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Syracuse Speaks

Syracuse Speaks

By Alexandra Ackerman

Host Alex Ackerman has been watching the Syracuse Crunch for over 18 seasons. Alex was the minor league editor for Raw Charge, an SB Nation site that covers the Tampa Bay Lightning, for two years. Prior to that, she was their main Crunch contributor. She now covers Syracuse for Field Pass Hockey.

"To my Syracuse Crunch fans, make sure to subscribe and listen to this! Many of you know this already but for those who don’t, Alex brings a sensational mix of fan appreciation, analysis and perspective of the Crunch and AHL hockey. Make it a habit to listen!" - Brent Axe
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Syracuse Speaks: The Most Wonderful Time of the Year
Syracuse Speaks: The Most Wonderful Time of the Year
In this episode, recorded November 27th, 2022, it's all about the comfortable predictability of the Crunch's November. Alex discusses the team's recent string of successes while also identifying some shakey areas Syracuse is trying to figure out. Players discussed include Hugo Alnefelt, Max Lagace, Jack LaFontaine, Alex Barre-Boulet, Darren Raddysh, Daniel Walcott, and Gabriel Dumont. She takes the temperature of the fans using responses to a recent Twitter poll she put up, and breaks down how those who responded are feeling. Alex ends the podcast in her usual way by taking a look at the Crunch's next few weeks of games and promotions, highlighting the team's North Division competition and discussing an upcoming beloved minor league hockey tradition: The Teddy Toss. 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.
36:12
November 27, 2022
Syracuse Speaks: The Thing About Ben Groulx
Syracuse Speaks: The Thing About Ben Groulx
In this episode, recorded November 13th, 2022, Alex puts "The Thing" about Syracuse head coach Ben Groulx to the test. Although she does start off with a brief recap of the Crunch's trampling of poor ECHL goalie Isaac Poulter, who was in net for the Utica Comets this past Saturday when Syracuse won 8-3, she quickly transitions to an interesting look back at Syracuse's recent-ish October/November starts. Many have been discussing how Crunch teams under Coach Groulx have historically started out slow and then gained steam as the season continues, but how true has it really been? Alex complied the team's records from the past six or so seasons (skipping 2020-21, of course, because...reasons), starting with where they were around this time in November each season and ending with where they were by April. Alex covers final season records, standings, and points, and any playoff success (if applicable). Her findings say a lot about The Thing With Ben Groulx, and just may help fans feel a little better about the Crunch's current 4-6-1-2 record. Alex then takes her usual look at Syracuse's upcoming schedule, including all of the home cookin' the team is going to find around Thanksgiving, and any special game day events in the team's future. 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.
27:15
November 13, 2022
Syracuse Speaks: Welcome to the 2022-23 Season
Syracuse Speaks: Welcome to the 2022-23 Season
In this episode, recorded October 23rd, 2022, Alex recaps the start of Syracuse's season, with a specific emphasis on the organization's 29th Home Opener on October 22nd. She highlights the tenacity and grit the 2022-23 edition of the team has showed so far, including the performances of newcomer Felix Robert, and veterans Daniel Walcott, Darren Raddysh and Alex Barre-Boulet. Alex breaks down the sights and sounds of the packed home opener for the organization, including a description of the opening hype video and how the Crunch highlighted their relationship with the Tampa Bay Lightning. She describes how the team emphasized their ties to the community with their player introductions, and the touching ways the team incorporated their players' children into that part of the night. Alex then takes a look at the team's upcoming three weeks, including their potentially challenging trip down to Charlotte. She also shines a light on the Crunch's upcoming Pink in the Rink night, as well as the other events the team has planned during that time period. 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.
24:47
October 23, 2022
Syracuse Speaks: 2022-23 Crunch Season Preview
Syracuse Speaks: 2022-23 Crunch Season Preview
In this episode, recorded October 7th, 2022, Alex records her season preview for the 2022-23 season. She starts by taking a look back at the 2021-22 season (in short: huge potential-splat-what?!-YAS!). She recaps the team's record, playoff performance, top scorers, and breaks down their special teams performance in comparison to the North Division and the league as a whole. She then takes a look at the offseason moves for the team, summarizing the biggest additions to and subtractions from the team. She takes a look at Gabriel Dumont (try to contain your surprise), Lucas Edmonds, Trevor Carrick, Max Lagace, Alex Green, Remi Elie, Anthony Richard, and Fredrik Claesson. Next, Alex moves onto the team's season schedule, summarizing the big story lines she expects to develop throughout the year. Finally, she makes some predictions (despite being horrible at making predictions).
31:20
October 08, 2022
Syracuse Speaks: All Together On This (with Jim Sarosy)
Syracuse Speaks: All Together On This (with Jim Sarosy)
In this episode, recorded September 23rd, 2022, Alex welcomes Crunch Chief Operating Officer Jim Sarosy back to the podcast for a positive, fun episode. (She promises!) Jim starts off with a bang, giving Syracuse Speaks listeners an exclusive preview of the some of the work that has been going on at the The Upstate Medical University Arena at The Oncenter War Memorial. Jim then gives a sneak peak at some of the plans for the organization that are going to be coming to fruition over the next few weeks, from player appearances to season ticket holder events. The two then discuss how the evolution of player development in the AHL has influenced the way the War Memorial looks. Jim covers some of the changes over the years, and discusses the pride behind those shifts and why they are so important to the organization. Jim then takes a dive into how the organization makes decisions on season ticket holder packages, and spends some time breaking down the data from the survey the team sent out to their season ticket holders this past summer. The two then take a look at the Lightning-Crunch affiliation, which is going into its 10th year this season.  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!
29:01
September 23, 2022
Syracuse Speaks: Prepping for the Season with Geo FitzGerald!
Syracuse Speaks: Prepping for the Season with Geo FitzGerald!
In this episode, recorded September 11th, 2022, Alex welcomes Raw Charge contributor Geo FitzGerald to the podcast. Raw Charge is a SB Nation blog that covers the Tampa Bay Lightning organization, and Geo has been writing for them for many years, specializing in the organization's prospects and players. With training camps approaching rapidly, Alex engages Geo in an in-depth conversation about how the 2022-23 Crunch is shaping up. Players discussed include Max Lagace, Trevor Carrick, Sean Day, Ryan Jones, Nick Perbix, Jack Thompson, Haydn Fleury, Gabriel Dumont, P.C. Labrie, Daniel Walcott, Gabriel Fortier, Gage Goncalves, Lucas Edmonds, and Ilya Usau. 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!
53:44
September 11, 2022
Syracuse Speaks: An Innovative Mentality in the AHL
Syracuse Speaks: An Innovative Mentality in the AHL
In this episode, recorded August 21th, 2022, Alex and AHL content creator Patrick Williams reunite for a wide-ranging, entertaining, and engaging conversation as the AHL and the Crunch look towards their 2022-23 season. Making up for the podcast's summer break earlier this month, the two chat for over an hour, beginning with discussing the league's off season and why "NHL Free Agency" should be renamed to the more appropriate "AHL Free Agency." Patrick discusses his impressions of Syracuse's North Division rivals and how their off season has shaped up, and then the two dive into the Crunch's relatively quiet summer. While they look at the bigger picture of the team's roster, they also discuss the return of Max Lagace and the signing of newcomer Trevor Carrick. Patrick shares an in-depth review of Carrick in particular, information Crunch fans will find fascinating and exciting. The two then turn their attention to the AHL playoffs and the return of last season's playoff structure. They debate the ins and outs of the format, and ponder what changes might be better for the league and its players (improbable as those changes may be).  Their conversation then zooms out so that they can take the league in as a whole, with discussions of how player treatment (with a specific comparison to minor league baseball), divisional makeup, and geography have changed over the years. It's a packed show for August to get everyone hyped for the new season. Give it a listen today! 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!
01:00:33
August 21, 2022
Syracuse Speaks: The 2022-23 AHL Schedule is Here!
Syracuse Speaks: The 2022-23 AHL Schedule is Here!
