Welcome to Syracuse Speaks, a podcast for Field Pass Hockey!
Now in its fourth 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 desires to share her passion for the team and the league with her listeners.
In this episode, recorded June 12th, 2022, Alex welcomes friend to Field Pass Hockey Patrick Williams back to the podcast. The two start out discussing the longer playoff run the AHL is currently experiencing, and what the future might bring for the league and its teams in terms of scheduling. They dissect the upcoming 72-game season for the league, the first season every team in the league will play the same amount of games since 2015, and give credit to the league and its owners for getting that deal done: “To do that, especially coming out of the pandemic, the financial hit they took over the past few years, that made it a much bigger deal.”
They then take a look at the Crunch’s first-round exit against Laval. Patrick ponders what went wrong with the Crunch’s game, pinpointing the lackluster performances of Alex Barre-Boulet and Charles Hudon, and also wondering about the health of goalie Max Lagace. Ultimately, though, Patrick leans towards Syracuse just running out of gas after an intense season marked by injury, COVID-caused pauses, and a tight slate of games in the final half of the season. They then can’t resist playing a little bit of the “What If” game, not only with the 2022 Calder Cup playoffs but also with the 2017 Calder Cup finals (Alex just had to).
The two then move on to the recent signing of team captain Gabriel Dumont and what it meant for the forward to sign an AHL-only pact with the organization. Patrick breaks down the kind of thinking that goes into a player making the decision to move from an NHL-focused/NHL-contracted career to an AHL-only focus:
“The NHL is no longer the goal. It’s a major shift in that mindset. I’m now repositioning myself to be one of the best AHL players I can, and one of my goals is to help other players chase that NHL aspiration…The trade off is, now you’re getting yourself some security. You’re not getting caught in that waiver shuffle…You’re fully invested in what’s going on with the Crunch.”
To end the episode, Alex and Patrick take a peek at next season for the Crunch. They briefly discuss head coach Ben Groulx‘s situation and how strange it is that he’s still with Syracuse, with Patrick predicting Groulx’s departure this summer: “He’s worked for it.” They end with discussing the team’s potential roster for 2022-23, focusing specifically on the unrestricted free agents and the goaltending.
Syracuse Speaks is hosted on Anchor, but is distributed to many of the major podcast platforms including Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Audible, 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!
Follow Alex on Twitter for all the latest news and notes regarding the Syracuse Crunch! Don’t forget to also follow Field Pass Hockey on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest AHL, ECHL, and SPHL minor league hockey news and analysis!