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.”