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Tampa Bay Lightning, Syracuse Crunch agree to new deal with coach Ben Groulx

The Tampa Bay Lightning and Syracuse Crunch Head Coach Ben Groulx have agreed to a new contract, Crunch General Manager Stacy Roest announced today.

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 179 wins currently ranks Groulx second in Crunch history, behind Gary Agnew with 220 in 480 games. His .623 points percentage is also second in franchise history, following Jon Cooper at .662 in 65 games.

“We are excited to agree to a new contract and have Ben Groulx return as head coach of the Syracuse Crunch,” Roest said. “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, Syracuse has made the postseason in all three seasons with AHL playoffs. He led the Crunch to the franchise’s second Calder Cup Finals in 2017 and helped the organization claim the 2017 Eastern Conference Championship along with the 2017 and 2019 North Division titles.

Since 2016-17, 28 players have earned a call up from the Crunch and played for the Lightning. Of those call ups, 18 have been NHL debuts. Due to his success, Groulx was selected to represent the Crunch in two AHL All-Star Classics in 2017 and 2019.

Prior to joining the Crunch, Groulx worked 13 total seasons as a head coach in the QMJHL with the Hull/Gatineau Olympiques, posting a career record of 460-293-18-59. He led his teams to league championships in 2003, 2004 and 2008, earning QMJHL Coach of the Year honors for the 2003-04 season while coaching the Olympiques.

The Hull, Quebec native also served on the coaching staffs for Team Canada at the 2004 U18 World Championships as well as the 2014 and 2015 IIHF World Junior Championships. Groulx was an assistant coach for the Gold Medal winning Team Canada at the U18 World Championships in 2004. He was also an assistant coach for Team Canada at the World Junior Championships in 2014 as Canada was defeated in the Bronze Medal game by Russia. The following year, Groulx was the head coach for Team Canada, winning the Gold Medal and earning a perfect 7-0 record during the tournament.