The Syracuse Crunch and Binghamton Senators will hold their 2014 training camps in Lyon, France, as part of a season-long partnership between the Crunch and the Lyon Hockey Club Lions of the Magnus League, the top tier in France.
The Lyon Hockey Club Lions are the official 2014-15 season partner of the Syracuse Crunch and Tampa Bay Lightning.
"We are excited to be holding training camp in Lyon next fall," said Crunch general manager Julien BriseBois. "Having our camp in France will allow for greater team bonding opportunities and will provide our players, many of whom have never been to Europe, with a great life experience."
Syracuse will play three exhibition games in Lyon at the Patinoire Charlemagne arena: two games against the Senators and one game against the Lions. Given the strong working relationship between the Crunch and the B-Sens, Syracuse invited Binghamton to participate in an effort to strengthen the teams’ and the AHL’s brand in an international setting.
"The opportunity to hold our training camp in France is one that we’re looking forward to for a number of different reasons," said Binghamton general manager Randy Lee. "With three games in just over a week, the schedule provides more than sufficient time for both competition and the chance to experience French culture, while also offering some unique team-building opportunities for the group."
The game schedule is as follows (times are Central European):
Oct. 2, 8 p.m. – Syracuse vs. Binghamton (at Lyon)
*Oct. 3 or Oct. 4, 8 p.m. – Syracuse vs. LHC Lions (at Lyon)
*Oct. 3 or Oct. 4, 8 p.m. – Binghamton vs. Bruleurs de Loups (at Grenoble)
Oct. 5, 8 p.m. – Syracuse vs. Binghamton (at Lyon)
*Date to be determined upon release of 2014-15 Magnus League schedule.
"The three exhibition games will allow our players to familiarize themselves with our systems and will help us determine who will be on the Crunch roster for opening night, said BriseBois. "We believe this formula will act as a catalyst for team chemistry and aid us in getting a good start to the regular season."
"We’re thrilled to add some international exposure to our brand, the American Hockey League and to our existing rivalry with the Crunch," said Lee. "The inclusion of opposing a French club team in Grenoble not only demonstrates our desire to provide players with opportunities they may not receive elsewhere, but will also provide a good measuring stick for coaches and management ahead of regular season play."