Syracuse Crunch

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Syracuse Crunch
2017–18 AHL season
Syracuse Crunch.svg
City Syracuse, New York
League American Hockey League
Conference Eastern
Division North
Founded 1992
Home arena Oncenter War Memorial Arena
Colors Blue, White, Silver, Black
Owner(s) Howard Dolgon
General manager Julien BriseBois
Head coach Benoit Groulx
Media Syracuse Post-Standard
Affiliates Tampa Bay Lightning (NHL)
Franchise history
1992–1994 Hamilton Canucks
1994–present Syracuse Crunch
Division Championships 3 (2001–02, 2012–13, 2016–17)
Conference Championships 2 (2012–13, 2016–17)

The Syracuse Crunch are a professional ice hockey team in the American Hockey League (AHL). They play in Syracuse, New York, at the Oncenter War Memorial Arena. They are the primary development affiliate of the National Hockey League's Tampa Bay Lightning.[1]


The franchise originated in 1992 as the Hamilton Canucks, which were an affiliate of the NHL's Vancouver Canucks. The Canucks played in Hamilton, Ontario, for two seasons, before relocating to upstate New York in 1994. They were then renamed the 'Crunch' in a public vote of five names. Soon the team was among the most popular of the AHL, leading the league in sellouts in 1996–97 and 1997–98.[2] After the relocation from Hamilton was complete, the Crunch remained the AHL farm team of the Canucks until 2000 – with also a season hosting Pittsburgh Penguins players in 1997–98 – when it switched its NHL affiliation to the newly formed Columbus Blue Jackets, an affiliation it retained for a decade, before the Jackets switched their affiliation to the Springfield Falcons in 2010.[3] The Crunch then spent two seasons affiliated with the Anaheim Ducks before signing a multi-year affiliation deal with the Tampa Bay Lightning effective for the 2012–13 season.[4] In the first year of the new partnership, the team reached the 2013 Calder Cup Finals, losing to the Grand Rapids Griffins.[5] The team also reached the Calder Cup Finals again in 2017, facing Grand Rapids once again.[6] The result was the same, as the Griffins took the series in 6 games and won the series 4-2.

The Crunch played the first outdoor game in AHL history on February 20, 2010, against the Binghamton Senators. The Mirabito Outdoor Classic took place at the Grandstand at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse. The game set an AHL attendance record of 21,508. Syracuse won the game 2–1.

At the end of the 2012–13 regular season, Tyler Johnson was named league MVP. He was the first MVP in Crunch history. He totaled 65 points, scoring 37 goals and assisted on 28 goals. At the end of the season he was awarded the President's Award for outstanding accomplishments on the ice.

On November 22, 2014, the Syracuse Crunch set a new United States Indoor Professional Hockey attendance record by playing in front of 30,715 fans at the Carrier Dome for the "Toyota Frozen Dome Classic". Syracuse defeated the Utica Comets 2-1.

Affiliation history[edit]

Honored numbers[edit]

The Crunch raised a banner following a fan vote during the team's fifth season in honor of fan favorite #14 "Big Bad" John Badduke. It is not retired, as it would later be worn by former United States Olympian Darby Hendrickson, Serge Aubin, Richard Panik, Justin Courtnall, Brandon Alderson, Cory Ward, and most recently Mike McNamee.

During the 2008–09 AHL season, the team temporarily reserved, but not retired, #7 as a tribute to Paul Newman after his death. This honors Reg Dunlop, the player-coach for the fictional Charlestown Chiefs, which Newman played in the movie Slap Shot. The movie was filmed partially at Onondaga County War Memorial. Coincidentally, other scenes were filmed at Cambria County War Memorial Arena in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, the home ice of the Crunch's former ECHL affiliate, the Johnstown Chiefs. The banner was raised October 14 and was up for the entire season, but the number was not retired, as it was most recently worn by Crunch player Jeff Tambellini.

On March 26, 2016, the Syracuse Crunch retired Dolph Schayes' number #4. Schayes played for the Syracuse Nationals and their successor, the Philadelphia 76ers. He was the first player in the National Basketball Association to score 15,000 points in his career.[7]

NHL alumni[edit]

List of some of the Syracuse Crunch Alumni who have appeared in at least one Crunch game and one NHL game with the Crunch's NHL affiliate of the time:

^ = On current roster; % = Rehab assignment

Logos and uniforms[edit]

Owner Howard Dolgon came up with the superhero mascot Crunchman for the team's debut in 1994. In 2000, as the Crunch became an affiliate of the Columbus Blue Jackets, Crunchman was replaced with Al the Ice Gorilla. Al remained until 2012, when Dolgon found the new affiliation with Tampa Bay a good reason to return with Crunchman.[8]

