Lightning, AHL’s Crunch extend affiliation through 2023

Tampa Bay Lightning director of player development Stacy Roest, left, and Syracuse Crunch coach Benoit Groulx attend the Lightning Development Camp last season. (DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD, | Times)
Published September 12, 2018
Updated September 12, 2018

The Lightning has already completed a contract extension less than 24 hours into Julien BriseBois' tenure as general manager.

The Lightning has extended its affiliation with the AHL's Syracuse Crunch through the 2022-23 season, the Lightning and Crunch announced in a joint statement Wednesday. The teams also have an option to extend the affiliation for two more years after the five-year deal ends.

The affiliation between Syracuse and Tampa Bay began in 2012.

"We are very pleased to be extending our affiliation with the Syracuse Crunch today," BriseBois said in the statement. "The Crunch and (Crunch owner) Howard Dolgon, along with the city of Syracuse, continue to offer our players an excellent development environment, which is of paramount importance to sustained success in today's NHL. We look forward to this great partnership for years to come."

As a Lightning affiliate, the Crunch has posted a 231-154-41-30 record. Syracuse has reached the Calder Cup Finals twice during the six-year affiliation — 2013 and 2017.


Dolgon echoed BriseBois' sentiments in looking for a long partnership with Tampa Bay.

"Time and again, the Lightning have proven — from ownership to business and hockey operations, to coaches and players — to be the finest organization in all of sports," Dolgon said in the statement.

The Crunch opens the 2018-19 regular season against Hershey at 7 p.m. on Oct. 6 at Giant Center.

Nick Kelly, Times staff writer

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