In this episode, recorded July 24th, 2022, Alex starts off by recapping Syracuse's roster situation. She describes the veterans left on the team, including captain Gabriel Dumont, forwards Daniel Walcott and P.C. Labrie, defenseman Darren Raddysh, and goalie Max Lagace. She echos concerns among the fan base about the lack of veterans on the team, as Charles Hudon, Remi Elie, and Fredrik Claesson, three veterans who played huge roles with the Crunch last season, were not brought back by the Tampa Bay Lightning. She then discusses the signing of overager draftee Lucas Edmonds, a player who is looking to start the season in Syracuse. Alex then gets onto the big story of the past week: The release of the AHL schedule. After discussing the league's shift to all of the teams playing 72 games, and summarizing the return of the five-team playoff slate for the North Division (and why she dislikes this decision), Alex turns her sights to Syracuse's portion of the schedule. She theorizes about the reasons the Crunch has been consistently starting their season on the road the past few seasons, and takes a look at how the shift to 72 games has changed the team's opponents and overall game slate. She discusses what has stayed the same about the schedule, as well, and how she feels about those familiar patterns (Hi, Rochester...Hi Rochester...Hi Utica...Hi Utica...Hi Utica...Hi Rochester...Hi Utica...Hi Utica...).  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!
20:47
July 24, 2022
Syracuse Speaks #75: "Felix" Felicis
Syracuse Speaks #75: "Felix" Felicis
In this episode, recorded July 13th, 2022, Alex discusses the 2022 NHL Draft and the start of NHL free agency, the latter of which unfortunately didn't give her much to work with from a Syracuse perspective. However, Alex attempts to take a fair, unbiased, unemotional look at what the Tampa Bay Lightning did for the Crunch over the past few weeks or so, first by discussing the largest signing of the Crunch's July, one that didn't even happen during free agency: The re-signing of goalie Max Lagace. She then covers two players drafted by the Lightning, Lucas Edmonds and Nick Malik, who could be signed soon and then immediately start their professional careers this fall. In the second half of the episode, Alex takes a look at what the Lightning did for themselves for free agency (hello and welcome back Vladislav Namestnikov) and what they did for Syracuse in free agency (hi...uh...Felix Robert). She compares this summer to last summer, which is honestly like comparing apples to oranges, and ponders the differences in the two time periods. She also puts out her wishlist for the near future. (Related to her wishlist for the near future is that the alternative title for this podcast episode is: THE CRUNCH COULD HAVE HAD CHASE PRISKIE?!) Give it a listen today! 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!
32:34
July 14, 2022
Syracuse Speaks: Summer Calm in TampaCuse Land
Syracuse Speaks: Summer Calm in TampaCuse Land
In this episode, recorded June 26th, 2022, Alex does a rundown of all pertaintant AHL, Crunch, and Tampa Bay Lightning news going into NHL free agency on July 13th. She starts by congratulating the AHL and their front office on a successful Calder Cup playoffs, the league's first since 2019. She also sends her congratulations to Chicago, the league's new champion, and to Richard Panik, who won the Cup with the Wolves and who used to play for Syracuse. She then moves onto the "no news is good news" segment regarding Syracuse head coach Ben Groulx and the "will he or won't he" drama that has marked the first part of the Crunch's off season. She acknowledges the Lightning's current Stanley Cup final round against Colorado, and mentions how rare it is that Tampa signs players for Syracuse while still playing in the playoffs. Sign they have, however, and Alex discusses Gabriel Dumont's two-year AHL contract, the signing of defenseman Tyson Feist to an AHL contract, and the one-year, two-way contracts of defenseman Sean Day and forward Simon Ryfors. She also briefly addresses the departure of Otto Somppi from the organization. Alex then takes a look at the remaining restricted free agents and potential free agents left in the organization, including Anthony Richard, Alex Green, and Fredrik Claesson. Give it a listen today! 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!
21:55
June 26, 2022
Syracuse Speaks: "There's a Reason Syracuse Has Kept Tampa for Ten Years"
Syracuse Speaks: "There's a Reason Syracuse Has Kept Tampa for Ten Years"
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 finical 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 2022 Calder Cup playoffs, but also with the 2017 Calder Cup finals (Alex just had to).  The two then move onto 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. 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.
01:00:14
June 12, 2022
Syracuse Speaks: Looking Towards 2022-23
Syracuse Speaks: Looking Towards 2022-23
In this episode, recorded May 29th, 2022, Alex looks towards the 2022-23 Syracuse Crunch season. But first, she acknowledges the philosophical struggle around creating podcast episodes about hockey and sports as the nation she lives in experiences painful events. She takes a moment to acknowledge the past few weeks of violence in the United States, but also 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, who has been with Syracuse since 2016, has made no secret of his desire to coach in the NHL. Speculation in that area has been heating up lately, so 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, but 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). 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!
31:10
May 29, 2022
Syracuse Speaks: Looking Towards Game 5 with Jim Sarosy
Syracuse Speaks: Looking Towards Game 5 with Jim Sarosy
In this episode, recorded May 15th, 2022, Alex and Syracuse Crunch Chief Operating Officer Jim Sarosy chat about all things Crunch.  The two start with a lookback at how far the team has come since the AHL shut down in March of 2020 and the team had a season without fans in 2020-21. Although there's still challenges in the league - the two spefically highlight how strange it's been to have a lack of interaction between the organization, fans, players, and sponsors - they also celebrate the return of fans to the arena and the necessary escapism hockey allows. Jim runs through all of the logistics, changes, and challenges the team has faced over the past year, but never allows the amazing reality of the present day to fade too much: "We're here on May 15th. We made it to this date so far...the fact that we came from there to here...is what I'm most proud of. We're still doing what we set out to do." Later on in the episode, Alex and Jim spend some time conversing about one of the big splashes the organization was able to achieve in 2021-22: Their many theme jerseys worn throughout the season. Alex specifically makes sure to highlight her favorite, the team's Al the Ice Gorilla throwback jerseys. The design was based off of the team's former mascot, and Jim gives fans of that design some really good news for the 2022-23 season. The two then discuss the Laval series, fan attendance, and the how two former Crunch players on the Rocket - Danick Martel and Cedric Paquette - have done such a great job against Syracuse. Jim acknowledges the challenges of selling tickets for Tuesday's game 5 with such a short turnaround, but expresses confidence that the Syracuse faithful will show up, be loud, and support their team. Alex ends the episode with a short look at Game 5 and some of the big headlines going into the contest, including the injury Syracuse goalie Max Lagace suffered during game 4 and how the Tampa Bay Lightning could end up shorting the Crunch a player or two sooner rather than later. 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!
29:36
May 15, 2022
Syracuse Speaks Bonus Episode: Staring Down the Barrel of Elimination
Syracuse Speaks Bonus Episode: Staring Down the Barrel of Elimination
In this bonus episode, recorded May 13th, 2022, Alex expresses her feelings about the Crunch facing elimination by the Laval Rocket in the 2022 North Division Semifinals. Syracuse, currently down 2-1 in the five-game series, is showing the overemotional, scrambling tendencies that were more like the Crunch of the first half of the season than the second. Alex acknowledges the frustration the team's fans are feeling, and discusses why this is such a letdown to the Syracuse faithful.  She admits to being gobsmacked by the sudden disappearance of team powerhouses Gabriel Dumont, Charles Hudon, and Alex Barre-Boulet from the scoresheet (while also giving credit to Remi Elie, Anthony Richard, and Daniel Walcott). She also discusses how the losses of defensemen Sean Day and Alex Green are affecting the team, especially when combined with the lack of scoring from the team's top talent. She finally makes the prediction that Syracuse's semi-Cinderella-esque season will truly be over if Syracuse's best players don't start looking like Syracuse's best players. 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!
20:18
May 13, 2022
Syracuse Speaks: Playoff Time!
Syracuse Speaks: Playoff Time!
In this episode, recorded May 1, 2022, Alex celebrates the return of the Calder Cup playoffs to Syracuse! She recaps the Crunch's season-ending record and ponders the dream-like state she has found herself in since Friday's game. She discusses Syracuse's final week and what it meant to the franchise, and enthuses about the team's playoff tagline and hashtag (#All4One). She also covers the final layout of the AHL's North Division, and what the matchups are in that division for the start of the playoffs. She goes over the dates of Syracuse's opening series against the Laval Rocket, discusses some general confusion over the "bye" round, and takes a peak at what the other rounds of the playoffs look like. She ponders the impact of Riley Nash's recall to the Tampa Bay Lightning and predicts that his absence won't be as hard for Syracuse to overcome as missing a different player like Gabriel Dumont, Charles Hudon, Gage Goncalves, or Alex Barre-Boulet. She ends with a rundown of everything this Crunch team has in its favor going into the playoffs. Give it a listen today! 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!
