TAMPA BAY - The Tampa Bay Lightning and Syracuse Crunch have jointly announced a five-year affiliation extension, with an option for two additional years, today. The extension ensures Tampa Bay's top prospects will develop their talents in Syracuse through the 2022-23 season, with a mutual option for 2023-24 and 2024-25. The agreement includes the restructuring of the agreement for the 2018-19 season.
"It is with great pride and excitement that the Syracuse Crunch extend into a long-term affiliation agreement with the Tampa Bay Lightning ," Crunch owner Howard Dolgon said. "Time and again, the Lightning have proven - from ownership to business and hockey operations, to coaches and players - to be the finest organization in all of sports. We look forward to continuing a long and successful partnership."
Since the start of the affiliation in 2012, 49 players have appeared with both the Crunch and the Bolts. 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 four of their six previous seasons affiliated with the Lightning after making the playoffs 10 times in their first 18 seasons. Of the organization's three division championships, two of them came while affiliated with the Lightning.
"We are very pleased to be extending our affiliation with the Syracuse Crunch today," Lightning vice president and general manager Julien BriseBois said. "The Crunch and Howard Dolgon, along with the city of Syracuse, continue to offer our players an excellent development environment, which is of paramount importance to sustained success in today's NHL. We look forward to continue this great partnership for years to come."
The teams have recently completed their sixth year of the affiliation. In that time, the Crunch own a 231-145-41-30 record and have made four postseason appearances, including the team's most successful season to date with its first trip to the Calder Cup Finals in 2013.