Milwaukee Admirals owner and CEO Harris Turer and Nashville Predators president of hockey operations/general manager David Poile announced today that the two clubs have extended their affiliation agreement for five years, taking the long-standing partnership through the 2021-22 season.
“We are excited to continue the successful relationship with Nashville,” said Turer. “David, [Nashville assistant GM and Milwaukee GM] Paul Fenton and their staff are committed to developing players by continuing a winning tradition in Milwaukee, as evidenced by the success we have had in this affiliation.
“We are very proud of the Admirals alumni like Pekka Rinne, Viktor Arvidsson, Roman Josi and many others who have helped to make the Predators a top-flight NHL team.”
Heading into tonight’s game the Admirals have accumulated a 783-513-31-71-102 record, good for a .589 points percentage, during their time with the Predators. The Ads have won five division titles, including last season, two conference crowns and the Calder Cup championship in 2004. Milwaukee became the first team in AHL history to record 40 or more wins in 10 straight seasons and they have posted 90 or more points in 10 of the past 13 seasons, including six years when they have broken the 100-point plateau. In addition, he Ads have qualified for the Calder Cup Playoffs in 14 of the past 15 seasons, including the 2016-17 campaign.
Counting this season the Admirals have accumulated the second-most points in the AHL, behind only Hershey, since joining the league in 2001-02 after 24 seasons in the IHL.
The Predators and Admirals have functioned as affiliates since Nashville’s inception in 1998-99, the third-longest active streak in the AHL, and more than 175 players have played at least one game for both teams in the past 19 seasons. Additionally, six of Milwaukee’s head or assistant coaches have graduated to the NHL level, including current Washington Capitals assistant Lane Lambert, Tampa Bay assistant coaches Todd Richards and Brad Lauer, and Edmonton Oilers assistant coach Ian Herbers.
Many of Nashville’s core players spent time with the Admirals, including three of their top four point-getters in 2016-17. Three-time Vezina Trophy finalist Pekka Rinne spent his first three seasons in North America with the Ads from 2005-08, while Viktor Arvidsson, who tied for the Predators lead with 61 points this year, played parts of two seasons in Milwaukee from 2014-16. Filip Forsberg recorded 34 points (15g-19a) in 47 games with the Admirals in 2013-14 before going on to become the first player in Preds history to score 30 goals in back-to-back seasons and NHL All-Star Roman Josi patrolled the blueline for the Ads in 2010-12.
In addition, roster mainstays for the Predators like Ryan Ellis, Mattias Ekholm, Colin Wilson, Calle Jarnkork, Austin Watson, Colton Sissons, and Anthony Bitetto all spent time developing in Milwaukee before becoming full-time players in Nashville.
This season alone 19 players have skated for both the Admirals and Preds, including Alexandre Carrier, Vladislav Kamenev, Mike Liambas and Frederick Gaudreau who all made their NHL debuts.