17:44
May 01, 2022
Syracuse Speaks: Playoff Bound! (Probably. More than likely. Let's assume)
Syracuse Speaks: Playoff Bound! (Probably. More than likely. Let's assume)
In this episode, recorded April 23rd, Alex begins by discussing the Crunch's Calder Cup playoff picture (all she has to go on are the clinching scenarios, but those are certainly promising). She discusses how special this season has become for the fans, and enthuses about how much things have changed for Syracuse over the past few weeks. Alex covers the ever-shifting landscape of the AHL's North Division, and takes a look at the schedules of three teams around Syracuse in the standings: Laval, Belleville, and Toronto, who ironically are going to be playing each several times during the final week of the season. Alex makes a bold prediction that Syracuse's playoff seeding will come down to their last game of the season, a home contest against Laval. Alex then runs down some stats for the team. She covers the usual suspects like Gabriel Dumont, Alex Barre-Boulet, Charles Hudon, and Max Lagace, but also looks how Syracuse's players are doing against the rest of the league. She takes a look at how the special teams are going, a stat bolstered by recent power play success: the Crunch had four power play goals in two games over the weekend thanks to Dumont, Hudon, Riley Nash, and Anthony Richard. She ends with a look at how defensive prospect Nick Perbix is fitting in with the team and how he has contributed to the Crunch's recent success. Give it a listen today! 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!
27:36
April 24, 2022
Syracuse Speaks: Peaking at the Right Time
Syracuse Speaks: Peaking at the Right Time
In this episode, recorded April 10th, 2022, it's almost playoff time for a team that looked DOA just a few short months ago, and Alex couldn't be more pleased. With nine games left in their season, the Crunch is riding high off of stellar performances from Alex Barre-Boulet (finally!), team captain Gabriel Dumont, Charles Hudon and his power play prowess, prospect Cole Koepke, newcomers Anthony Richard and Riley Nash, and goalie Max Lagace, who is finally looking like the number one netminder Syracuse needs him to be. She also discusses what part the Lightning's own playoffs might play in Syracuse's quest. Alex takes a look at the North Division playoff picture, a field that is drastically different from even just four weeks ago, and discusses what the Crunch will need to do to punch their ticket. She looks at their remaining games, an eclectic mix of the usual divisional and some rarer non-divisional opponents, and offers up the suggestion that this is actually ideal for a team sharpening their skates for an unusual playoff year. 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!
30:51
April 10, 2022
Syracuse Speaks: Post-Deadline Rush
Syracuse Speaks: Post-Deadline Rush
In this episode, recorded March 27th, 2022, Alex and guest Patrick Williams settle in to break down the Crunch's most recent successes on and off the ice. They start by addressing the nostalgic return of Syracuse's famed old mascot, Al the Ice Gorilla ("You can't spell 'Goal!' without 'Al!'"), and theorize why hockey fans grow so attached to certain eras or characters. They also talk through AHL identities and why the fan bases in certain cities - like Syracuse - really need their team to have their own identity, while the fans of other AHL teams - like Toronto - seem to need their NHL club's identity to thrive. They then move into the present day, discussing the moves made by the Tampa Bay Lightning at the trade deadline to boost Syracuse's playoff hopes. Those moves included Tampa trading the infamous "future considerations" for Riley Nash, a player who has already brought more offense to the Crunch. With a month left in the AHL's regular season, they look at the remaining opponents on Syracuse's schedule and pinpoint the most needed victories to keep the team in playoff contention. Although the Crunch will most likely need help from other teams to ensure a spot in the postseason, Alex and Patrick also discuss what Syracuse can do to help keep its fate in its own hands as much as possible, with a focus on the play of team captain Gabriel Dumont, forward Alex Barre-Boulet, and defenseman Sean Day. Give it a listen today! 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!
51:28
March 27, 2022
Syracuse Speaks: Spring Forward
Syracuse Speaks: Spring Forward
In this episode, recorded March 13th, 2022, Alex begins the episode with a look at the current playoff picture for Syracuse with a discourse around the kind of help the Crunch is going to need from their North Division foes. The probability that Syracuse, with 23 games remaining, can make the playoffs under their own power is low,  so the team will need certain teams to start losing. Alex briefly recaps the team's week of games against Utica, Rochester, and Toronto (of note - this recap does not include Syracuse's game against Rochester on the 13th, as the episode was recorded prior to puck drop). She then answers some questions from her listeners about theme jerseys, potential deadline moves that the Lightning might make in support of the Crunch (with a specific look at goaltending after Hugo Alnefelt's injury Saturday night), and what is up with Syracuse's mascot. Alex ends the podcast with a look at the Crunch's schedule over the next two weeks, a slate that includes a couple of Atlantic division teams as well as two crucial games against Belleville (not as important, but points are points) and Cleveland (high importance). Give it a listen today! 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.
28:38
March 13, 2022
Syracuse Speaks: Glimmers of Good
Syracuse Speaks: Glimmers of Good
In this episode, recorded February 26th, 2022, Alex shares the good and the frustrating about one of Syracuse's most recent games against the Rochester Americans. The game, played on February 25th, featured a masterful penalty kill, the welcome return of Gemel Smith to the Crunch's home ice and Syracuse's score sheet, and, unfortunately, an overtime loss. With two months remaining in the regular season, Alex takes a deeper look than she has before at the current standings in the North Division and discusses why it would behoove the Crunch to get deeper into the field than just 5th place by the time the season ends.  She takes into consideration the new playoff format and, later on in the podcast, makes a not-so-bold prediction about how the playoff field in the Eastern Conference is going to play out (probably regardless of Syracuse's efforts). Before ending the podcast with a recap of the Crunch's upcoming schedule, one that is very North Division-heavy, Alex takes a minute to highlight a news story she participated in this past week with local Spectrum News reporter Kevin Hayes. Hayes followed Alex around for the better part of Friday's game to get a first-person perspective on being a season ticket holder for the team and to highlight the team's recent vaccine initiative with SUNY Upstate Medical University. Alex shares her experiences participating in this story and her hopes for the end result. She also takes a look at the continued dominance of Gabriel Dumont, and highlights other performances from players like P.C. Labrie, Remi Elie, and Anthony Richard. Give it a listen today!
27:15
February 27, 2022
Syracuse Speaks: Halfway There (feat. Patrick Williams!)
Syracuse Speaks: Halfway There (feat. Patrick Williams!)
In this episode, recorded February 13th, 2022, Alex welcomes regular guest Patrick Williams to the podcast. Patrick covers the league for TheAHL.com, and has a regular column over at nhl.com. With Syracuse passing the halfway point of their season this month, the two start off by discussing the Crunch's recent rough patch. The Crunch has gone 3-6-1-0 in their most recent 10 games, and is currently on a three-game skid thanks to an unproductive trip to Laval. Alex and Patrick break down what's going on with the team and discuss what needs to be done to get back into playoff contention. They also discuss the season Syracuse captain Gabriel Dumont is having, who needs to start stepping it up (with a specific look at Alex Barre-Boulet), and analyze the recent trade of former Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Jimmy Huntington for forward Anthony Richard. They address the challenges of developing young professionals in this league, using Patrick Maroon's career path as a bit of a case study.  To end the episode, Alex asks Patrick about the slow but inevitable shift back to normalcy in team admittance policies (one Syracuse itself made this past week, with the removal of their COVID-19 vaccination requirement). The two talk about Patrick's most recent interview with AHL President Scott Howson, and ponder the league's most immediate future. 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!
38:22
February 13, 2022
Syracuse Speaks: January Recap
Syracuse Speaks: January Recap
In this episode, recorded January 30th, 2022, Alex starts off by making sure her listeners are aware of the PURE Performance AHL All-Star Fan Vote currently being hosted by Field Pass Hockey. The Crunch has three players nominated: forward Gabriel Fortier, defenseman Sean Day, and goaltender Hugo Alnefelt. She encourages her listeners to support those three players that were a large part of the Crunch's turnaround during the month of January. Alex then discusses Syracuse's record from the past month, a positive performance that saw the Crunch rise to a .500 points percentage and sneak their way to 5th place in the North Division. Alex highlights the performance of team captain Gabriel Dumont and veteran Charles Hudon. She also discusses Day, forward Alex Barre-Boulet, and rookie Cole Koepke (who is currently on recall to the Tampa Bay Lightning's taxi squad). She ruminates on the Crunch's recent scoring drought, and hopes that Syracuse will pick it up once more as the team heads into a busy February. Alex ends the podcast with a preview of Syracuse's February, including their 11 games (out of 13) against North Division fo
25:04
January 31, 2022
Syracuse Speaks: Back In Action
Syracuse Speaks: Back In Action
In this episode, recorded January 9th, 2022, Alex welcomes her listeners back to a new year of Syracuse hockey. And new it is: After a three-week break due to COVID issues with Syracuse and with their opponents, the Crunch stormed back onto the league schedule with a perfect week, going 3-0. Syracuse won twice against division rival Rochester and once against Hershey with a roster that was as a close to complete as the Crunch has had all season. The week featured many highlights, including streaks from forwards Cole Koepke and Otto Somppi, the addition of former NHL defenseman Jason Garrison to the team on a Professional Tryout Contract, and the return of former organizational forward P.C. Labrie. Alex covers all of this, and discusses how important this past week was for the team, both in terms of points percentage and in terms of overall organizational morale. Alex then previews the team's upcoming schedule, discusses the packed slate Syracuse is facing, and examines how the rest of this month could make - or break - Syracuse's season. With three weeks remaining in February, the Crunch has 10 games currently scheduled, nine of which are against divisional opponents. Needless to say, this is a good time for the Crunch to find their stride! February, March, and April are not going to be any kinder to Syracuse in terms of the sheer number of games they have left to play, which is sure to create a challenge for the coaching staff and the team's trainers as they aim to keep players healthy and free of injury.
