The Norfolk Admirals, members of the ECHL (formerly the East Coast Hockey League), announced recently 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 [Admirals Owner and CEO] Patrick Cavanagh and [Hurricanes General Manager] Don Waddell for making this day happen.”
The Hurricanes 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.
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).