Norfolk Admirals Hall of Fame Made Up of 50% OHL Grads

norfolk admirals american hockey leagueThe Norfolk Admirals created their Hall of Fame in 2008. Since, 16 members have been inducted, included the two selections for 2014. Each of the members is honoured with a plaque on the walls of the Norfolk Scope Arena and their names on banners hanging from the rafters.

The Hall of Fame includes players that played for the Hampton Roads Admirals and the Norfolk Admirals. Hampton Roads played in the ECHL from 1989-90 to 1999-00 while Norfolk has competed in the American Hockey League since 2000-01.

In the ECHL, the Admirals won three championships. In 1990-91 and 1991-92, they were awarded the Riley Cup as playoff champs. In 1997-98, the trophy had changed to the Kelly Cup but the feat was the same. In the AHL, the Admirals have won one Calder Cup, in 2011-12.

Of the 16 current members of the Norfolk Admirals Hall of Fame, eight, or 50%, are graduates of the Ontario Hockey League.

Al MacIsaac – 2008

One of the inaugural selections to the Hall of Fame, MacIsaac played two years in the OHL, 1985-86 and 1986-87, with the Guelph Platers. In his first year, Al was part of a Platers team that were crowned Memorial Cup champions.

Selected in the 12th round of the 1987 NHL Entry Draft by the Buffalo Sabres, 232nd overall, MacIsaac played just two years of pro hockey, 1991-92 and 1992-93. In both those years, Al played with the Hampton Roads Admirals with call-ups both seasons to the AHL. In his rookie year, he was part of the John Brophy coached Admirals that won the Riley Cup, sweeping the Louisville Icehawks in the finals.

MacIsaac then moved behind the bench to become assistant coach. From 1993-94 to 1999-00, he served under head coach John Brophy, winning the Kelly Cup in 1997-98. Currently, Al is the VP of Hockey Operations with the Chicago Blackhawks in the NHL, a position he’s held since 2000-01.

Mark Bernard – 2009

Bernard played goal in the Ontario Hockey League for two years, 1986-87 and 1987-88, with the Hamilton Steelhawks. Mark mostly rode the pine, appearing in three games in his rookie year and seven games in his sophomore.

Mark played pro hockey from 1989-90 to 2005-06 in the ECHL, AHL, CoHL, CHL and the U.K.’s BISL and EIHL. Bernard played with Hampton Roads from 1990-91 to 1992-93 and then again in 1995-96.

In 1990-91, Bernard played the most games of the six goalies that appeared for with the Admirals over the regular season, slightly more than Olaf Kolzig. However, in the team’s championship run in the playoffs, Mark played just one games and Kolzig appeared in just three. Hampton Roads won the Riley Cup with a four games to one victory over the Greensboro Monarchs in the finals.

In 2006-07 and 2007-08, Bernard was the assistant general manager with the AHL Admirals. Currently, Mark is the GM of the Rockford IceHogs of the AHL, a position he’s held since 2008-09.

Rick Kowalsky – 2010

Kowalsky played four years in the OHL from 1989-90 to 1992-93 with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. Rick was captain of the Hounds in his final year. Over his four years, Rick played in three consecutive Memorial Cup tournaments, winning the Robertson Cup twice and the Memorial Cup championship once.

The Buffalo Sabres took Kowalsky in the tenth round of the 1992 NHL Entry Draft, 227th overall. He played pro hockey from 1993-94 to 2004-05 in the AHL and ECHL. He played for Hampton Roads from 1994-95 to 1999-00, with exception of 1998-99 when he played exclusively in the American Hockey League.

In his final year of pro hockey, 2004-05, Rick won a Kelly Cup championship but with the Trenton Titans, defeating the Florida Everblades in the finals. Kowalsky went behind the bench in 2005-06 as assistant coach with Norfolk. Since 2010-11, Rick has been head coach of the AHL’s Albany Devils.

Dennis McEwen – 2010

McEwen played three years in the Ontario Hockey League from 1986-87 to 1988-89 with the London Knights. In his final year with London, Dennis scored 50 goals. He played pro hockey from 1989-90 to 1998-99, with exception to 1992-93, 1995-96 and 1996-97.

All McEwen’s time in the pros was spent in the ECHL with the Hampton Roads Admirals, with exception of one game in the AHL.

Aaron Downey – 2012

Downey played one year in the OHL, 1992-93, with the Guelph Storm. Undrafted to the NHL, Aaron played pro from 1995-96 to 2008-09 in the ECHL, IHL, AHL and NHL. He played for the ECHL Admirals in 1995-96 and 1996-97.

In 2000-01 and 2001-02, Downey played for the AHL Admirals and was team captain in his first year. Aaron played 243 games in the NHL between 1999-00 and 2008-09 with the Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks, Dallas Stars, St. Louis Blues, Montreal Canadiens and Detroit Red Wings. He also played five games in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Chris Phelps – 2012

Phelps played four years in the Ontario Hockey League form 1990-91 to 1993-94 with the Detroit Compuware Amabassadors, Kitchener Rangers and Ottawa 67’s. Chris played pro from 1994-95 to 1998-99 in the ECHL, AHL and IHL. He appeared with Hampton Roads in each of his five years and was a Kelly Cup champion in 1997-98.

Brian Martin – 2013

Martin played five years in the OHL from 1982-83 to 1986-87 with the Guelph Platers, Belleville Bulls, Windsor Spitfires and Hamilton Steelhawks. Brian was a third round pick by Guelph at the 1982 OHL Priority Selection, 31st overall.

In 1984, the Los Angeles Kings took Brian in the 12th round of the NHL Entry Draft, 232nd overall. He played pro from 1986-87 to 1993-94 in the IHL, AHL, AAHL and ECHL. Martin played with Hampton Roads from 1989-90 to 1993-94.

In 1990-91, Brian scored 55 and assisted on 61 for 116 points over just 54 games with the ECHL Admirals. He placed second in goal scoring to another OHL grad, Stan Drulia of the Knoxville Cherokees. Martin also finished seventh for assists and third for points.

In 1992-93, Martin was again a 50 goal scorer. He netted exactly 50 and assisted on 52 for 102 points while playing just 49 games for the Admirals. He placed fourth in the ECHL for goals, tied for tenth for assists and fifth for points.

Marty Wilford – 2013

Wilford played three years in the Ontario Hockey League from 1994-95 to 1996-97, all with the Oshawa Generals. He helped the team to a Robertson Cup championship in his final season.

The Chicago Blackhawks selected Marty in the sixth round of the 1995 NHL Entry Draft, 149th overall. He played pro hockey from 1997-98 to 2010-11 in the ECHL, IHL, AHL, Germany’s DEL and Italy’s LIHG.

Wilford played for the AHL Admirals from 2000-01 to 2004-05. He has been an assistant coach with the club since 2012-13.


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