29:05
January 09, 2022
Syracuse Speaks: A Check-In at the Quarter Mark
Syracuse Speaks: A Check-In at the Quarter Mark
In this episode, recorded December 19, 2021, Alex revisits her 2021-22 Syracuse Crunch Season Preview, which she wrote for Field Pass Hockey. With the AHL just a bit past the quarter mark of their season, it's the perfect time for a check-in. Alex describes the Crunch's current record, special team performances, leading scorers, and checks on the goalies. She targets the performances of the team's key acquisitions from this past summer up to this point, looking specifically at Gabriel Dumont, Charles Hudon, and Andrej Sustr. Back in October, Alex also speculated about some big storylines. She wondered how the breaking of the trio of Boris Katchouk, Taylor Raddysh, and Alex Barre-Boulet would affect Syracuse, so she discusses that storyline in the podcast. In her preview she also pondered about COVID-19 and the team's vacant captaincy, so Alex recaps that briefly, as well. She also confirms that Chase Priskie is still not a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning organization (*sad trombone*). Alex ends the podcast with a quick look at the future, however foggy it may currently be due to said pandemic.
28:05
December 19, 2021
Syracuse Speaks: Canceled Games and an AMA
Syracuse Speaks: Canceled Games and an AMA
In this episode, recorded December 5th, 2021, Alex begins by recounting the changes in Syracuse's schedule that occurred this past week. Due to COVID-19 concerns that are mostly centered around the AHL's Atlantic Division, the Crunch saw their games on December 1st, 3rd, and 4th postponed. The games were against Rochester and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. The postponements also saw the rescheduling of Syracuse's Teddy Bear Toss to this Wednesday against Cleveland. The postponements were particularly disappointing for a team hoping to find some solid footing during this period of home games, as going into the week of Thanksgiving Syracuse was scheduled to play six home games between November 24th and December 8th.  Alex then discusses former Syracuse forward Taylor Raddysh's first NHL goal, a shorthanded tally that really showed off the talent he honed in the AHL. She also mentions the good reviews Gabriel Fortier has been receiving from his NHL debut, and briefly discusses the return of Sean Day to the Crunch's blue line. Alex ends the episode with a new "Ask Me Anything" (AMA) segment. She covers some Harry Potter questions, a few personal inquiries, and also discusses her favorite AHL logos from Syracuse's history and from the league itself (Hint: Her favorite involves a Moose, and not of the Rochester variety).. Alex appreciates everyone who sent in questions!
40:57
December 05, 2021
Syracuse Speaks: Perspective with Patrick!
Syracuse Speaks: Perspective with Patrick!
In this episode, recorded November 28th, 2021, Alex welcomes back TheAHL.com contributor Patrick Williams. Patrick has been covering the AHL for many years, and took an in-depth look into Syracuse's slow start last week. Since that article was written, Syracuse went 1-2-0-0, bringing their record for the 2021-22 season to a frustrating 6-8-2-1. Patrick and Alex begin their discussion with Syracuse head coach Ben Groulx and how he is currently feeling about the team's start. They then discuss the North Division and how much it seems to have changed from previous seasons, especially when it comes to the Rochester Americans and the newly-revamped Utica Comets, two teams Syracuse plays the most out of the entire league.  The two then discuss Syracuse's veterans and how much the team is currently leaning on them for production, especially the captain, Gabriel Dumont. Of course, even those strong performances don't seem to be helping, and Patrick expresses how much of a puzzle this season has been. Patrick and Alex then discuss the unfortunate injury to goalie Max Lagace, and how that has affected the team's game plan for the season. They also discuss the recent successes of Gabriel Fortier and Jimmy Huntington, and how the talent they were drafted for is starting to shine through. In a way-too-early prediction (blame Alex completely for this), Patrick selects Huntington as his All-Star for the Crunch for this January's AHL All-Star weekend. As far as some perspective goes, Patrick has some good news for Crunch fans who are worried about the season. "I'd say the bright side for the Crunch is having Ben behind the bench. He's always got something cooking, always got something up his sleeve...there are some real bright spots beyond the vets that are figuring it out, too"
31:00
November 28, 2021
Syracuse Speaks: Tendency to be Tenacious
Syracuse Speaks: Tendency to be Tenacious
In this episode, recorded November 7th, 2021, Alex discusses what makes the current iteration of the Syracuse Crunch so tenacious. She discusses their two-week record of 4-1-0-0, a record that contains one shutout, two overtime wins, and one shootout win. She breaks apart the current roster configuration and highlights the top seven scorers for the team, beginning with veterans Gabriel Dumont and Charles Hudon, and ending with prospect Gage Goncalves. She speculates about the goalie situation - not only is Max Lagace still hurt, but Hugo Alnefelt joined him on the sidelines Saturday night - and highlights the youngster Amir Miftakhov. Miftakov was originally expected to spend the season with ECHL Orlando, but is now 3-0-0-0 with the Crunch, and earned his first professional shutout Saturday. Alex ends the episode previewing Syracuse's upcoming games against Bridgeport, Utica, Hershey, and Cleveland, with a special focus on Utica and their new affiliation with the New Jersey Devils. Give it a listen today! 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!
15:29
November 07, 2021
Syracuse Speaks: In Recognition of the Crunch Faithful
Syracuse Speaks: In Recognition of the Crunch Faithful
In this episode, recorded October 24, 2021, Alex begins the episode by recognizing the Syracuse community and the Crunch Faithful who came out in droves on Saturday, October 23rd to support their hometown team. Syracuse had passed 603 days without fans in the Upstate Medical University Arena at The Oncenter War Memorial, and the team was welcomed back in style by a sold-out crowd of about 5,000 people. Alex describes the atmosphere and the touching opening ceremony, one which honored front-line workers and first responders. Moving on, she then takes a look at some of the storylines dominating Syracuse's 1-2-1 record so far this season. She discusses the games the team has played against  Cleveland, Rochester, and Utica, and recognizes how a slow start has become a hallmark of the Ben Groulx era. The season is still very early. She also touches on the call ups of Andrej Sustr and Fredrik Claesson to the Tampa Bay Lightning, and speculates about the return of forward Alex Barre-Boulet to the organization. She also mentions the injuries to Max Lagace, Otto Somppi and Daniel Walcott, and how those injuries are affecting the team. Alex ends with a rundown of who has stood out to her so far this season, including AHL Player of the Week Jimmy Huntington, Goncalves, Gabriel Dumont, and Darren Raddysh. She previews the upcoming games at Hershey on Wednesday, October 27th, vs. Cleveland on Friday, October 29th, and at Lehigh Valley on Saturday, October 30th. Give it a listen today! 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!
