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Tampa Bay Lightning, Syracuse Crunch extend affiliation agreement

(Image credit: Syracuse Crunch website)

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The Tampa Bay Lightning and Syracuse Crunch on Wednesday jointly announced a five-year affiliation extension.

The agreement allows Tampa Bay’s top hockey prospects to continue developing 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,” Howard Dolgon, owner of the Syracuse Crunch, 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 Lightning. The Crunch have a total of seven Calder Cup Playoff series wins, including two Calder Cup Finals berths.

Syracuse has qualified for the postseason in six of eight seasons that playoffs have been held while affiliated with the Lightning. They had previously made the playoffs 10 times in their first 18 seasons. Of the organization’s three division championships, two of them happened while affiliated with the Lightning, the Crunch said.

Tampa Bay, meanwhile, captured the NHL Stanley Cup in both 2020 and 2021, as well conference titles in 2015 and 2022 — all while having Syracuse as their top minor-league affiliate.

“The Lightning are thrilled to extend our affiliation agreement with the Crunch today,” Julien BriseBois, VP and general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning, 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 teams recently completed the 10th year of their affiliation. In that time, the Crunch own a 368-234-59-41 record and have made six postseason appearances, including the team’s two most successful seasons to date with its first trip to the Calder Cup Finals in 2013 and again in 2017.



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