Admirals Announce NHL Affiliation With Carolina Hurricanes
NORFOLK, VA. — The Norfolk Admirals, proud members of the ECHL, announced they have officially signed an affiliation agreement with the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes.
The Hurricanes are based out of Raleigh, NC which is located less than three hours from Norfolk. Geographically, it is the closest city to Norfolk that occupies an NHL team.
"This is a historic day for our Admirals and an important day for Norfolk and hockey fans throughout the 757," said Norfolk Mayor Kenneth Alexander. "Since 1989, Admirals hockey has been a part of the fabric of our city. This team has helped to give life to our downtown and is growing the sport among our young people. Being affiliated with the Hurricanes of the NHL and the city of Raleigh and the Chicago Wolves of the AHL will help to strengthen the ties between our three teams and our three cities. Many thanks to Patrick Cavanagh and Don Waddell for making this day happen."
“We’re excited to partner with the Norfolk Admirals and have some of our Hurricanes prospects playing just three hours down the road in Virginia,” said Hurricanes General Manager Don Waddell. “Owned and led by former Admirals player Patrick Cavanagh, the Admirals have a proud history and following in Hampton Roads.”
The franchise was born in 1971 as the New England Whalers in the World Hockey Association (WHA). Eight years later, they joined the NHL and were renamed the Hartford Whalers. In 1997, the team relocated to North Carolina and became known as the Hurricanes. In their fifth year of existence, they advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals against the Detroit Red Wings but fell in five games. In 2006, the Hurricanes won their first Stanley Cup in team history by defeating the Edmonton Oilers in seven games.
Over the last three seasons, the Hurricanes have become a mainstay in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. In 2018-19, they marched to the Eastern Conference Finals where they eventually fell to the Boston Bruins. Last season, they had the third-most points (80) and sat atop of the Central Division.
The Hurricanes become the seventh affiliation in Admirals franchise history. The team has been affiliated with the Chicago Blackhawks (2000-2007), Tampa Bay Lightning (2007-2012), Anaheim Ducks (2012-2015), Edmonton Oilers (2015-2017), Nashville Predators (2017-2018), and Arizona Coyotes (2018-2019).
“The Norfolk Admirals affiliation with the Carolina Hurricanes is a tremendous new chapter in our 32-year history, one in which our fan base and the Hampton Roads community will truly celebrate for our upcoming season,” said Admirals Owner and CEO Patrick Cavanagh. Many within our Admirals community already follow the Hurricanes, so to be a part of their player developmental journey and to share it with our fans at Scope is an incredible experience. I would like to thank Don Waddell for his world-class leadership and trust in the Norfolk Admirals. The excitement level has reached a new high for the upcoming season and our October 22 home opener.”
“This is a proud moment for the Norfolk Admirals organization and our fans,” said Admirals General Manager Ryan McGinnis. “This allows everybody to create connections on and off the ice. Seeking a primary affiliate was of the utmost importance to us so we can better serve Carolina and Chicago’s needs. We are very thankful to Thomas Dundon, Don Waddell, and Wendell Young for the opportunity to develop the future of the Carolina Hurricanes and Chicago Wolves.”