19:45
October 24, 2021
Syracuse Speaks: A Chat with Deana Weinheimer
Syracuse Speaks: A Chat with Deana Weinheimer
In this episode, recorded October 8th and October 10, 2021, Alex begins the episode by recapping Syracuse's preseason so far. She briefly discusses the Crunch's game against the Utica Comets, a 2-1 victory that saw goals from Shawn Element and Gabriel Dumont. She also offers discourse on the joys of being back to (mostly) normal as a fan who hadn't been inside of the Upstate Medical Arena at the Onondaga County War Memorial in 588 days. She also discusses some of the drama around the placement of forward Alex Barre-Boulet on waivers. The perhaps surprising move may send ripples through the organization as Taylor Raddysh and Boris Katchouk stay with Tampa. Alex then welcomes colleague Deana Weinheimer onto the podcast. Deana covers the Cleveland Monsters for Field Pass Hockey. Syracuse will be facing Cleveland this upcoming weekend as they begin their regular season schedule. In her first appearance on the podcast - but certainly not her last - Deana delves into Cleveland's return to the AHL's North Division. Deana discusses the differences between the Central and the North Divisions, with a focus on their schedules and styles of play. She also breaks down previous seasons between Cleveland and Syracuse before mentioning a few players to keep an eye on that may be potentially joining Cleveland. Alex and Deana also have a good time discussing their experiences covering teams affiliated with the Columbus Blue Jackets, and how Columbus' developmental philosophy has changed since they were affiliated with the Crunch in the mid-2000's. Give it a listen today! 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!
28:59
October 10, 2021
Syracuse Speaks: Counting Down to the Regular Season
Syracuse Speaks: Counting Down to the Regular Season
In this episode, recorded September 24th, 2021, Alex welcomes Patrick Williams back onto the show. With a little under a month left before the AHL season gets underway, the two of them discuss everything from COVID-19 pandemic fatigue to the question of Syracuse's captain. Specifically, Patrick and Alex cover the following topics: How the league itself has changed over the past 19 months, and the creativity teams are going to have to show as they try to get fans - especially families, their bread-and-butter - back into their arenas. They also tackle questions of vaccination mandates around the league for fans, front offices, and players, and the turnover many AHL front offices have faced (including Syracuse). They discuss the increased importance of pre-season this October, both in terms of roster formation and front office preparation, and answer the following question: Has the Tampa Bay Lightning potentially given Syracuse one of their most competitive and impressive rosters yet? Finally, Patrick gives his best guess for the Crunch's captaincy: Daniel Walcott or Gabriel Dumont? (Not to get too click-batey, but the answer might surprise you!) 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! 
29:10
September 26, 2021
Syracuse Speaks: Preseason News!
Syracuse Speaks: Preseason News!
In this episode, recorded Sunday, September 12th, 2021, Alex serves up all the news that has happened since the previous podcast. She briefly addresses the team's decision to only allow vaccinated individuals into games this season (something she covered more fully in her last article for Field Pass Hockey). She then moves onto some important dates coming up in the life of Crunch fans, including the team's new preseason schedule. The next few weeks are going to jam-packed with news as the season draws closer! Syracuse Speaks will be there every step of the way. 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!
16:05
September 12, 2021
Syracuse Speaks: Lightning Prospect Camp News (and More!)
Syracuse Speaks: Lightning Prospect Camp News (and More!)
In this episode, recorded August 23rd, 2021, Alex keeps it lowkey. It's the end of August, so hockey is in its usual doldrums before training camp and preseason madness start. Alex welcomes these quiet days after the uncertainty of last summer, and uses this episode to get Crunch fans caught up on all the news relevant to the start of the approaching season. First she discuses the Tampa Bay Lightning's upcoming Prospect Showcase, an event that will take place in September and feature prospect teams from the Carolina Hurricanes, Nashville Predators and Florida Panthers. The contest against the Panthers will be particularly of interest as Florida's development camp will feature Henry Bowlby, Grigori Denisenko, Serron Noel, Cole Schwindt, and John Ludvig, a group of prospects who all suited up alongside Lightning organizational players this past season in Syracuse. On the Tampa side of things, Crunch fans will be playing particularly close attention to the performance of goalie Hugo Alnefelt, as he is projected to be the Crunch's second goalie behind Maxime Lagace. Other familiar faces on the Lightning's prospect roster include Gage Goncalves, Gabriel Fortier, Jimmy Huntington, Declan McDonnell, and Alex Green. Alex then allows herself just a small amount of time to gush about the return of Gabriel Dumont to the organization before turning her attention to the other summer signings, including defenseman Ryan Jones, just signed to an AHL contract this month. Before ending the episode she briefly highlights Syracuse's 2021-22 regular season AHL schedule and the team's continued partnership with local stations to keep their games on television. Give it a listen today!
24:08
August 24, 2021
Syracuse Speaks: Tampa's Two Cups Wins Don't Happen Without Syracuse
Syracuse Speaks: Tampa's Two Cups Wins Don't Happen Without Syracuse
This episode, the first of season four, is a little different than Alex's usual episode format. It comes to you in two parts: The first, recorded August 11th, 20201, features a chat with Matthew Esteves of Raw Charge. Matt and Alex discuss the Tampa Bay Lightning's recent string of success and how Syracuse has contributed to that success.  They discuss the importance of the coherence between Tampa and Syracuse and how important the last decade has been for development within the organization. They examine the achievements of homegrown organizational players like Ross Colton, Mathieu Joseph, and Andrei Vasilevskiy. They commiserate about the loss of Yanni Gourde to Seattle and reminisce a little about Gourde's path in the Lightning organization. Matt also makes some predictions about the future of the Lightning and which Crunch players are poised to be the next homegrown success story (Hint: It involves a couple of forwards recently labeled the Talented Trio). The second part of the podcast is a recording of the most recent episode of Locked On Lightning with host Adam Denker. Adam had Alex on his podcast on Friday, August 6th and was nice enough to provide Syracuse Speaks with a copy of their discussion. Adam and Alex discuss Syracuse and Tampa, including a deeper look at Joseph and his specific path in the organization. They do the same with Colton, chewing over how the forward elevated his game throughout his developmental path. They breakdown the importance of strong AHL depth and how essential it is for long NHL playoff runs to have a well-stocked cupboard of players ready to jump in and contribute. Of note is that Adam also covers the Orlando Solar Bears at Field Pass Hockey, so make sure to give him a follow! Thanks for listening! 
52:02
August 11, 2021
Syracuse Speaks: Some Dents, but the AHL is on the Other Side
Syracuse Speaks: Some Dents, but the AHL is on the Other Side
In this episode, recorded July 19th, 2021, Alex welcomes back AHL writer Patrick Williams. The two of them cap off the final episode of season three of the podcast with a chat about where the league has been, where it might be going, and a range of other topics. Throughout the episode, the two touch on how much the AHL accomplished by just surviving 2020-21 and the biggest obstacles facing the league and its teams for 2021-22. They also discuss how both of them are looking forward to the return of a league-wide Calder Cup playoff series, and how important the AHL playoffs are to player development. They specifically touch on how a decade-long cycle of Calder Cup champions, Calder Cup finalists, and various other playoff appearances nudged the Tampa Bay Lightning to two successive Stanley Cups in the NHL. They also have an in-depth discussion about the importance of a positive AHL/NHL partnership, and how Syracuse and Tampa are a perfect example of what organizations should aim for.  Thanks for listening! 
33:13
July 19, 2021
Syracuse Speaks: The AHL Factor
Syracuse Speaks: The AHL Factor
A bit of a disclaimer: Monday, July 5th was when this episode was recorded. It was also the date of the fourth game of the Stanley Cup Finals, a series that the Tampa Bay Lightning was leading 3-0 at the time of recording. Obviously Alex would have preferred to wait until after the game before publishing this episode, but unfortunately that wasn't possible. Please just know that the result of that game was unknown at the time. In this episode, Alex takes a look at how the American Hockey League and the Syracuse Crunch have shaped the Lightning. There's a reason 24 players currently on the Lightning's roster have at least some AHL experience in their pasts. The league offers players a bridge between juniors/college and professional hockey, unique challenges that create growth as both a player and a professional, and, when needed, the opportunity to get a career back on track. All 24 players Alex looks at experienced the AHL through at least one of those situations. She starts off by discussing the few players who had AHL time under their belts before this season but were not with Syracuse, including Blake Coleman and Curtis McElhinney. She also discusses the curious case of forward Patrick Maroon. She then discusses players who played for Syracuse for a small amount of time since the start of the affiliation in 2012, including superstars Andrei Vasilevskiy and Nikita Kucherov.  Next, she spends some time looking at the players currently on the Lightning's roster who had an impact on Syracuse's own bids for championships, like Tyler Johnson, Mitchell Stephens, Ben Thomas, Yanni Gourde, and Daniel Walcott. She finishes off with the newer crop of players who are making an impact (or appear poised to in the near future): Erik Cernak, Ross Colton, Cal Foote, Alex Barre-Boulet, and more.
