2004-05.
"We are excited to have the Ducks as our partner and look for a terrific long-term relationship," said Young. "The Ducks have the nucleus of an excellent club in Anaheim and have a great system of prospects that we will see develop in Norfolk. We look forward to continued top-level hockey in Hampton Roads as Anaheim’s top affiliate."
“We are excited to be affiliating with the Admirals in a great hockey market such as Norfolk, Virginia,” said Murray. “We look forward to working with the Norfolk organization and continuing the winning tradition the team has created at Norfolk Scope Arena. We would also like to thank the Syracuse Crunch and its fans for their support over the last two seasons.”
Twenty-nine of the 36 players who appeared for Anaheim during the 2011-12 season are American Hockey League (AHL) graduates. National Hockey League All-Stars Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf and Jonas Hiller are among the current Ducks who have developed in Anaheim’s AHL system.
The 2007 Stanley Cup champion Anaheim Ducks have been affiliated with the Baltimore Bandits (1995-97), Cincinnati Mighty Ducks (1997-2005), Portland Pirates (2005-08), Iowa Chops (2008-09) and Syracuse Crunch (2010-12) in the AHL.
Anaheim’s AHL affiliate has combined for a 240-176-25-35 record in 476 games (.567 winning percentage) since 2005-06. The Ducks were most recently affiliated with the Syracuse Crunch from 2010-12, posting a 72-67-8-9 record in 156 games. Syracuse was one of the AHL’s most successful teams down the stretch last season, winning 15 of their last 20 games (15-3-1-1) to earn a Calder Cup Playoff berth.
From 2005-08, Anaheim was affiliated with the Portland Pirates, who reached Game 7 of the AHL Eastern Conference Finals in two of three seasons (2006 & 2008).
Since 2005-06, numerous players who made their NHL debuts with Anaheim also played for the club’s AHL affiliate. Those current Ducks players include forwards Ryan Getzlaf (Portland), Corey Perry (Portland), Bobby Ryan (Portland/Iowa), Matt Beleskey (Iowa/Syracuse) and Nick Bonino (Syracuse), and goaltender Jonas Hiller (Portland).
Hampton Roads has been home to Admirals hockey since 1989. Prior to joining the AHL, the Admirals were the East Coast Hockey League’s Hampton Roads Admirals from 1989 to 2000, winning three league championships (1991, 1992, 1998). The team entered the AHL in 2000-01 and has been the top development team of the Chicago Blackhawks (2000-07) and Tampa Bay Lightning (2007-12) prior to joining forces with the Ducks. The Admirals won the 2012 Calder Cup earlier this month after making the playoffs for the 20th time in 23 seasons.