The Norfolk Admirals officially announced the first game of the Calder Cup defending season. The season will kick off on Friday October 12, 2012 with an always awesome celebration on Military Appreciation Night. [Ed. Note: Strange coincidence, it's the Ducks home opener, too.] This will likely be the night of the official banner raising for the Calder Cup Championship. The some of the other guaranteed home games are: Saturday, October 13th; Friday, December 14th for Boy Scouts night; Friday, January 25, 2013 for Norfolk Public Schools Night; and Saturday, January 26th for the annual 'Guns and Hoses Game' pitting the Police against the Fire Department in a surprisingly competitive and entertaining series. The full schedule, with opponents and start times, is usually released mid-August.
Coming off a season where the Admirals broke multiple records, from individual to all time North American professional hockey records, they look to continue their success alongside their new parent club, the Anaheim Ducks. While the Ads were running their record streak, the Syracuse Crunch were gaining momentum in the second half thanks to a coaching change, promoting then Crunch assistant coach and former Norfolk head coach, Trent Yawney, to right the ship. They closed the season going 22-14-2-4, finishing 37-29-5-5 overall and snagging a playoff position. Going into the 2012-13 season, the Admirals will attempt to have the same success that the team previously had under Yawney. In five years, they made the playoffs each year in a row and they won the division twice with Chicago as the parent.The Ducks have signed two former Admirals, Jordan Hendry and Matt Smaby, to one-year deals. They bring a veteran presence to the blueline. Other signings include: Corey Elkins who could add some secondary scoring. In his rookie season, he netted 21 goals and followed that up with 18 goals last season. I haven't seen the team in action, so from my vantage point of outside looking in, it seems like Igor Bobkov and Marco Cousineau will be battling for the starting job in net with less than 30 pro games between them. [Ed. Note: We have a stockpile of goalies. They will be battling Jeff Deslauriers and/or Viktor Fasth for starts, as well. It depends on which one is chosen to stay with the big club to backup Jonas Hiller.] One of the returning forwards that should really excite Admirals fans is Patrick Maroon. He scored 32 goals and had 42 assists in 75 games for the Crunch last season.
I don't know about everyone here, but I am excited for the hockey season to come upon us. I am still learning about the players so please forgive anything that may be wrong. Don't hesitate to holler and shout about what to look for in some players. I am doing this to help you keep up with the prospects and the team. It is very reader driven.