NORFOLK, VA - Today, the Chicago Blackhawks and Norfolk Admirals announced that they have entered into a one-year affiliation agreement with the Toledo Storm of the ECHL.
"We're excited to announce a new affiliation for the 2006-07 season with the Toledo Storm," said Admirals General Manager of Hockey Operations Al MacIsaac. "I've dealt with [Toledo] Head Coach Nick Vitucci over the years and have a great deal of respect for the job he's done. I expect him to work well with our young Blackhawks prospects."
The Storm have been members of the ECHL since 1991 and have made the playoffs in 12 of 15 seasons. During the 2005-06 season, Toledo finished first in the North Division with a 46-21-5 record and made it to the Atlantic Conference Finals of the Kelly Cup Playoffs. Toledo is also affiliated with the NHL's Detroit Red Wings and the AHL's Grand Rapids Griffins.
The Storm and Admirals have much in common. After the Hampton Roads Admirals won back-to-back ECHL championships in 1991 and 1992, the Storm followed by winning consecutive ECHL championships of their own in 1993 and 1994.
Toledo Head Coach Nick Vitucci played for the Hampton Roads Admirals during the 1992-93 season. During that season, Vitucci and current Admirals Assistant General Manager Mark Bernard split goaltending duties and MacIsaac played defense in front of both.
The Blackhawks and Admirals were affiliated with the now-defunct Greenville Grrrowl from the 2004-05 to 2005-06 seasons.
The Admirals open their seventh season of AHL hockey in Philadelphia on October 6 before heading to Scope for their home opener on Friday, October 13 versus the Springfield Falcons at 7:15 p.m.