37:20
July 05, 2021
Syracuse Speaks: Speaking in Certainties
Syracuse Speaks: Speaking in Certainties
In this episode, recorded June 22nd, 2021, Alex covers what is known about the upcoming 2021-22 season for Syracuse and the American Hockey League. She discusses this from a few different angles. She starts with players who, barring an off season trade, are still under contact with the Tampa Bay Lightning, including potential captain Daniel Walcott, forwards Simon Ryfors, Gabriel Fortier, and Gage Goncalves, defenseman Alex Green, and goalies Hugo Alnefelt and Amir Miftakhov. She also covers where those players under contract probably will end up. She then takes a look at what the team’s schedule is looking like, including the five guaranteed home game dates the AHL has granted the Crunch, and what Syracuse’s newly reunited North Division is projected to look like (Dear Canada: Please open the border). She then finishes with a peak at the AHL’s scheduling accomplishments for 2022-23. (Hint: The league will finally have an even schedule across all of its teams and divisions!) Give it a listen today!
22:54
June 23, 2021
Syracuse Speaks: Looming Questions for 2021-22
Syracuse Speaks: Looming Questions for 2021-22
In this episode, recorded June 8th, 2021, Alex begins to break down Syracuse's potential roster for the 2021-22 season. With NHL Free Agency scheduled for July 28th, she looks at the big questions for the Crunch through the lens of the unrestricted free agents (UFAs) and restricted free agents (RFAS) of the Lightning organization. Of those questions, Alex figures the biggest are those concerning current captain and upcoming UFA Luke Witkowski, and RFA forwards Taylor Raddysh, Boris Katchouk, Alex Barre-Boulet, and Ross Colton. For Witkowski, the question is multi-faceted, and concerns both his playing career, style, fit, and the potential captaincy vacancy that would open up with his departure. For the four forwards, the question is not whether they'll be qualified - that's pretty much guaranteed - but rather where they'll slate into the organizational depth chart and what kind of holes those decisions could leave in Syracuse. Alex ponders all of this and more, along with other questions concerning the goalies and the upcoming expansion draft. For her second segment, Alex brings back her Jersey Series. This time, she reaches for a very timely pick: Gabriel Dumont's jersey from the 2017 Calder Cup finals. The jersey was worn in game one of the Crunch's series against Grand Rapids, played on June 2nd, 2017. She reminisces about how Dumont grabbed her attention - something she also discussed recently with team photographer Scott Thomas - and also how that entire Crunch team really encapsulated the best of what the AHL has to offer its fans.
32:46
June 09, 2021
Syracuse Speaks: 2020-21, We Hardly Knew Ye
Syracuse Speaks: 2020-21, We Hardly Knew Ye
In this episode, recorded May 25th and 26th, 2021, Alex starts off by taking a look back at the 2020-21 regular AHL season. She recaps the major storylines that impacted the team - storylines that didn't actually involve COVID-19 that much, surprisingly - and marvels at how similar to a normal-sized season it all turned out to be. She covers the emergence of the Taylor Raddysh - Otto Somppi - Boris Katchouk line, and the the successes of defensemen Devante Stephens and Sean Day. She discusses the team's success against their divisional rivals, and looks back at it all with her ol' Rose Colored Glasses on, something that's easy to do with it all in the (figurative) review mirror.  Alex then goes on to give a recap of the May 26th, 2021 Facebook Live talk with Crunch owner Howard Dolgon. She picks out some highlights including Dolgon's best guesses for getting fans back into the Onondaga County War Memorial and the team's plans for 2021-22, including a tidbit about a potential Opening Night date.
25:46
May 27, 2021
Syracuse Speaks: The Man Behind the Camera
Syracuse Speaks: The Man Behind the Camera
In this episode, recorded May 6th and May 12th, 2021, Alex welcomes photographer Scott Thomas to the podcast. Scott has been shooting the Crunch since 2012, but has a long history of taking photos at various sporting events. Since starting with the organization, Scott has been all around the AHL, shooting Crunch games at multiple arenas. He's also been to several big events with the team, including games in Washington D.C. and Ottawa, and has also made a few trips to Tampa to shoot the Lightning. Scott clearly brings his fandom, passion, and expertise to every shot he takes. Throughout this episode, Alex and Scott cover the photographer's decade-long experience taking pictures of Crunch games. They discuss how things have changed over the years for sports photographers, and how the advent of Ephesus Sports Lighting has changed the game when it comes to taking and editing photos. Alex enthuses over her favorite series of photos Scott has taken, a set of pictures during and after former Crunch forward Gabriel Dumont's overtime goal during game four of the first round of the 2017 Calder Cup playoffs. In a conversation not to be missed, Scott takes the listeners through the process of getting shots during such an adrenaline-filled situation. Other topics covered include stories about Crunch captain Luke Witkowski, and talk of organizational players Ross Colton, Yanni Gourde, and Daniel Walcott. Alex and Scott discuss the importance of the AHL when it comes to developing talent, both on the ice and in the broadcasting booth/front office, and how the current circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic has changed how it all works
42:46
May 12, 2021
Syracuse Speaks: Makin' It Work
Syracuse Speaks: Makin' It Work
In this episode, recorded April 27th and 28th, 2021, Alex ends up having to preempt her own episode when news breaks right before she had the chance to put the episode together. In a flurry a moves, the Florida Panthers rather dramatically changed the look of Syracuse's roster by recalling defenseman Brady Keeper and goaltender Sam Montembeault to their taxi squad. In a corresponding move, Florida also sent goalie Ryan Bednard from ECHL Greenville to Syracuse. With Spencer Martin still with the Crunch, Alex isn't really worried, but there's no doubt the sudden recall right before gametime came as a bit of a surprise.   Getting back into the flow of things, Alex discusses the Crunch's newest social event, a hybrid happening with both virtual and in-person elements scheduled for May 4th. She also mentions the recalls of Grigori Denisenko and Aleksi Heponiemi to Florida, and the call-up of forward Nikita Pavlychev to Syracuse, before celebrating the reigning AHL Players of the Week: Taylor Raddysh (for the period ending April 18, 2021) and Boris Katchouk (for the period ending April 25, 2021). The excitement around those players - and linemate Otto Somppi - is palpable amongst the fan base and the coaching staff, and she makes the case that their achievements during this rather unique season can't be understated. Alex also discusses Syracuse owner Howard Dolgon's most recent optimistic statement about next season. In the final part of this week's episode, Alex previews Syracuse's April 28th game against Utica. She takes a look at the standings, glances back at their past few games, and then looks forward at the rest of Syracuse's season (Hint: So. Many. Comets). She also weighs the Crunch's scorers against the rest of the AHL in terms of points, and finds out something kind of surprising: Syracuse is really making the Eastern Conference proud.  
27:58
April 28, 2021
Syracuse Speaks: Mid-season Check In
Syracuse Speaks: Mid-season Check In
In this episode, recorded April 13th and 14th, 2021, Alex begins the podcast by discussing the most recent Crunch news and notes, including Syracuse owner Howard Dolgon's affirmation that the Crunch will not be participating in the AHL's 2021 postseason. She takes a look at how COVID has - and is - affecting the team and its schedule.  She then dissects Syracuse's most recent game vs. divisional rival Utica on April 13th. She discusses the Crunch's rough roster situation, including missing captain Luke Witkowski and forwards Alex Barre-Boulet and Daniel Walcott. She mentions players who could arrive to help Syracuse out as the team enters their final half of the season, like defenseman Ben Thomas, who is on the taxi squad; newly-signed college forward Cole Koepke; and recently-assigned defenseman Andreas Borgman. The team's upcoming schedule is also covered, and Alex insists that although the playoffs are no longer a consideration, Syracuse is still playing for one big thing: Pride. 
31:54
April 14, 2021
Syracuse Speaks: Table Talk with Hardev Lad
Syracuse Speaks: Table Talk with Hardev Lad
In this episode, recorded March 18th and 23rd, 2021, Alex welcomes writer Hardev Lad onto the podcast. Hardev is the current Crunch contributor for Raw Charge, a SB Nation blog that covers the Tampa Bay Lightning organization. Raw Charge has reported on the Crunch since 2012-13, when Alex herself was their main Syracuse contributor, and has featured continuous coverage of the team since that season. Hardev is very experienced in covering the AHL, and his insights into the team are invaluable for anyone looking for a fuller picture of how Syracuse is doing this season. In this episode, Alex and Hardev cover the following: Hardev's background in AHL coverage and his high comfort level in covering the Crunch for Raw Charge; Hardev's overall impression of Syracuse so far this season, including his positives, negatives, and his MVP up to this point; the differences in play being seen with Syracuse now that the roster is starting to look a bit more full; Hardev's assessment of players like Otto Somppi, Daniel Walcott, Spencer Martin, and Sam Montembeault; which player Harvev and Alex would steal from the Florida Panthers organization if they could. 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!
