Tampa Bay Lightning Extend Affiliate with Syracuse Crunch


Apr 13, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; The Tampa Bay Lightning players celebrate after their game against the Washington Capitals at Verizon Center. The Lightning won 1-0 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Lightning have extended their partnership with their American Hockey League affiliate Syracuse Crunch.

The extension is for two years meaning the new deal runs through the 2016-17 season.

"“The partnership with the Crunch has been of tremendous help in improving our minor league development program,” Lightning assistant general manager Julien BriseBois said. “The support from Howard Dolgon’s group, the facilities at our players’ disposal, the travel and the local fan support have all contributed to us graduating many players to the NHL these past two years and we are happy to know we will be developing future Lightning players in Syracuse for the coming seasons.”"

In their first season together in 2012-13, the Crunch made the Calder Cup Finals but lost in six games to Grand Rapids.

Last season the team struggled to a 31-32-4-9 record and missed the playoffs in large part due to the graduation of many AHLers to the Lightning’s NHL roster.

The Lightning had been affiliated with the Norfolk Admirals before joining forces with Syracuse.

In two years together, Syracuse has 74-54-10-14 record. The Lightning on the other hand made the playoffs last season for the first time in three years in large part due to a number of former Crunch players.