Ken Young says the AHL is done in Norfolk.
It feels as if this rumor has been floating around for at least a year, with bits and pieces moving. Anaheim, which had finally found an AHL home in Norfolk, was going to move its affiliation to a city closer to Honda Center. They didn’t have a franchise, they’d need to buy one, and Ken Young was not willing to sell to the Samuelis. Unfortunately, Young has been forced into a situation where he must sell the team.
No affiliates were interested in switching, because someone was going to get sold to Anaheim. Young has now confirmed that the sale will most likely go through, barring any major hiccups. Replacing the AHL Admirals will be the ECHL Bakersfield Condors. Not to fret (I suppose): the team at Scope will still be called some variation of Admirals. Selling the new ECHL team will be a difficult task. Ticket prices must be lowered, fan interest must be piqued by going above and beyond current promotions, and the team must do their best to bring in talent. The team will be owned by the Edmonton Oilers.
However, the Oilers seem to give a lot of autonomy to the Condors. Norfolk must be given this autonomy along with cash resources from Edmonton to create a great game day atmosphere.
An AHL team still inhabits the Scope, 10 points out of last place. They’re healthy then they’ve been all season, and have great NHL prospects to watch. In the meantime, it would be exciting to see the last AHL team (for a while, at least) in Norfolk make the playoffs. If John Gibson can muster another superhuman performance, maybe they can knock off the number one team again.