The Tampa Bay Lightning and Syracuse Crunch have jointly announced a five-year affiliation extension that will allow Tampa Bay’s top prospects to continue to develop their talents in Syracuse through the 2026-27 season.
“We’re delighted to extend our partnership with the Tampa Bay Lightning for another five seasons,” Crunch owner Howard Dolgon said. “From their ownership to their hockey operations, coaching staff and business personnel, we believe they’re the finest organization in all of sports and it’s an honor for the Crunch and the Syracuse community to be associated with them.”
Since the start of the affiliation in 2012, 77 players have appeared with both the Crunch and the Bolts. The Crunch own a record of 368-234-59-41 and have a total of seven Calder Cup Playoff series wins, including two Calder Cup Finals berths (2013, 2017), and have won two division titles. The Lightning have reached the Stanley Cup Final four times (2015, 2020, 2021, 2022) in that time, winning back-to-back championships in 2020 and 2021.
“The Lightning are thrilled to extend our affiliation agreement with the Crunch today,” Lightning vice president and general manager Julien BriseBois said. “Howard Dolgon and his group in Syracuse create an ideal environment for our prospects to develop in, as evidenced by the number of players that have eventually made it to Tampa to play for the Lightning. We’d like to thank Howard and the entire Crunch staff for their continued commitment to the success of both our franchises. We would also like to thank the Crunch fans for their passion and support of the team.”
The Syracuse Crunch are beginning their 29th year of operation in 2022-23 and boast the longest independent ownership group in the AHL, led by Dolgon. The Crunch have the fourth-longest current tenure of any American Hockey League team, behind only the Hershey Bears (1938), Rochester Americans (1956) and Providence Bruins (1992).