SYRACUSE, N.Y. – One of the biggest pieces of Syracuse’s roster from last season is back in the fold: It has been announced that the Tampa Bay Lightning have re-signed Crunch captain Gabriel Dumont. Even better, the contract is for two years, AHL, locking in the veteran forward through 2024.
Dumont is a veteran of 90 NHL games and 629 regular-season AHL games. 172 of those AHL games have been spent in a Crunch sweater over two different time periods. Dumont first played with Syracuse from 2016 to 2019, and he was the first captain of the team during the 2018-19 season. In addition, Dumont has played in 66 AHL playoff games, 35 of those games with Syracuse, including 22 games during the team’s run to the Calder Cup Finals in 2017.
Dumont was the jewel in Syracuse’s summer crown last season, and there is certainly reason for excitement over his re-signing this season. Syracuse has tended to be on the young side ever since the Lightning took over, so having a core group of experienced veterans to help guide the team is essential. Last season, Dumont was expected to be a big part of that, and he most certainly was. As 2021-22 wore on, however, fans realized they were witnessing something even more special than a player just being a good captain.
Proving that age ain’t nothing but a number, the 32-year-old Dumont put up career highs in several areas during the 2021-22 season. His 30 goals were 10 more than his old career-best of 20, which was set in 2014-15. His 32 assists and 62 total points also surpassed any previous regular-season totals. Dumont ended the regular season second on the team in points (behind only Alex Barre-Boulet), tied with Charles Hudon for first on the team in goals, and tied for second on the team in assists with defenseman Sean Day. Dumont’s performance was instrumental in the way Syracuse turned around their season, and it also put him in the top-10 in the AHL in goals scored during the regular season and top-20 in points.
Not only did Dumont play some great hockey in 2021-22, Syracuse head coach Ben Groulx had nothing but good things to say about Dumont’s success as the team’s captain. When Dumont was first made captain, Groulx called the decision “unanimous” among those on team:
Captain Gabriel Dumont 👊 pic.twitter.com/1qEvXJLiyG
— Syracuse Crunch (@SyracuseCrunch) November 26, 2021
At the end of the regular season, during a post-game interview in April, Groulx referred to Dumont as the “heart and soul” of the Crunch:
“A lot of people had a good season, that’s why this team climbed the ladder in the standings and we’re in second place.”
Head Coach Ben Groulx comments on the success of his team and Gabriel Dumont’s 30th goal of the season. pic.twitter.com/Kb6xXigDkl
— Syracuse Crunch (@SyracuseCrunch) April 30, 2022
Finally, reflecting back on this past season with Lukas Favale on Favale’s podcast Crunch Chronicles, Groulx had the following to say about Syracuse’s captain:
“Dumy (Dumont), I think, it’s one of the best captain jobs I’ve seen here. I think he was in every battle, trying to do things right every day, and carry our message every day. I think he’s done a great job.”
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