43:31
March 24, 2021
Syracuse Speaks: A Little Bit of Everything with Patrick Williams
Syracuse Speaks: A Little Bit of Everything with Patrick Williams
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 a spin around the AHL as a whole, COVID protocols and team frustrations, zeroing in on the Crunch's inconsistencies specifically, and, lastly, the announcement from the Tampa Bay Lightning that they have re-signed Crunch forward Daniel Walcott to a new two-year contract.  Thanks for listening!  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.
44:19
March 11, 2021
Syracuse Speaks: Real Talk with Jim Sarosy
Syracuse Speaks: Real Talk with Jim Sarosy
In this episode, recorded Monday, February 22nd and Tuesday, February 23rd, Alex starts off with a little housekeeping. She covers the complications that are contributing to the team's current 1-3-1 record: the recalls of Ross Colton, Alex Barre-Boulet, and Riley Stillman; the injuries to Daniel Walcott, Henry Bowlby, and Aleksi Heponiemi; the complications of joining the players from two NHL organizations (the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Florida Panthers). She then briefly discusses Syracuse's game versus Rochester, originally scheduled for February 24th, that was rescheduled for March 1st because of an "abundance of caution due to COVID-19 protocols." She stresses that there has been no positive test result, and talks about her lack of desire to speculate over what is going on. She then welcomes Crunch Chief Operating Officer Jim Sarosy to the podcast. Throughout the personal, in-depth conversation, Alex and Jim cover a wide variety of topics, including: What the joys and the struggles of the past 11 months have been like for an AHL front office The moment the league's pause in March 2020 became real for Jim and those in the organization The full impact of the Lightning's support and partnership throughout everything that has happened What the plans for the future might involve, including how the team is aiming to reach out to fans and sponsors How Jim really feels about getting an office pet for the Crunch's staff and crew (hint: it's good news!) Although the past 11 months have been incredibly challenging for Jim and the Crunch, there's much to celebrate as Jim made sure to emphasize: "I'm beaming with pride on what we were able to do with a smaller group to be able to have this return to play come true."
43:11
February 24, 2021
Syracuse Speaks: An Emotional Return
Syracuse Speaks: An Emotional Return
In this episode, recorded February 9th and 10, 2021, Alex discuses the Crunch's return to regularly season AHL action this past week. In the first part of the episode, she breaks down some of the highlights of Syracuse's win over the Utica Comets from February 6th, including: The surprise emotional impact of having hockey back; Gabriel Fortier's first - and second - pro goal; Samuel Montembeault's excellent play; the team's cohesion. In section two of the episode, she briefly discusses the news that New York State will now be allowing a small percentage of people into arenas and venues, although she doubts this new will change the Crunch's plans much. She then goes on to ponder the team's upcoming schedule, including a game that was in progress at the time of recording: The Crunch's Wednesday game in Rochester. With fingers crossed for no COVID protocol news over the next few days, she offers discourse on the strangeness of discussing divisional standings when nothing about the season is normal.
30:07
February 11, 2021
Syracuse Speaks: Chatting with Patrick Williams
Syracuse Speaks: Chatting with Patrick Williams
In this episode, recorded January 26th, 2021, Alex does some housekeeping before welcoming guest Patrick Williams! Patrick writes for the NHL.com and has various other projects in the works, including his Around the A podcast. Throughout the course of the episode, Alex and Patrick discuss anything and everything about the "new normal" in the AHL and how it's affecting teams like Syracuse. 
49:06
January 27, 2021
Syracuse Speaks: The Crunch are Back!
Syracuse Speaks: The Crunch are Back!
In this episode, recorded January 12th and 13th, 2021, Alex starts by celebrating the return of the podcast from holiday break. She then breaks down the latest Crunch news, starting with the biggest and most obvious: Crunch hockey is back, and, boy, is it weird! Throughout the podcast, Alex dives into the following: Syracuse's new AHL division and the three teams the Crunch will reportedly be playing during their 36-game season: the Rochester Americans, the Utica Comets, and the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins What the Crunch is doing for their season ticket holders and fans in lieu of being able to have fans attend games in person Player moves from the Tampa Bay Lightning, including presumed Syracuse captain Luke Witkowski, familiar faces like Boris Katchouk and Taylor Raddysh, and AHL scoring powerhouse Alex Barre-Boulet The Crunch's dual affiliation with the Florida Panthers and the players that Florida has assigned to the team, including 2018 first-round pick Grigori Denisenko and veteran forward Scott Wilson Alex ends the podcast by answering a question from Twitter (thanks, Deana!): Which team does she see being the Crunch's biggest competition this season? Spoiler alert: Considering the three teams Syracuse is going to be playing, the answer is not exactly a surprise...though a lack of live fans may take some bite out of things.
37:28
January 13, 2021
Syracuse Speaks: Andy Andreoff's Hockey Fights Cancer Jersey
Syracuse Speaks: Andy Andreoff's Hockey Fights Cancer Jersey
In this episode, recorded November 17th, 2020, Alex spends some time briefly hyping up her latest article for The Sin Bin, a gift guide to the Crunch's garage sale. If you missed it, please go check it out, and maybe check off some gifts for your loved ones in the process! She then goes on to discuss the next jersey in her game-worn jersey collection. This jersey, worn by former Syracuse forward Andy Andreoff during the 2018-19 season, is a favorite of Alex's for a few reasons: 1. It's gorgeous. 2. It was part of Syracuse's first game-worn jersey collection for Hockey Fights Cancer. 3. It was worn by Andreoff, who was a huge part of the Crunch's success during the 2018-19 season. The jersey, won thanks mostly to Alex's best friend (thanks again, Chuk!), played a part in a night that honored cancer survivors and those who have been lost to it. Alex finishes the podcast by expressing seasonally-appropriate gratitude to her listeners.  As always, thanks so much for listening!
18:46
November 18, 2020
Syracuse Speaks: AHL's Return to Play and Karl Goehring's Jersey
Syracuse Speaks: AHL's Return to Play and Karl Goehring's Jersey
In this episode, recorded November 3rd and 4th, 2020, Alex begins by discussing the AHL's new return to play date of February 5th, 2021. She covers the potential obstacles to this date, the specific complications Syracuse faces, and the reaction of Crunch owner Howard Dolgon to the new date. Dolgon, who had originally expressed doubts as to whether the Crunch could play without fans in the stands, has since changed his tune and has stated that his team will be ready to play whenever the AHL is. Speculation about this sudden change mostly points to the Tampa Bay Lightning pitching in to help the independently-owned team get their season going even without revenue from the fans. Alex then continues her Jersey Series with a jersey of a player she has followed since the beginning of her time as a Crunch fan: Karl Goehring. Goehring, who played the better part of five season with Syracuse and who coached the team for three, has been a favorite of Alex's since she first started watching hockey and the team in 2004. The jersey she has of his is from the 2007-08 Crunch season, and it is one of the most beloved in her collection.
33:15
November 04, 2020
Syracuse Speaks: NHL Free Agency 2020 and Jeff Szwez's Jersey
Syracuse Speaks: NHL Free Agency 2020 and Jeff Szwez's Jersey
On this episode, recorded October 20 and 21, 2020, Alex starts off by recounting the Lightning organization's free agency so far, including: What's going on with the Lightning's RFAs: Ross Colton, Ben Thomas, Mitchell Stephens, Gemel Smith, Alex Volkov, Dominik Masin, and Mathieu Joseph The AHL/ECHL goalie roster: Newly-signed Chris Gibson, returnee Spencer Martin, and ECHL'er Clint Windsor "The New Cameron Gaunce": Defenseman Andreas Borgman She then goes into the continuation of her Jersey Series. This time, she delves into the fan she used to be back when she first started watching the Crunch by discussing Jeff Szwez. Szwez, a forward who was a bit of a fighter in his days with Syracuse, was the name on the back of the very first game worn jersey Alex was able to collect. Her memories of Szwez - and other fighters who have made their way through Syracuse throughout the years -  conflict with the fan she is now, a fan who struggles with the physical and mental cost hockey enforcers pay to entertain their fans.
