Norfolk, Va. - Well, it's official. The Norfolk Admirals are being sold to their parent team, the Anaheim Ducks.
In a press conference on Thursday, The American Hockey League confirmed the sale, as well as the creation of a five-team Pacific Divison. The team will move to San Diego to play next season.
In addition to the Admirals, four other AHL teams will be relocating to California to be closer to their parent teams.
The AHL franchise owned by the Calgary Flames (Adirondack Flames) will relocate from Glens Falls, N.Y., to Stockton, Calif.
The AHL franchise owned by the Edmonton Oilers (Oklahoma City Barons) will relocate from Oklahoma City, Okla., to Bakersfield, Calif.
The AHL franchise owned by the Los Angeles Kings (Manchester Monarchs) will relocate from Manchester, N.H., to Ontario, Calif.
The AHL franchise owned by the San Jose Sharks (Worcester Sharks) will relocate from Worcester, Mass., to San Jose, Calif.
However, it's not all bad news for hockey fans in Norfolk. The Norfolk Admirals front office says the current players and coaching staff may be heading west next season, but the team itself is staying put.
Team Vice President Joe Gregory tells NewsChannel 3 that the franchise is still working out all the details, but says the team will return to The Scope next season. Gregory says they are very close to a deal with an NHL franchise to once again make the Admirals a minor league affiliate.
The team appears ready to rejoin the ECHL, the league the Admirals won multiple championships in back in the 1990's. The ECHL is a level lower than the American Hockey League, the league Admirals are currently in.
Gregory says the team will have more information on the franchise's future and affiliation change this coming Friday.
Fate of Norfolk Admirals to be decided Sunday
The Admirals aren’t leaving Norfolk… yet