Welcome to Syracuse Speaks, a podcast for The Sin Bin!
Now in its third season, Syracuse Speaks aims to cover the Syracuse Crunch, its organization, and the AHL from the stands. Host Alexandra Ackerman has been covering Syracuse on the internet since 2008, and aims to share her passion for the team and the league with her listeners.
In this episode, recorded March 9th, 2021, Alex spends the time conversing with Patrick Williams. Patrick has been covering the American Hockey League for many years, and is just about one of the most knowledgeable people when it comes to the league. Alex and Patrick cover a lot of ground throughout the course of their 45-minute conversation, including:
- What did Patrick have for breakfast Tuesday morning?
- What have been his overall impressions of the play in the AHL so far this season?
- How the league has changed and how swanky the league’s two newest teams, Henderson and the anticipated one in Palm Springs, truly are.
- Specific items Patrick has heard from AHL teams about how challenging the Covid-19 protocols are making things, including how difficult coaches and captains are finding this new (hopefully temporary) normal.
- The newly-released Opening Night date for the league for the 2021-22 season, and why it’s a bit later than usual.
- What watching a game in an empty AHL building is like right now (Spoiler alert: It’s very, very weird).
- What Patrick is seeing from the Crunch specifically that’s making them so inconsistent, and the challenges the coaching staff has in making the team “play as one.”
- How the condensed schedule (against only three teams to boot!) could be affecting Syracuse.
- How Patrick sees the AHL/ECHL player affiliations working at the end of the season for the ECHL’s playoffs, especially with the AHL’s own postseason in question.
Lastly, Patrick and Alex discuss the announcement from the Tampa Bay Lightning that they have re-signed Crunch forward Daniel Walcott to a new two-year contract. Given that Walcott is arguably one of the purest community-oriented players Syracuse has ever had, Alex asks this question: What do players like Walcott mean to AHL rosters and AHL communities? In response, Patrick summed it all up quite succinctly:
Any way that you can build that connection between the team, the players, the fanbase, local charities, whatever the case may be, is just that much more of a step forward. It solidifies the Crunch just that little bit more in the community, makes a little bit more of a connection for people. People are creating that type of bond with their team. It’s not just about hockey games. It’s about life. It’s about being proud of their team, being proud of what their team represents, being proud of the causes that their team promotes. Having a player like that where you don’t have to really ask him, he just does it, he eagerly embraces that opportunity to work in the community, I think is huge.
Syracuse Speaks is hosted on Anchor, but is distributed to many of the major podcast platforms including Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Breaker, Overcast, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, Spotify, and Stitcher. The royalty-free music featured in this episode was by Purple Planet Music and Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License.
Thanks for listening!
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