News over at Raw Charge: Tampa Bay Lightning assign forward Jonathan Drouin to the Syracuse Crunch

In case you missed it (yeah, I’m back, hi), there’s been some player movement this morning, and I covered it over at Raw Charge:

It appears as though Drouin is the victim of a numbers game. Tampa Bay had 14 forwards as of this morning with Ondrej Palat back on roster, while the Crunch has been languishing up front. At one point in time before the holiday break, Syracuse was down to just 7 healthy forwards and was regularly rotating defensemen in up front to close the gap. Every other forward on the Lightning roster – including Jonathan Marchessault, who has 11 points in 21 games with the Lightning – is waiver-eligible, which technically left Drouin as the only viable send-down.

There’s no doubt that Drouin will get a ton of ice time with Syracuse, who has scored just 79 total goals this season. Only five AHL teams out of 30 have scored less. Having Drouin on roster is a boon to the sinking Crunch, who had recently managed a small resurrection in their season with the assignment of goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy. Vasilevskiy started eight games for Syracuse during the month of December, and helped the Crunch earn nine points during that span.

However, Vasilevskiy was recalled to the Lightning yesterday, while a very cold Kristers Gudlevskis was sent to Syracuse. Gudlevskis hasn’t seen a minute of playing time in any league since December 9th. With Syracuse visiting the league-leading Toronto Marlies this weekend, Drouin’s offensive capabilities could offset any potential issues with the lack of use Gudlevskis has seen recently.

5 Wits and the Syracuse Crunch Team Up to Reward Treasure Hunters!

I was contacted by Ms. Parr and asked to spread the word about this event going on tomorrow night at the Syracuse Crunch game. I haven’t heard much about this, so….

5 Wits and the Crunch Team Up to Reward Treasure Hunters!

 5 Wits Hockey Pucks

Four 5 Wits-themed hockey pucks, one for each adventure, will be hidden inside the War Memorial at Oncenter during the Syracuse Crunch vs Toronto game on Friday, November 27. Winners who find one will receive a Prize Pak from 5 Wits and the Crunch.

Find the hidden puck at Friday’s Syracuse vs Toronto game to win one of four Adventure Prize Paks

5 Wits Syracuse and the Syracuse Crunch are teaming up to reward four lucky “Treasure Hunters” during Friday’s 7:00 p.m. game against the Toronto Marlies.

During intermission, attendees will be invited to search for four 5 Wits-themed hockey pucks hidden somewhere inside the War Memorial at Oncenter. Clues will be announced throughout the first half, and will also be available at the 5 Wits Syracuse Table on the first level. Anyone who finds a puck and brings it to the 5 Wits Table will receive a Prize Pak with four VIP passes to a 5 Wits Adventure, plus a Syracuse Crunch T-Shirt. Winners may also keep the pucks.

5 Wits is the live-action entertainment venue at Destiny USA that “immerses” players into one of four realistic adventures, making them feel like a character in a movie or videogame. Players must work together as a team to solve a series of challenges and defeat opponents that include a fire-breathing dragon, angry Egyptian Pharaoh, enemy spy and malevolent artificial intelligence program on board a distant starship.

The fourth and final adventure, Deep Space, was completed over the summer; other adventures include Drago’s Castle, Tomb and Espionage. 5 Wits Gift Cards are available for anyone wanting to “Give the gift of adventure” this holiday season. For more information, visit or call (855) 955-WITS.

Syracuse Crunch merch review: Men’s Colosseum 1/4 zip

Most of my readers know that when I look at buying Syracuse Crunch merchandise, I usually end up looking at and liking the men’s selection a lot more than the women’s. In years past, the men’s selection has been more stylish, a better fit, and has had more to choose from. I’m happy to report that this has changed this season (more on that to come in December), but that doesn’t mean there’s not still great men’s apparel to purchase. With a little sizing down, these shirts can work for women, too.

Colosseum is a fairly new brand to the Crunch merchandise family, I think. At least, I didn’t own anything from them before now. But regardless of how new they are, I am glad they’re here. Today’s review centers around their men’s 1/4 zip shirt:


Yup, continuing with the Christmas theme, since the holidays are coming up and all.

This was one of the first items on the table that caught my eye this season. I like sweatshirts/active wear/outerwear that you can just wear like a shirt, ones that aren’t going to be too warm or bulky under a coat but that still look good. This shirt fit that bill pretty nicely.


The shirt gets its name from the 1/4 zipper that’s on the front of it. It’s a good quality zipper, it looks really nice. I also liked the look of the upper pocket beside the zipper, which is where the Crunchman logo appears. The pocket isn’t very big, it’s big enough to put some money and other flat objects in, but isn’t big enough for my LG smart phone.

I actually found that the men’s small was a little bigger than I anticipated, but it still fits well for a comfortable day of being lazy. The fabric is high quality, and the areas of deeper, reflective blue (probably included for people who’d wear this out running or what have you) adds a nice detail.


