No Admiral has recorded more penalty minutes in a single season than Aaron Downey.
Downey was born in Shelburne, Ontario, Canada, in 1974. The right wing is one of only five players to skate for both the ECHL and AHL Admirals. Downey skated for the ECHL's Hampton Roads Admirals in the 1995-96 and 1996-97 seasons, then appeared for the AHL's Norfolk Admirals in 2000-01 and 2001-02.
Downey broke into the professional ranks when he joined the ECHL Admirals in 1995. In 65 games during his rookie season, Downey recorded 365 penalty minutes – a penalty minute total that has not been surpassed in Admirals history. He also notched a pro career-high 12 goals, ranking fourth among Admirals rookies.
Downey followed that up in 1996-97 by recording 338 penalty minutes in 64 games. He is one of just three Admirals all-time to record over 300 penalty minutes in a single season. In two seasons with the ECHL Admirals, Downey appeared in 126 games, recording 20 goals and 39 points while amassing 692 penalty minutes.
Downey spent the next three seasons in the Boston Bruins organization, winning the 1999 Calder Cup and making his NHL debut in 1999-2000. He then returned to Norfolk in 2000-01 and was named the first captain in AHL Admirals history. In 2000-01, Downey appeared in 67 games with Norfolk, posting six goals, 21 points and 234 penalty minutes. He followed that up in 2001-02 by posting two assists and 21 penalty minutes in 12 games as he spent the majority of the season in the NHL with the Chicago Blackhawks.
In his final two seasons with the Admirals, Downey appeared in 79 games, scoring six goals and 23 points and 255 penalty minutes. When you combine Downey's ECHL and AHL Admirals statistics, he has appeared in 205 games as an Admiral, scoring 26 goals and 62 points with 947 penalty minutes.
When his time in Norfolk was up, Downey began an extended stay in the NHL with Chicago, Dallas, St. Louis, Montreal and Detroit. He became the sixth former Admiral to win the Stanley Cup, as Detroit defeated Pittsburgh in six games to win the 2008 Stanley Cup. In his NHL career, Downey racked up 494 penalty minutes to go along with eight goals and 18 points. He finished his AHL career with 29 goals and 50 assists totaling 79 points and 1440 penalty minutes in 359 games between Norfolk, Providence, Portland, Manitoba and Grand Rapids.