NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – After weeks of rumors regarding the future of the Norfolk’s American Hockey League franchise, Norfolk Admirals owner Ken Young confirmed to WAVY Sports Director Bruce Rader that he is being forced to sell the team to the Anaheim Ducks.
It is not a happy week for Young, who 11 years ago was considered the savior of Hampton Roads hockey when he bought the AHL Admirals, keeping them in Norfolk. NHL owners, have decided they want their top minor league teams closer to home, so this weekend the forced sale will be announced. Young said the Anaheim Ducks will move the franchise to California at the end of this season.
“We didn’t have any choice,” Young said. “It was either keep a team that would not have an affiliation, so we would not have dates or have to sell to Anaheim, which if the Pacific division gets voted on by the American Hockey League this weekend then what we know as the AHL team will end up going out west.”
That is the bad news, but here is the good news for hockey fans: Young has already cut a deal to bring the Bakersfield Condors to Norfolk. The Condors are a minor league team owned by the Edmonton Oilers.
“We are certain to have an East Coast Hockey League team here next year, so we won’t miss a season, no question that players go from the ECHL to the NHL and some to AHL, but we’ll have high quality hockey here, and we’ll have as much as fun at Scope, I don’t know that we will have a 28-game winning streak, but we will have a lot of fun there.”