VIRGINIA BEACH (WAVY) — Edmonton is out, Nashville is in. The Norfolk Admirals of the ECHL announced on Thursday that they will begin an affiliation with the Predators.
Nashville’s AHL affiliate is in Milwaukee, a lot closer than Edmonton’s AHL affiliate in Bakersfield, California. The Predators have been around for 19 years, and during that time, 35 players from the ECHL have come through Nashville.
“I believe it’s real important for our fans and the Norfolk community because we’ve got an affiliate now that they can really relate to,” said Admirals president Michael Santos. “They can perhaps watch them play more on TV, go attend games and be real fans of the Predators.”
Nashville is one win away from advancing to the conference finals. Brian Poile, the Predators director of hockey operations, was in attendance for the announcement at Dave and Buster’s in Virginia Beach. Poile has worked with Michael Santos in the past, and he had a message for the Admirals fans.
“We want to develop players and we want to win,” Poile said. “I think you should look to see good things happening and the goal is for you guys to win and also for you to develop your players and get them to Milwaukee and get them to Nashville.”
NHL veteran Robbie Ftorek will return as head coach. The Admirals also plan to unveil a new logo and new uniforms next month.