NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – Fourteen years after becoming an affiliate of the American Hockey League, it appears the Norfolk Admirals franchise will be sold to its parent team – the Anaheim Ducks.
10 On Your Side sources confirm that the move is inevitable as part of a new AHL Western Division that is expected to be created by five NHL teams. The Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, L.A. Kings, San Jose Sharks and Anaheim all have AHL affiliates on the east coast and moving those affiliates to the west would save time and money when players are sent up and down from the major league level to Triple-A.
Admirals’ owner Ken Young said Wednesday the team has not been sold but acknowledges that his options may be limited.
“There have been serious discussions regarding west coast teams wanting to own their AHL franchises and being able to move them closer to their parent cities,” he said. “This will be discussed at a league meeting in New York in the next three weeks.”
Sources tell WAVY-TV and FOX 43 Sports Director Bruce Rader the sale of the Admirals may not be finalized but it appears to be a “done deal.” The AHL franchise would be sold by Young to the Ducks, and this would be its last season in Norfolk.
This does not necessarily mean the end of professional hockey in Hampton Roads. Sources say the city may attract a team from the ECHL – most likely the Bakersfield Condors, the double-A franchise owned by Edmonton.
Although the Oilers would own the team, there is speculation Young will manage the franchise and the team will switch its name to the Admirals and continue to play its games at the Norfolk Scope.