Tampa Bay Lightning adds road exhibition game against AHL affiliate in Norfolk
The Lightning added to an already grueling preseason schedule by adding a game against its AHL affiliate in Norfolk, Sept. 25 at Scope Arena. Tampa Bay now has eight preseason games (only one at home), including five games in five nights all on the road, ending with the game against the Admirals.
While creating a road trip that covers four time zones, the game is a nice nod to an affiliate that has taken it on the chin during its two years with the Lightning, finishing out of the playoffs both seasons after 18 straight seasons in the playoffs. As we know, this is a crucial season in the relationship between the clubs as the five-year agreement between them has an out clause for both sides after three years.
Here is the announcement from the team:
The Norfolk Admirals will play an exhibition match against their NHL parent club, the Tampa Bay Lightning, at Norfolk Scope Arena on Friday, September 25. The puck will drop at 7:00 p.m.
The Lightning feature perennial NHL All-Stars such as Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis with some of the best young stars in the NHL, including 2008 first-overall draft pick Steven Stamkos and 2009 second-overall draft pick Victor Hedman. Tampa Bay's top players will be joined by several former Admirals who have graduated to the NHL or who are battling to earn an NHL job out of training camp. The exhibition game will also give Admirals fans their first glimpse of the 2009-10 edition of the Admirals.
"We are thrilled to be able to bring the Lightning to Scope for an exhibition game," said Admirals Vice President Joe Gregory. "Itâ€™s been a long time since an NHL club has played an exhibition game in Norfolk. This game will be a terrific way to break in the ice at Scope. We appreciate the efforts of the Lightning in making this possible."
"We'd like to thank Ken Young and the Admirals for all they have done for the Tampa Bay Lightning and for granting us the opportunity to come play a game at Scope," said Lightning Executive Vice President and General Manager Brian Lawton upon making the announcement. "The Admirals and their fans have established a deep hockey tradition and the Lightning are excited to further develop that by bringing NHL hockey to the Norfolk community with this preseason game."
Tickets for the exhibition game will be $25.00 and will go on sale through the Scope Box Office, all Ticketmaster Outlets, charge-by-phone at 1-800-745-3000 and online at ticketmaster.com on Wednesday, September 2nd. The Admirals will mail a letter early next week to Admirals full season ticket holders and Admirals corporate partners with instructions for exhibition game advance ticket purchase privileges.
This will be the seventh NHL exhibition game played at Scope since the Admirals began play in 1989. The last was between the Capitals and Hurricanes on September 28, 1999.
The 2009-10 season marks the twenty-first campaign of Admirals hockey. It also marks the Admirals' tenth season as a member of the American Hockey League and their third season as the top minor league affiliate of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Here is the Lightning's preseason schedule (all times eastern and subject to change; none will be televised):
Sept. 16 at Dallas, 8:30 p.m.
Sept. 18 vs. Thrashers at St. Pete Times Forum, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 21 vs. Senators at Regina, Saskatchewan, 9 p.m.
Sept. 22 vs. Coyotes at Everett, Wash., 10:30 p.m.
Sept. 23 vs. Coyotes at Loveland, Colo., 9 p.m.
Sept. 24 vs. Oilers at Winnipeg, 8:30 p.m.
Sept. 25 vs. AHL Norfolk at Scope Arena, 7 p.m.
Sept. 27 at Atlanta, 5 p.m.