|2016–17 AHL season|
|City||Syracuse, New York|
|League||American Hockey League|
|Home arena||Oncenter War Memorial Arena|
|Colors||Blue, White, Silver, Black
|General manager||Julien BriseBois|
|Head coach||Benoit Groulx|
|Affiliates||Tampa Bay Lightning (NHL)
Kalamazoo Wings (ECHL)
|Division Championships||2 (2001–02, 2012–13)|
|Conference Championships||1 (2012–13)|
The Syracuse Crunch are a professional ice hockey team in the American Hockey League (AHL). They play in Syracuse, New York, at the War Memorial at Oncenter. They are the primary development affiliate of the National Hockey League's Tampa Bay Lightning.
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. 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. 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. In the first year of the new partnership, the team reached the 2013 Calder Cup Finals, losing to the Grand Rapids Griffins.
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.
- 1992–2000: Vancouver Canucks
- 1997–1999: Pittsburgh Penguins
- 2000–2010: Columbus Blue Jackets
- 2010–2012: Anaheim Ducks
- Since 2012: Tampa Bay Lightning
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 and Justin Courtnall.
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 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.
List of Syracuse Crunch Alumni who have appeared in at least one Crunch game and one NHL game:
- Mike Angelidis
- Adrian Aucoin
- Mark Barberio
- François Beauchemin
- Matt Beleskey
- Mike Blunden ^
- Nick Bonino
- Derick Brassard
- Grant Clitsome
- Cedrick Desjardins
- Derek Dorsett
- Jonathan Drouin
- Yanni Gourde ^
- Radko Gudas
- Kristers Gudlevskis ^
- Riku Helenius
- Tim Jackman
- Tyler Johnson
- Alex Killorn
- Slater Koekkoek ^
- Zenon Konopka
- Nikita Kucherov
- Cody Kunyk
- Jean-François Labbé
- Anders Lindback %
- Jonathan Marchessault
- Patrick Maroon
- Tye McGinn ^
- Vladislav Namestnikov
- Rick Nash
- Nikita Nesterov
- Ondrej Palat
- Kyle Palmieri
- Richard Panik
- Cedric Paquette
- Mike Peca
- Dave Scatchard
- Brent Sopel
- Andrej Sustr
- Jeff Tambellini
- Matt Taormina ^
- Dustin Tokarski
- Andrei Vasilevski
- Joel Vermin ^
- Scott Walker
- Luke Witkowski ^
^ = On current roster; % = Rehab assignment
Logos and uniforms
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.
Syracuse hockey history
American Hockey League teams that played in Syracuse:
- Syracuse Stars (1930–1936) in the Original IHL
- Syracuse Stars (1936–1940) in the IAHL – The first team to win the Calder Cup in (1936–37)
- Syracuse Warriors (1951–1954)
- Syracuse Eagles (1974–75)
- Syracuse Firebirds (1979–80)
Other hockey teams that played in Syracuse:
- Syracuse Braves (1962–1963) (EPHL)
- Syracuse Blazers (1967–1973) (EHL)
- Syracuse Blazers (1973–1977) (NAHL)
- Syracuse Condors (Granted a franchise by the NAHL for 1977–78 season, but the league folded and the team never played a game)
- Syracuse Hornets (1980–1981) (EHL) – played only ten games (0-9-1)
- Syracuse Jr. Crunch/Syracuse Stars (1996–2005) in the Metro Junior A Hockey League and Ontario Provincial Junior A Hockey League
|1994–95||80||29||42||9||0||—||67||.419||288||325||5th, South||1995||Out of Playoffs|
|1995–96||80||31||37||5||7||—||74||.463||257||307||5th, Central||1996||W, 3–1, BNG||W, 4–3, BAL||L, 1–4, RCH||—|
|1996–97||80||32||38||10||0||—||74||.463||241||265||4th, Empire State||1997||L, 0–3, RCH||—||—||—|
|1997–98||80||35||32||11||2||—||83||.519||272||285||3rd, Empire State||1998||L, 2–3, HAM||—||—||—|
