The Ducks will purchase the Norfolk Admirals American Hockey League (AHL) franchise and relocate it from Norfolk, Va. to San Diego, Calif. The Ducks’ top farm team will join affiliates from the Los Angeles Kings (Ontario, Calif.), San Jose Sharks (San Jose, Calif.), Calgary Flames (Stockton, Calif.) and Edmonton Oilers (Bakersfield, Calif.) in the newly created AHL Pacific Division, as announced by the AHL this afternoon. The Ducks’ AHL affiliate (to be named on Feb. 22) will play home games at Valley View Casino Center near downtown San Diego, beginning this fall at the start of the 2015-16 AHL regular season.
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“With five new AHL teams in the state, today is a landmark day for hockey in California,” said Ducks Owners Henry & Susan Samueli. “We’ve long been excited by the idea of San Diego, which has a successful track record for supporting hockey, as our AHL home. We are extremely pleased and proud to bring the hockey back to the market.”
San Diego Hockey History
San Diego’s professional hockey tradition began in 1944-45 with the San Diego Skyhawks of the Pacific Coast Hockey League (PCHL), who won the PCHL title in 1948-49. The San Diego Gulls of the West Coast Hockey League (WCHL) won titles in 1996, 1997, 1998, 2001 and 2003. A complete chronicle of hockey in the San Diego market, along with a history of the American Hockey League, are both attached.
“Relocating five teams is a complex process, and we are very excited to have brought this initiative to a successful outcome,” said American Hockey League President and CEO David Andrews. “The Western-based NHL clubs have been in dialogue with our league for almost three years, and today’s announcement launches a new era for the AHL and for professional hockey in California.”
Anaheim’s AHL franchise has been located in Norfolk since the 2012-13 season. The Norfolk Admirals currently play in the Eastern Conference of the AHL (Eastern Division). Full division alignments and schedule formats for the 2015-16 season will be determined by the AHL Board of Governors at a later date.
For more information, please call 1-844-DUCK-AHL or visit www.sandiegoahl.com.