The AHL team-flipping craziness continues as the Crunch make their first visit to Norfolk.
Team: Syracuse Crunch (20-7-2-3), AHL affiliate for the Tampa Bay Lightning
Opponent: Norfolk Admirals (14-15-1-0), AHL affiliate for the Anaheim Ducks
Where: Norfolk Scope, Norfolk, Virginia
When: 7:30 pm ET
Media: Live stream via AHL Live; Radio: The Score 1260 AM
Cory Conacher: 2011-2012 Les Cunningham Award as the AHL’s Most Valuable Player, and the 2011-2012 Dudley "Red" Garrett Memorial Award as the AHL’s Outstanding Rookie.
Mark Barberio: 2011-2012 Eddie Shore Award as the AHL’s Outstanding Defenseman.
Jon Cooper: 2011-2012 Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award as the AHL’s outstanding coach.
The Norfolk Admirals: 2011-2012 Calder Cup Champions.
There are 16 players on the current Syracuse Crunch roster that played for the Norfolk Admirals last season, and 15 of those players have their name on the Calder Cup as Admirals. Tonight, the former Admirals players get to visit the scene of their most recent victorious season. As part of the visiting team.
Don't expect this to be one of the Crunch's best games of the season. It's going to be weird, emotional, potentially confusing ,and likely not very pretty because of the odd situation of flipping NHL affiliations. On top of that, the current Norfolk Admirals aren't going to take things very well themselves, as their home fans will be welcoming the visiting team.
And rightfully, those hockey fans in Norfolk ought to be welcoming back those players now with the Crunch. They gave those fans the best season of hockey ever anywhere, and topped it off with a championship. If the Crunch aren't welcomed with a standing ovation to start the game, then I will be very surprised.
The current Admirals probably won't be very happy about it, however.