Yeah it’s weird
History lesson: the Norfolk Admirals were the Tampa Bay Lightning AHL affiliate in 2011-12. They reeled off 28 straight wins, won the Calder Cup, and then the affiliation was unceremoniously switched with Anaheim. The Ducks wanted to go home, so now the Admirals are an ECHL team.
Syracuse has stayed with the Lightning, who continue to provide them players. This year, the Crunch have relied on a goalie grouping of Kristers Gudlevskis and Adam Wilcox with occasional spots by Andrei Vasilevskiy (all on NHL contracts), with an AHL contract for Adam York. The longtime minor pro, York, decided to retire today. York spent much of the season with ECHL Greenville. Syracuse went out looking for a third goalie, their Ty Rimmer. Enter Nic Riopel.
Riopel knows Tampa Bay goaltending coach Frantz Jean, who likely made the connection. Syracuse signed Riopel to an AHL contract, though he’s staying in Norfolk for the time being. The contract works out the best for Riopel, who knows where he will end up if called to the AHL. It was still possible for Riopel to sign with any AHL team as a PTO before the contract, but this limits his options.
Having a Syracuse Crunch player on the Admirals is weird.