The shirt ran about $50 I think, which is a heck of a lot more than I’d ever pay for active wear. This is why I wear this so much on the weekends or as something to change into when I get out of work. It’s also nice enough to wear to a Casual Friday kind of day at work.

One final detail that was neat with this particular offering was the Syracuse Crunch decal on the back:


All of the decals are sewed on.


This shirt might be more pricey than what I’d like, but the quality here can’t be denied. It’d make a solid gift for any Crunch fan on your list, as would the women’s version of this shirt that I’ll be reviewing soon.

(Honestly, ladies, as much as I used to like the men’s merchandise more, the female version of this has become my absolute favorite thing in my wardrobe…other than Luke Witkowski’s jerseys, of course.)

Week 7 Syracuse Crunch update at Raw Charge

Throw everything–including the kitchen sink–at the other team’s goalie, and good things will happen.

That seems to be the lesson the Syracuse Crunch should take away from this past week.

My latest entry over at Raw Charge discusses the team’s loss to Portland, Luke Witkowski’s “A,” the ridiculous amount of personnel currently with the Tampa Bay Lightning as of publication time (clearly I’m hoping something has changed by the time this entry here goes live…), and how the Syracuse Crunch fared over the weekend during their first trip to St. John’s this season.

Read more over at Raw Charge!

Syracuse Crunch merch review: New Era 39Thirty cap

For those new to this: merch review entries are where I babble for a bit about merchandise that I recently (well, more or less) bought at the Syracuse Crunch merch table in the hopes of convincing you, the reader, to buy it. With the holidays approaching, I figured now would be a great time to try to bring these kinds of entries back. 

In case you haven’t looked recently, the Crunch has a lot of really neat, new merch in for the 2015-2016 season. I’ll be attempting to review some of it in the coming weeks. I didn’t pay much attention to the merch that the Crunch was offering last year, so I have no idea whether this hat is new or not. Honestly, this was an impulse buy, a last-minute add on to an already rather expensive bill, but I liked it.

To get things started, here’s a nice holiday-themed picture:


(Man, aren’t I lucky that blue and silver just happen to make great Christmas colors? And, yes, that’s my Christmas tree. I won’t tell you how long I’ve had it up for. Shut up. I like Christmas, okay?)

Anyway, the hat. I bought it in a small/medium size. It is not adjustable, but it fits my head pretty well. I might like it to be a bit smaller, but it really isn’t a big deal. The brim is curved the way I like it. Yes, it came with a large round reflective sticker, and, yes, I took it off because I’d like to think that I am not a giant douche bag.


I really like the thick thread spelling out that reflective “Crunch” on the front of the hat. Sometimes I just like to wear something other than Crunchman, and this is a nice way to do it. The word is easily visible and looks nice when caught by lights.

I think this hat was $20 (which would be $18 with the season holder discount). It was the cheapest thing I bought during my mini spree, and it’d make a nice stocking stuffer for your resident hockey nut. The quality is great, and the design is modern and fashionable.

ICYMI at @RawCharge: #SyrCrunch week 6 update | #TampaCuse | #BelieveInBlue

This week’s Syracuse Crunch update features some exciting news for goalie development fans:

Going into this season, Crunch fans knew that their main tandem would be Gudlevskis and rookie Adam Wilcox, but that’s about all that was known for sure. For Gudlevskis, this season was predicted as his “put up or shut up” season from the very start, especially as Wilcox’s learning curve was tested for the first time professionally. Whether either player would rise to the occasion was unknown, but if this past weekend was any indication, the Crunch might just finally have a little competition on their hands.

Read more over at Raw Charge! 

ICYMI: #SyrCrunch updates at @RawCharge | #TampaCuse | #BelieveInBlue

Week three: Not exactly as Planned:

It’s concerning to see the slow start trend continue now, especially considering the fact that the Crunch has so much talent up front. Syracuse also has a lot of talent on their blue line, with strong, defensively-minded guys like Luke Witkowski continuing to work their tails off every night, so to see such a large scoring gap over three games is definitely frustrating.

Week four: A bump up in confidence:

The right roster transaction at the right time can do wonders for a floundering team, especially if all that’s needed is a reset in team confidence.

For a team in need of just that kind of reset, timing was on the Syracuse Crunch’s side this past week. Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy, who has been out after having surgery before the season started, returned to practice last week. He was then assigned to the Crunch for a brief conditioning stint to help him get back into the swing of things. Vasilevskiy backstopped Syracuse to two wins during his time with the Crunch, helping them to earn five out of a possible six points.

The consecutive victories stopped a four game losing streak that had dated back to October 18th. More importantly, it gave a wide variety of players on the team a chance to speak up, something that hadn’t really happened yet this season. For a team as deep and talented as the Crunch are, a week like this past one could go a long way in helping the group gain more consistency as a unit.


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