Crunch renew affiliation with Columbus

syr-cbj_150.jpg The AHL’s Syracuse Crunch and the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets announced today that they have agreed on a long-term affiliation extension, in a joint statement issued by Crunch president and CEO Howard Dolgon and Blue Jackets executive vice president and assistant general manager Jim Clark.

The extension of the affiliation agreement will begin with the 2006-07 season and will be for a minimum of four years.

“We have enjoyed what we consider to be a successful and productive relationship with our partners in Columbus over the past six years,” said Dolgon. “Jim Clark and team president and general manager Doug MacLean have proven time and again to be tremendous supporters of professional hockey in Syracuse and have always focused on putting a first-class, winning product on the ice here. We greatly embrace the continuation of our partnership.”

“I am excited about having our players continue to develop in an outstanding environment like Syracuse has presented since the start of our relationship,” said Clark, who oversees Syracuse’s hockey operations for Columbus. “We continue to be focused and committed to putting a premier product on the ice in Syracuse.”

The six seasons the Crunch have been associated with Columbus have produced a .545 winning percentage (220-177-43-33-7 record in 480 games). The six seasons prior Syracuse had a .444 winning percentage (180-234-53-13 record).

The Syracuse/Columbus relationship has produced such highlights as the franchise’s first-ever division and regular-season conference championships in 2001-02 and the numerous franchise marks set in 2005-06 with a 47-25-5-3 record including most wins (47) and points (102) in a season.