As announced today, Ajay Baines, Shawn Thornton, Justin Keller, Vladimir Mihalik, James Wisniewski and Dustin Tokarski have been voted by Admirals fans to the AHL Admirals Tenth Anniversary Second Team. Below is a description of the accomplishments of these men during their times with the Admirals and after they left Norfolk. For the First Team, click here.
Ajay Baines: 409GP, 68G, 107A, 175PTS, 456PIM
Ajay Baines is the AHL Admirals’ all-time leader in games played (409) and points (175). He also ranks third in goals (68) and assists (107) while ranking second in penalty minutes (456). Baines is best known for being the longest-serving captain in AHL Admirals history, as he wore the ‘C’ from October 18, 2002 until February 15, 2006. A solid two-way forward, Baines was a vital cog in an Admirals penalty kill that ranked in the top ten of the American Hockey League in four of six seasons that he played. Baines also led the Admirals in goals and points during the 2003-04 season. Off the ice, Baines was a two-time winner of the Admirals’ American Specialty/AHL Man of the Year Award (2000-01 and 2004-05) and was especially involved in promoting literacy and working with diabetics in Hampton Roads. Baines, who won the 2007 Calder Cup with the Hamilton Bulldogs, retired following the conclusion of the 2008-09 season.
Shawn Thornton: 314GP, 40G, 58A, 98PTS, 1,198PIM
The Admirals all-time leader in penalty minutes and one of only four players to have appeared in more than 300 games in his AHL Admirals career, Shawn Thornton is one of the most popular players in Admirals history. In 314 games with Norfolk, Thornton posted 40 goals and 98 points with 1,198 penalty minutes. He ranks fourth in games played, tied for 11th in points, ranks 15th in goals and is first in penalty minutes and shots (795). He led the Admirals in penalty minutes four times (2001-02, 2002-03, 2003-04, 2005-06). Since leaving the Admirals, Thornton has won the Stanley Cup with the 2007 Anaheim Ducks and has spent the last three seasons with the Boston Bruins.
Justin Keller: 196GP, 50G, 48A, 98PTS, 142PIM
No player has scored more goals with the Admirals over the past three seasons than Justin Keller. In 196 games, he has recorded 50 goals and 98 points. He is tenth in games played, tied for seventh in goals, tied for 11th in points and tied for 14th in power play goals (11) in AHL Admirals history. Keller is one of only eight players to have at least 50 goals in his AHL Admirals career and joins Matt Henderson as the only left wing in that group. He is the only player that has ranked in the top five of goal scoring each of the past three seasons with the Admirals.
Vladimir Mihalik: 204GP, 5G, 44A, 49PTS, 193PIM
Only Marty Wilford has played more games as a defenseman in AHL Admirals history than Vladimir Mihalik. The tall blueliner has appeared in 204 games with Norfolk since 2007-08, scoring five goals and 44 assists for 49 points. His +11 plus/minus rating is tied for ninth all-time among AHL Admirals defensemen and is the second-best rating of any player over the last three years. Last season, Mihalik registered career highs in games played (75), assists (16) and points (18).
James Wisniewski: 137GP, 14G, 52A, 66PTS, 185PIM
James Wisniewski was one of the most consistent defensemen for the Admirals from 2004-05 to 2005-06. In 137 career games with the Admirals, James Wisniewski scored 14 goals and added 52 assists for 66 points. He ranks tied for sixth in goals, tied for third in assists, fourth in points and tied for sixth in plus/minus (+13) in AHL Admirals history among defensemen. He led all defensemen in scoring in 2005-06 before becoming a full-time NHLer one month into the 2006-07 season. Since last playing for the Admirals that season, Wisniewski has played parts of three seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks and parts of two seasons with the Anaheim Ducks.
Dustin Tokarski: 55GPI, 27W, 25L, 3SOL, 2.51GAA, .915SV%
It took Dustin Tokarski only one season to establish himself in the AHL Admirals all-time goaltending record books. In order to be ranked on the Admirals all-time goals-against average and save percentage lists, a goaltender must have played a minimum of 30 games with the Admirals. Tokarski, who played in 55 games last season in his professional debut, posted a 2.51 goals-against average and .915 save percentage to go along with a 27-25-3 record and four shutouts. That season places Tokarski fourth in career goals-against average and second in career shutouts in AHL Admirals history. He also ranks fifth in games played and wins and tied for fourth in shutouts.