Syracuse hockey history[edit]

American Hockey League teams that played in Syracuse:

Other hockey teams that played in Syracuse:

Season-by-season results[edit]


Current roster[edit]

Updated July 20, 2017.[9][10][11]

# Nat Player Pos S/G Age Acquired Birthplace Contract
73 United States Erne, AdamAdam Erne RW L 22 2015 North Brandford, Connecticut Lightning
48 Canada Howden, BrettBrett Howden C L 19 2017 Oakbank, Manitoba Lightning
30 Canada Ingram, ConnorConnor Ingram G L 20 2017 Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Lightning
15 United States Lynch, KevinKevin Lynch C R 26 2017 Grosse Point, Michigan Crunch
5 Czech Republic Masin, DominikDominik Masin D L 21 2016 Mestec Kralove, Czech Republic Lightning
Canada McNeill, ReidReid McNeill D L 25 2017 London, Ontario Crunch
22 Canada Peca, MatthewMatthew Peca C L 24 2015 Petawawa, Ontario Lightning
33 Canada Riopel, NicNic Riopel G L 28 2016 Saint-Pie, Quebec Crunch
26 Canada Thomas, BenBen Thomas D R 21 2016 Calgary, Alberta Lightning
Canada Verhaeghe, CarterCarter Verhaeghe C L 22 2017 Waterdown, Ontario Lightning
85 Canada Walcott, DanielDaniel Walcott D L 23 2015 L'Île-Perrot, Quebec Lightning
18 United States Yan, DennisDennis Yan LW L 20 2017 Portland, Oregon Lightning

Coaching staff[edit]

Team captains[edit]

Team records[edit]

Single season[edit]

Goals: Lonny Bohonos, 40 (1995–96)
Assists: Bill Bowler, 58 (2000–01)
Points: Lonny Bohonos (1995–96), Bill Bowler (2000–01), 79
Penalty minutes: Jody Shelley, 357 (2000–01)
GAA: Jean-François Labbé, 2.18 (2001–02)
SV%: Jean-François Labbe, .928 (2001–02)


Goals: Lonny Bohonos, 16 (1996)
Assists: Ondrej Palat, 19 (2013)
Points: Cory Conacher, 28 (2017)
Penalty minutes: Richard Panik, 59 (2013)
Wins: Cedrick Desjardins (2013), Mike McKenna (2017), 13
GAA: Cedrick Desjardins, 2.30 (2013)
SV%: Pascal Leclaire, .939 (2006)


Career goals: Mark Hartigan, 107
Career assists: Brad Moran, 143
Career points: Brad Moran, 241
Career penalty minutes: Jeremy Reich, 820
Career goaltending wins: Karl Goehring, 78
Career shutouts: Jean-François Labbé and Karl Goehring, 11
Career games: Brad Moran, 334


  1. ^ "Lightning to affiliate with AHL's Syracuse Crunch". Tampa Bay Business Journal. 2012-06-14. Retrieved 2013-12-25. 
  2. ^ Mancuso, Jim (2005). Hockey in Syracuse. Arcadia Publishing. p. 109. ISBN 0738538981. 
  3. ^ Central New York. "Blue Jackets all but packed and gone; Dolgon targets new parent club for Crunch". Retrieved 2013-12-25. 
  4. ^ Brett Carlsen (2013-06-06). "10 things to know If you're jumping on the Syracuse Crunch bandwagon |". Retrieved 2013-12-25. 
  5. ^ Central New York (2013-06-19). "Calder Cup Finals: The 2012-'13 Syracuse Crunch won't soon be forgotten even in defeat". Retrieved 2013-12-25. 
  6. ^ Central New York (2017-05-27). "Calder Cup Finals Schedule set: Syracuse Crunch vs. Grand Rapids Griffins". Retrieved 2017-05-27. 
  7. ^ "Syracuse Crunch to retire jersey of Hall of Famer and 12-time NBA All-Star Dolph Schayes March 26". Syracuse Crunch. February 23, 2016. 
  8. ^ "Crunchman returns as the Syracuse Crunch go back to the future : Sports". Retrieved 2013-12-25. 
  9. ^ "Syracuse Crunch - 2015-16 Syracuse Crunch Roster". Syracuse Crunch. Retrieved 2016-02-01. 
  10. ^ "Syracuse Crunch Roster". American Hockey League. Retrieved 2015-12-17. 
  11. ^ "Syracuse Crunch roster". Elite Prospects. Retrieved December 17, 2015. 

External links[edit]