Friday, February 17 vs. Syracuse Crunch (AHL Affiliate of the Anaheim Ducks)
Join us at Scope to honor the Admirals Hall of Fame Class of 2012. Aaron Downey and Chris Phelps will be inducted as the 11th and 12th members of the Admirals Hall of Fame during a pre-game ceremony on Friday, February 17, before the Admirals take on the Syracuse Crunch at 7:30 p.m. at Norfolk Scope Arena.
Not long after he joined the team, Aaron Downey made an immediate impact on Hampton Roads Admirals hockey. The rookie amassed an Admirals-record 354 penalty minutes during the 1995-96 season. He followed that up in 1996-97 with 338 penalty minutes. Downey is one of only three Admirals all-time to have over 300 penalty minutes in a single season and is the only player to have done it more than once. In two seasons with the ECHL Admirals, Downey skated in 129 games, recording 20 goals and 39 points with 692 penalty minutes.
After spending three seasons in the Boston Bruins organization, Downey signed with the Chicago Blackhawks and joined their American Hockey League affiliate, the Norfolk Admirals, in 2000-01 during Norfolk's inaugural season in the AHL. Downey was named the first captain in AHL Admirals history and is one of only five players to have ever played for both the ECHL and AHL Admirals. In his final two seasons in Hampton Roads, Downey played 79 games, scoring six goals and 23 points with 255 penalty minutes. He also picked up four penalty minutes in nine Calder Cup Playoff Games in 2001.
When his time in Norfolk was up, Downey began an extended stay in the NHL, spending time with the Dallas Stars, St. Louis Blues, Montreal Canadiens and Detroit Red Wings. On June 4, 2008, Downey won the Stanley Cup as a member of the Detroit Red Wings.
A native of Shelburne, Ontario, Downey retired following the 2009-10 season after racking up 494 penalty minutes, to go along with eight goals and 18 points in 243 NHL games. In 362 career AHL games, Downey recorded 29 goals and 79 points with 1459 penalty minutes between Portland, Providence, Norfolk and Grand Rapids.
Defenseman Chris Phelps signed as a free agent and made his professional debut with the Admirals during the 1994-95 season. The Lapeer, Michigan native spent parts of five seasons with Hampton Roads, leading the team in scoring by a defenseman in 1996-97 and 1997-98, and was a key member of the 1997-98 Kelly Cup Championship team. Phelps is the only three-time all-star in Admirals history, as he skated in the ECHL All-Star Game in 1995, 1997 and 1998.
In 1997-98, Phelps recorded career highs with 66 games played and 39 assists. On May 20, 1998, Phelps notched a game-high three assists as the Admirals defeated the Pensacola Ice Pilots, 4-1, and clinched their third championship. Phelps finished the playoffs that year with ten assists in 20 games.
In 281 career ECHL games – all with the Admirals – Phelps compiled 30 goals and 191 points with 497 penalty minutes. He is the leading scorer among defensemen in ECHL Admirals history. He also recorded four assists and 14 penalty minutes in 22 career AHL games between Cornwall, Portland and Baltimore.
Downey and Phelps are the 11th and 12th members of the Admirals Hall of Fame. The Admirals Hall of Fame was established during the 2007-08 season with charter members Blake Cullen, John Brophy, Al MacIsaac and Rod Taylor. Over the last three seasons, Mark Bernard, Victor Gervais, Rick Kowalsky, Dennis McEwen, Ajay Baines and Steve Poapst have also been added to the elite group.