|1998–99||80||18||50||9||3||—||48||.300||220||327||5th, Empire State||1999||Out of Playoffs|
|1999–00||80||35||35||9||1||—||80||.500||290||294||2nd, Empire State||2000||L, 1–3, HAM||—||—||—|
|2000–01||80||33||30||12||5||—||83||.519||235||254||3rd, Mid-Atlantic||2001||L, 2–3, WBS||—||—||—|
|2001–02||80||39||23||13||5||—||96||.600||228||193||1st, Central||2002||W, 3–0, PHI||L, 3–4, CHI||—||—|
|2002–03||80||27||41||8||4||—||66||.413||201||256||4th, Central||2003||Out of Playoffs|
|2003–04||80||38||25||10||7||—||93||.581||239||235||2nd, North||2004||L, 3–4, RCH||—||—||—|
|2004–05||80||36||33||—||4||7||83||.519||215||230||5th, North||2005||Out of Playoffs|
|2005–06||80||47||25||—||5||3||102||.638||272||251||2nd, North||2006||L, 2–4, MTB||—||—||—|
|2006–07||80||34||34||—||4||8||80||.500||250||248||5th, North||2007||Out of Playoffs|
|2007–08||80||46||26||—||2||6||100||.625||247||201||2nd, North||2008||W, 4-2, MTB||L, 3–4, TOR||—||—|
|2008–09||80||40||32||—||5||3||88||.550||214||226||5th, North||2009||Out of Playoffs|
|2009–10||80||34||39||—||4||3||75||.469||227||272||6th, East||2010||Out of Playoffs|
|2010–11||80||35||38||—||3||4||77||.481||221||250||6th, East||2011||Out of Playoffs|
|2011–12||76||37||29||—||5||5||84||.553||238||229||4th, East||2012||L, 1-3, STJ||—||—||—|
|2012–13||76||43||22||—||6||5||97||.638||247||201||1st, East||2013||W, 3-0, POR||W, 4-0, SPR||W, 4-1, WBS||L, 2-4, GR|
|2013–14||76||31||32||—||4||9||75||.493||198||232||5th, East||2014||Out of Playoffs|
|2014–15||76||41||25||—||9||10||92||.605||218||219||2nd, Northeast||2015||L, 0-3, WBS||—||—||—|
|2015–16||76||32||29||—||11||4||79||.520||213||240||6th, North||2016||Out of Playoffs|
- Benoit Groulx: Head Coach
- Trent Cull: Assistant Coach
- Stacy Roest: Assistant Coach
- Jeff Halpern: Assistant Coach
- David Alexander: Goaltending & Video Coach
- Dane Jackson, 1994–1995
- Mark Wotton, 1995–1999
- Brian Bonin, 1999–2000
- Mike Gaul, 2000–2001
- Sean Pronger, 2001–2002
- David Ling, 2002–2003
- Darrel Scoville, 2003–2004
- Jamie Pushor, 2004–2007
- Zenon Konopka, 2007–2008
- Dan Smith, 2008–2009
- Derek MacKenzie, 2009–2010
- Joe DiPenta, 2010–2011
- Nate Guenin, 2011–2012
- Mike Angelidis, 2012–2016
- Luke Witkowski, 2016-present
- 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)
- 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
- "Lightning to affiliate with AHL's Syracuse Crunch". Tampa Bay Business Journal. Bizjournals.com. 2012-06-14. Retrieved 2013-12-25.
- Mancuso, Jim (2005). Hockey in Syracuse. Arcadia Publishing. p. 109. ISBN 0738538981.
- Central New York. "Blue Jackets all but packed and gone; Dolgon targets new parent club for Crunch". Syracuse.com. Retrieved 2013-12-25.
- Brett Carlsen (2013-06-06). "10 things to know If you're jumping on the Syracuse Crunch bandwagon | syracuse.com". Blog.syracuse.com. Retrieved 2013-12-25.
- Central New York (2013-06-19). "Calder Cup Finals: The 2012-'13 Syracuse Crunch won't soon be forgotten even in defeat". syracuse.com. Retrieved 2013-12-25.
- "Syracuse Crunch to retire jersey of Hall of Famer and 12-time NBA All-Star Dolph Schayes March 26". Syracuse Crunch. February 23, 2016.
- "Crunchman returns as the Syracuse Crunch go back to the future : Sports". CNYcentral.com. Retrieved 2013-12-25.
- "Syracuse Crunch - 2015-16 Syracuse Crunch Roster". Syracuse Crunch. Retrieved 2016-02-01.
- "Syracuse Crunch Roster". American Hockey League. Retrieved 2015-12-17.
- "Syracuse Crunch roster". Elite Prospects. Retrieved December 17, 2015.