Release: #SyrCrunch makes roster move, sends Danick Gauthier to ECHL Florida   Leave a comment

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The Tampa Bay Lightning have reassigned forward Danick Gauthier to the ECHL’s Florida Everblades, Crunch GM Julien BriseBois announced today.

Gauthier, 23, has two points (1g, 1a) in three games with the Everblades this year and made his 2014-15 Crunch debut in Saturday’s 2-1 loss to the Portland Pirates. During the 2013-14 season the forward split time between the Crunch and the Everblades. He appeared in 19 games with the Crunch, posting seven points (3g, 4a). Gauthier was part of the Crunch’s 2012-13 season, collecting 10 points (5g, 5a) in 38 games. Before turning pro, Gauthier played 219 career QMJHL contests for Saint John, posting 146 points (76g, 70a). The Repentigny, QC native was signed as a free agent on March 2, 2012.

The Crunch return from a three-game road trip to host the Rochester Americans on Friday, Oct. 31 at 7:00 p.m.. Single game and season tickets for the Crunch’s 2014-15 campaign are on sale now and can be purchased either in person at the Crunch Box Office located at the War Memorial on 800 South State Street in Syracuse, or by calling the office at (315) 473-4444. For all the latest Crunch information and updates, fans can visit the team’s official website at ( or follow the club on Facebook at ( and on Twitter (

ICYMI on @RawCharge: #SyrCrunch week 3 recap: Crunch struggles to find winning combination   Leave a comment

When Jonathan Drouin was recalled early last week–mere minutes after this site’s recap of Syracuse’s week two, actually–fans probably had a slight sinking feeling in their gut. The fact that Drouin’s recall was also accompanied by a second recall–that of defenseman Luke Witkowski–didn’t help any, either. It was expected that Drouin had another week with the Crunch, so to lose him earlier than that and then see one of the team’s top blue liners go as well was tough. But, Syracuse certainly knew it would have to find a way to win without Drouin eventually anyway, and one could say that it would be easier after one weekend instead of two.

Unfortunately, the bad luck for both organizations had only started.

By the end of the week, the injury bug struck the Lightning hard and the Crunch saw its entire first line called up by Tampa Bay. Drouin was soon accompanied by linemates Cedric Paquette and Jonathan Marchessault. Forward Mike Blunden also added some frequent flier miles to his account, being recalled by the Bolts not once but twice in a matter of days.

Just like that, Syracuse’s top four scorers were all with the Lightning. Although two, Blunden and Marchessault, were returned before the weekend was out, it wasn’t enough and the weekend pretty much went down the tubes. The Crunch only managed to snag two out of a possible six points.

Read more over at Raw Charge!

#SyrCrunch players Mike Blunden and Jonathan Marchessault have been returned from the #TBLightning, are skating warmups   Leave a comment

Although no official press release has been issues from either the Lightning or the Crunch, it’s fairly apparent that Mike Blunden and Jonathan Marchessault have been returned to the Crunch…considering they’re both skating in the team’s pre-game warmups in Springfield:

Loyal CH supporter and former writer Dave noticed that the AHL transactions had the players listed as being returned a few hours ago, but it wasn’t clear whether they would be playing:

Big thanks to the Lightning for a speedy return. These guys are certainly well entitled to the day off, considering how much travel and playing time they’ve seen. Both players played for Tampa Bay last night in the Lightning’s loss to Minnesota, and usually Sunday games are iffy when it comes to personnel returns and who plays.

Take it easy out there today, boys. We can use you both, but no use pushing too hard and getting hurt, either. It’s only October 26th, after all. It’s been an insane week for both organizations.

Good luck, Crunch!

#SyrCrunch captain Mike Angelidis scores his 100th #AHL goal   Leave a comment

I’m sure he was all smiles, too.

Mikey laughs

Congrats, captain!

#TBLightning switches Mike Blunden for Cedric Paquette   Leave a comment

From today’s article in the Tampa Tribune by writer Erik Erlendsson:


The Lightning called up C Cedric Paquette from Syracuse of the American Hockey League on Friday and sent down RW Mike Blunden, who played in Tuesday’s game at Calgary.

Paquette, who made his NHL debut last season in the final two regular season games and the postseason, was among the final cuts in training camp. He leads Syracuse with three goals and is tied for the lead with five points, but will bring a different type of game to the Lightning.

“Cedric is a gritty player,’’ Lightning head coach Jon Cooper said. “If you look at some of the guys we have lost — Killorn, Callahan, (Victor) Hedman — we’ve lost a little bit of jam on our team. All our guys play extremely hard, but you want a little bit of meat and potatoes and we lost some of that.

“He’s a gritty kid, he’s not afraid of anybody. He probably earned his way to stay on the team this year …but he’s earned his way back and we are going to need him.’’

You can read more here.

This leaves the Crunch without two of their main scorers from last weekend with Jonathan Drouin’s conditioning stint ending one weekend early. Jonathan Marchessault is the only one left from that dynamic trio. My completely uneducated and blind guess has Cody Kunyk centering that line, but that’s really just a suggestion that’s influenced by a lack of options. Wingers and centers are sometimes switched around, too, so it wouldn’t surprise me if coach Rob Zettler had to do a little shifting in anticipation of tonight’s game at Worcester.

Release: #TBLightning reassign @L28witko to the #SyrCrunch; @radkogudas probably ready to return   Leave a comment


TAMPA BAY –The Tampa Bay Lightning have reassigned defenseman Luke Witkowski to the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.

Witkowski, 6-foot-2, 213 pounds, was recalled to Tampa Bay on October 19 but did not see any game action.  The Holland, Michigan native has played in all four games this season for Syracuse, recording an assist and 15 penalty minutes.  In his first professional season in 2013-14, Witkowski appeared in 76 games with Syracuse, notching two goals and 12 points with 204 penalty minutes.  He lead all Crunch skaters for penalty minutes. Witkowski skated in four preseason games with Tampa Bay this season, recording an assist and 11 penalty minutes.

Mike Blunden recalled by the #TBLightning from the #SyrCrunch   Leave a comment

Lightning recall Mike Blunden from Syracuse

TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Lightning have recalled forward Mike Blunden from the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.

Blunden, 27, has skated in four games this season with the Crunch, recording two goals and three points to go along with two penalty minutes. He ranks tied for second on Syracuse with 14 shots on goal. Blunden recorded a goal and an assist in his most recent game with the Crunch on October 18 against the Binghamton Senators.

The 6-foot-3, 214 pound forward has skated in 102 career NHL games, over parts of seven seasons, with the Chicago Blackhawks, Columbus Blue Jackets and Montreal Canadiens. Blunden has registered four goals and eight points to go along with 105 penalty minutes during his NHL career. He set career highs for games played (40) and penalty minutes (59) and tied his career best totals for goals (two), assists (two) and points (four) during the 2009-10 season while playing with the Blue Jackets.

The Toronto, Ontario native was signed as a free agent by the Lightning on July 1, 2014.


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