Is the Hockey Ship Sinking in Norfolk? Virginia Minor League Hockey Team Floundering After Ending Affiliation with NHL’s Predators

Russell Tracy/Virginian-Pilot

While most NHL teams like the Capitals have the luxury of having affiliates in both the American Hockey League (AHL) and East Coast Hockey League (ECHL), not all are so lucky. One of the ongoing stories in professional hockey involves one of the most well-known minor league hockey teams, the Norfolk (Virginia) Admirals, and the NHL’s Nashville Predators.

Formerly the ECHL’s Bakersfield Condors, the Admirals reached an agreement with the Predators to become the team’s ECHL affiliate in May 2017 and now just seven months later, the Predators and Admirals announced that they have ended the short-lived affiliation. Per Harry Tinium of The Virginian-Pilot, a source close to the team cited one of the primary reasons for the termination of the affiliation was in large part due to the Admirals firing Team President Michael Santos in November. Santos had played a key role in negotiating an affiliation agreement with the AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals.

The (Norfolk) Admirals have sturggled mightily this season, in more ways than one. Ticket sales have plummeted amidst a poor 7-13-1 start to the 2017-18 season, and despite the demise of their affiliation with Nashville, the Admirals continue to operate normally, albeit without an NHL or AHL affiliate.

The team’s official press release:

“The affiliation change announced today does not affect the normal daily operations of the team or the Admirals’ organization as a whole, but is a sign of the commitment this organization has to do whatever it takes to ensure the team’s success here in Hampton Roads,” chief revenue officer Trent Ferguson said in the statement. The only thing that drives our business and team decisions is our continued mission to create a shining organization that this area can be proud of.”

By Michael Fleetwood


About Michael Fleetwood

Michael Fleetwood was born into a family of diehard Capitals fans and has been watching games as long as he can remember. He was born the year the Capitals went to their first Stanley Cup Final, and is a diehard Caps fan, the owner of the very FIRST Joe Beninati jersey and since then, has met Joe himself. Michael joined the NoVa Caps team in 2015, and is most proud of the growth of the NoVa Caps community in that time. An avid photographer, Michael resides in VA.
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3 Responses to Is the Hockey Ship Sinking in Norfolk? Virginia Minor League Hockey Team Floundering After Ending Affiliation with NHL’s Predators

  1. David E Zelinski says:

    Norfolk Admirals STHer here… this Front Office Organization is a complete train wreck. I don’t know if I’m sad or pissed right now.

  2. Matt says:

    Expensive tickets, expensive food &beer, junior college level hockey and old venue. 2 hotdogs, 2 beers. $25!!! BS!

  3. Anonymous says:

    should of stayed with the Cincinnati Cyclones

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