NORFOLK, VA – After seeing all of their AHL contracted players moved out of Norfolk to the Atlanta Gladiators, the writing was on the wall with regards to the affiliation between the Nashville Predators and Norfolk Admirals.
Today, the Admirals made it official:
“The ECHL’s Norfolk Admirals today announced the organization is no longer affiliated with the Nashville Predators of the National Hockey League and the Milwaukee Admirals of the American Hockey League. The team will remain in Norfolk and continue to have a strong presence in the community.
“The affiliation change announced today does not affect the normal daily operations of the team or the Admirals’ organization as a whole, but is a sign of the commitment this organization has to do whatever it takes to ensure the team’s success here in Hampton Roads,” said Chief Revenue Officer Trent Ferguson. “The only thing that drives our business and team decisions is our continued mission to create a shining organization that this area can be proud of.”
The decision does not affect the status of Head Coach Robbie Ftorek and his staff.”
In a statement released about two-and-a-half hours after the initial announcement, the Norfolk Admirals ownership group, Mango Media, put out this statement:
“We believe that today’s affiliation announcement was in the best interest of our organization and changes nothing in regards to the longevity of hockey in the Hampton Roads area. We will continue to focus on the Admirals bright future in Norfolk and as always appreciate the support of our fans and community.”
The move comes after the firing of Michael Santos earlier this month and after a pact was announced between the teams in May. Santos, by many accounts, was the architect of the deal and had been on the job just a few months when the affiliation was announced. A team source told the Virginian Pilot that the relationship quickly soured after Santos’ dismissal.
The Sin Bin will continue to update this story as necessary.