[Ed. Note: The Crunch and Ducks may have divorced, but we have quickly found new love in the AHL with the Norfolk Admirals. We know you worry about your Ducklings when they're not up in Anaheim. Here at AC, we care about your feelings and have brought on a new contributor dedicated solely to the Admirals. Feathered friends, let me introduce you to Shawn.]
I am Shawn Dulin, a fan of the defending Calder Cup Champion Norfolk Admirals. Last season I did some writing for the awesome folks at Raw Charge and am thankful for the chance to write for ya'll. I am no professional writer. I work on trains for a living, but I think I do well. Hopefully I will help you out with regard to prospects and the team overall.
I have been to just about every home game for the last 3-to-4 seasons and have seen a lot of players and coaches come and go. If I was to go over the entire alumni of the Norfolk Admirals in their 12-year AHL lifespan, it would take quite a long time. A few names you might know are Dustin Byfuglien, Duncan Keith, Craig Anderson, and Corey Crawford. Others can be found here: Norfolk Admirals Notable Players.
The fan base expects a lot of this team. In the ECHL days, they won 3 Kelly Cups in 11 seasons before moving to the AHL in the 2000-01 season. Once in the AHL, Trent Yawney, who could very well be our coach again, led the team to 5-straight playoff appearances, including 2 Division Championships. In the 2007-08 season, one of the longest professional postseason streaks would come to an end when the Chicago Blackhawks moved their affiliation elsewhere.
Tampa Bay and their "prospects" took Chicago's place. After several sub-par teams, the Lightning finally made the Admiral fans beyond pleased this year with the lineup they produced. It was truly amazing; they set a professional hockey win streak of 28-games in a row and swept the conference championship AND the Calder Cup Finals to become league champions.
Now we are at the current state of affairs. A new affiliate, a new team, and maybe some old faces in Yawney and Wilford. At first, I was personally crushed by the change, but now I'm looking forward to an awesome season of Admirals hockey.
Twitter accounts to follow:
@BeekerAdmirals - The Norfolk Admirals media relations guy and stat mastermind.
@AdmiralsVoice - Pete Michaud, the voice of the Norfolk Admirals since...well forever I think.
@ShawnDulin - This is my personal account where I will tweet during games and just random hockey and non hockey things.
Where to listen: 1021TheGame.com - Pete also does the Admirals Hour during the season on Tuesdays where he usually interviews players and coaches, I can post about that down the road though.
www.NorfolkAdmiralsZone.com a good forum with lots of passionate fans who aren't afraid to voice their opinions, good or bad. Don't be afraid to join in on the threads there.
If ya'll have any questions please ask them, I am pretty much an open book and if you have any comments on who I should watch the most going into the season don't be afraid to speak up, it's a completely new team for me.
If any of you want to come down to a game I can help explain the Norfolk area when the time comes. It can be a little confusing with the construction that seems to never end.