Nashville, TN - Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced Friday that the club has extended its affiliation agreement with the Milwaukee Admirals of the American Hockey League through the 2021-22 season.
"Our organization has been philosophically committed to an affiliation in which the road to Nashville goes through Milwaukee," Poile said. "Our current roster supports this philosophy. The Milwaukee Admirals have cultivated a winning tradition, as evidenced by playoff appearances in 14 of the past 15 seasons - including a Calder Cup Championship in 2004 and another appearance in the Calder Cup Finals in 2006. With the Milwaukee organization working together with ours, led by Assistant General Manager Paul Fenton this has been and will continue to be a partnership that rewards both teams, and most importantly, the hockey fans in both cities."
"Led by Harris Turer, the Milwaukee ownership group has assembled a bright and dedicated staff headed by President Jon Greenberg, that has created a major league environment for our prospects," Fenton said. "We look forward to five more successful seasons of partnering with the Admirals."
Heading into tonight's game, the Admirals have accumulated a 783-513-31-71-102 record, good for a .589 points percentage, during their time with the Predators. The Ads have won five Division Titles, including last season, two conference crowns and won the Calder Cup Championship in 2004. Milwaukee became the first team in AHL history to record 40 or more wins in 10 straight seasons and they have posted 90 or more points in 10 of the past 13 seasons, including six years when they have broken the 100-point plateau. In addition, he Ads have qualified for the Calder Cup Playoffs in 14 of the past 15 seasons, including the 2016-17 campaign. Including this season, the Admirals have accumulated the second-most points in the AHL, behind only Hershey, since joining the league in 2001-02 after 24 seasons in the IHL.
The Predators and Admirals have functioned as affiliates since Nashville's inception in 1998-99, the third longest active streak in the AHL, and more than 175 players have played at least one game for both teams in the past 19 seasons. Additionally, six of Milwaukee's head or assistant coaches have graduated to the NHL level, including current Washington Capitals Assistant Lane Lambert, Tampa Bay Assistant Coaches Todd Richards and Brad Lauer, and Edmonton Oilers Assistant Coach Ian Herbers.
Many of Nashville's core players spent time with the Admirals, including three of their top four point-getters in 2016-17. Three-time Vezina Trophy finalist Pekka Rinne spent his first three seasons in North America with the Ads from 2005-08, while Arvidsson, who tied for the Predators lead with 61 points this year, played parts of two seasons in Milwaukee from 2014-16. Filip Forsberg recorded 34 points (15g-19a) in 47 games with the Admirals in 2013-14 before going on to become the first player in Preds history to score 30 goals in back-to-back seasons and NHL All-Star Roman Josi patrolled the blue line for the Ads in 2010-12.
In addition, roster mainstays for the Predators like Ryan Ellis, Mattias Ekholm, Colin Wilson, Calle Jarnkork, Austin Watson, Colton Sissons, and Anthony Bitetto all spent time developing in Milwaukee before becoming full-time players in Nashville.
This season alone, 19 players have skated for both the Admirals and Preds, including Alexandre Carrier, Vladislav Kamenev, Mike Liambas, and Frederick Gaudreau who all made their NHL debuts.