Lightning, Groulx agree to terms on new contract

Photo: Scott Thomas

The Tampa Bay Lightning have agreed to terms on a new contract with Syracuse Crunch head coach Benoit Groulx.

Groulx, 53, has served as Crunch head coach since the 2016-17 season. He has guided Syracuse to two 100-plus point seasons in 2017-18 and 2018-19 and posted the best record in franchise history during those consecutive seasons. The Crunch also recorded a franchise-high 47 wins during the 2018-19 campaign, finishing second overall in the American Hockey League standings.

In five seasons, Groulx has led the Crunch to a 179-100-21-21 record in 321 games and has had a winning season in each of his campaigns. His .623 points percentage is second in franchise history, behind only Jon Cooper (.662).

“We are excited to agree to a new contract and have Ben Groulx return as head coach of the Syracuse Crunch,” said Crunch general manager Stacy Roest. “Over the past five seasons, Ben has proven to be a key part of our organization. His leadership and structure have played an important role in developing our prospects, consistently producing a competitive Syracuse Crunch team and contributing to the success of the Tampa Bay Lightning. We look forward to continued growth with Ben behind the bench.”

Under Groulx, the Crunch reached the Calder Cup Finals in 2017 and won division titles in 2017 and 2019. Since 2016-17, 28 players have earned a call-up from the Crunch and played for the Lightning, including 18 making their NHL debuts. Due to his success, Groulx was selected to represent the Crunch in two AHL All-Star Classics in 2017 and 2019.