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SYRACUSE SPEAKS: Looking Towards 2022-23 (podcast)

Syracuse Speaks host Alex Ackerman looks towards the 2022-23 Syracuse Crunch season.  First, she acknowledges the philosophical struggle around creating podcast episodes about hockey and sports as the nation she lives in experiences painful events. Alex takes a moment to acknowledge the past few weeks of violence in the United States.  But she explains that she feels discussing what people are passionate about is also important. She emphasizes the positive mental health strategy of taking breaks from the coverage of everything and expresses the hope that this podcast episode will help people do that.

Alex starts out her conversation around this summer right at the top with Coach Ben Groulx. Groulx has been with Syracuse since 2016 and has made no secret of his desire to coach in the NHL. Speculation in that area has been heating up lately.  Alex takes a look at the current coaching vacancies in that league and discusses her best guest for where Groulx might end up if it goes that way (she sees you, Steve Yzerman). She also takes a very brief look at some coaches who have recently been let go by other AHL teams who could step into Groulx’s rather large shoes if he is hired elsewhere.

Alex then goes on to look briefly at the Tampa Bay Lightning’s roster situation before looking at Syracuse’s, starting with the team’s rather talented crop of unrestricted free agents. Not surprisingly Alex’s largest concern is UFA Gabriel Dumont, who captained Syracuse all season.  She also discusses forward Anthony Richard and defenseman Fredrik Claesson.  Alex then addresses the goaltending, including veteran Max Lagace potentially moving on, and ponders what the Lightning might do, which is potentially different from what she hopes they do.