32:45
October 21, 2020
Syracuse Speaks: NHL Draft, Player Signings, Matt Taormina's Jersey
Syracuse Speaks: NHL Draft, Player Signings, Matt Taormina's Jersey
On this episode, recorded October 7th, 2020, Alex actually has news to discuss! Over the course of the podcast, she covers the following topics: some of the Tampa Bay Lightning's 2020 NHL Draft picks: Jack Finley, Gage Goncalves, Maxim Groshev, Eamon Powell, Jaydon Dureau, and Nick Capone the signing of two of the organization's restricted free agents: Mitchell Stephens and Gemel Smith the NHLPA's decision to target January 1st, 2021 for the start of the 2020-21 NHL season, and what that might mean for the AHL the continuation of her Jersey Series with a 2013 Calder Cup finals jersey worn by defenseman Matt Taormina
39:20
October 07, 2020
Syracuse Speaks: The Jersey Series - Mark Rycroft
Syracuse Speaks: The Jersey Series - Mark Rycroft
On this episode, recorded September 23rd, 2020, Alex discusses the next jersey in her collection: a St. Patrick's Day jersey worn by forward Mark Rycroft during the 2007-2008 Crunch season.  A bit of context: On March 16th, 2008, the Crunch would don St. Patrick's Day jerseys and would claw to an overtime victory against in-state rivals Binghamton, winning in overtime 4-3. At the time, fans were excited by the continuation of what was a mini-winning streak, one that stood at three after the victory over the B-Sens. That winning streak would go on to end up in Syracuse's record books, finally ending with the culmination of the regular AHL season on April 13th, 15 games after the streak had started. That series of games in March, a series that started on March 8th and included the game with the St. Patrick's Day jerseys, was the beginning of a special time for many Crunch fans, including Alex. This jersey in her collection is a bit more than just one that belongs to a former player.
19:23
September 23, 2020
Syracuse Speaks: The Jersey Series - Mike Angelidis
Syracuse Speaks: The Jersey Series - Mike Angelidis
On this episode, recorded September 15th, 2020, Alex starts off by examining the case of the EIHL, otherwise known as the Elite Hockey League over in the UK. The EIHL recently made the decision to suspend their 2020-21 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Alex mades direct comparisons between their league and the AHL, using the Cardiff Devils and their press release as her focal point. Unfortunately, the EIHL's decision does not give Alex confidence in the AHL being able to start their own season in December. She then goes on to discuss the next two jerseys in her collection, both belonging to former Crunch captain Mike Angelidis. She discusses Angelidis' impact on both the Crunch organization and the city of Syracuse itself. She also dives into her own memories of the captain and the impact he had on her as a fan.
31:08
September 16, 2020
Syracuse Speaks: The Jersey Series - Dan Smith
Syracuse Speaks: The Jersey Series - Dan Smith
On this episode, recorded August 25, 2020, Alex starts a new series for her podcast that will discuss her collection of game worn jerseys. She kicks it off with her memories of former Syracuse Crunch captain Dan Smith, a defenseman who played for the team from 2007-2009 when the Crunch was affiliated with the Columbus Blue Jackets. This episode takes the listener through her decade-old bond with him. The inspiration to publish this particular tale was based on her newest jersey acquisition, which Smith offered to sign for her. Posting a picture of the jersey on social media prompted her realization that many of her listeners weren't fans of the team when he played there. She felt his story - and the team history in his jersey and the others in her collection - deserve to be shared. 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!
39:29
August 27, 2020
Syracuse Speaks: In summary...
Syracuse Speaks: In summary...
On this episode, recorded August 10, 2020, Alexandra takes a figurative spin around the news surrounding the AHL, it's potential return for the 2020-21 season, and what specifically that return might look like in Syracuse. She attempts to bring some certainty to the following questions: Why is it too soon to assume the AHL will actually start on December 4th, 2020? What obstacles are potentially in the way of the league opening? What's going on with the 2021 AHL All-Star event? How does she feel about a potential scheduling shift in future AHL seasons? What might things look like in Syracuse when/if the AHL returns? What kind of player is (hopefully) on the Tampa Bay Lightning's shopping list for the Crunch this upcoming season? What is going on with: Dominik Masin? Cory Conacher? Daniel Walcott? 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.
28:27
August 12, 2020
Syracuse Speaks Episode #30: The Black Aces from the Syracuse Crunch
Syracuse Speaks Episode #30: The Black Aces from the Syracuse Crunch
On this episode, recorded July 13, 2020, Alexandra starts off with some housekeeping as she discusses her move to The Sin Bin and what she imagines her coverage will look like going forward. She then dives into what's going on with Syracuse Crunch and its organization: -She covers what is known about the team's roster for next season, including where the Lightning has their work cut out for them down on the farm (Hint: dear lord, the net is empty again, and that blue line? Omph...) -She briefly covers potential holes in the Tampa Bay Lightning's roster, and ponders who from Syracuse might fill them -She discusses the Black Aces, players who have been called up from Syracuse to the  Lightning for their Phase 3 training camp, including 2020 AHL All-Star Alex Barre-Boulet and Crunch captain Luke Witkowski 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.
26:03
July 15, 2020
Syracuse Speaks: So....now what?
Syracuse Speaks: So....now what?
In this episode, Alex tries to wrap her head around the world of hockey and the world in general. She discusses what's known, what's still a mystery, and what the future may hold.  Thanks for listening! Stay safe, and fill your heart with love. 
33:10
June 10, 2020
Syracuse Speaks: "Best ever" AHL player brackets are bananas
Syracuse Speaks: "Best ever" AHL player brackets are bananas
This week, Alex determines that brackets meant to ferret out the best player to ever pull on a jersey in the American Hockey League are bananas. Why? Because generally they end up being based on players' NHL futures, not their AHL past. Frivolous topic of conversation? Absolutely! Come join in the fun, we all probably need something frivolous right now. 
23:30
April 23, 2020
Syracuse Speaks: Putting a Spotlight on the Good
Syracuse Speaks: Putting a Spotlight on the Good
In this episode, Alex highlights all of the amazing initiatives and programs the Syracuse Crunch has put together during this pause in the AHL's season. She also puts a spotlight on ideas and articles worth considering, media personalities that have been doing some great work lately, and the AHL itself as it works hard to keep fans connected.  Let's shine a little light in the world! 
31:05
April 08, 2020
Syracuse Speaks: Unpopular opinions and favorite sports movies
Syracuse Speaks: Unpopular opinions and favorite sports movies
This week, Alex starts off by outlining her thinking and her concerns about what the AHL and the NHL should do with the remainder of the season and the playoffs. Hint: It’s rather unpopular, and it doesn’t involve playing hockey. She then goes on to discuss this week’s prompt: “What’s your favorite sports movie?” Her answer might surprise you since it isn’t Miracle (!). It’s a little film from 2002 that tells the story of baseball player Jim Morris.
25:44
April 01, 2020
Syracuse Speaks: In This Together
Syracuse Speaks: In This Together
This week, Alex discusses her virtual tryout contract with the Syracuse Crunch. She praises the Crunch’s efforts to be there for their fans and keep them involved in the sport during this weird, difficult time. She then moves onto her prompt of the week: “Share a time when you didn’t get along with a teammate.” Since she doesn’t actually play for the team - VTO’s aside - she switched it up to something slightly different: “Share how you handle not liking a player.” In answering it, she addresses how the internet has changed the way fans communicate their frustrations, and how mental health can affect one’s view of the world (sports included).
30:28
March 25, 2020
Syracuse Speaks: "Tell about a time a big game was won"
Syracuse Speaks: "Tell about a time a big game was won"
This week, Alex discusses the postponement of the AHL season and what the Syracuse Crunch is doing to help stay present in the minds of the fans. She then takes an elementary  writing prompt and brings it into the podcasting world: Tell about a time a big game was won. The game she chose? The practically-forgotten game four of the Calder Cup final in 2013.
25:35
March 19, 2020
Syracuse Speaks: Crunch at Your Service
Syracuse Speaks: Crunch at Your Service
This week, Alex spends a good chunk of the podcast reviewing Crunch at Your Service, the Syracuse Crunch’s most recent charity fundraising endeavor, which took place on Monday, March 2nd at Turning Stone Resort and Casino. It consisted of Tampa Bay Lightning prospects and organizational players acting goofy, performing tasks, and just generally being “at the service” of Crunch fans and sponsors for tips. Alex takes an in-depth look at what attending the event was like for a fan. She then lays out the team’s March, and raises the salient point that while February may have made Syracuse into a playoff team, March has the potential to make or break the Crunch’s hopes at a post season.
27:48
March 04, 2020
Syracuse Speaks: The 2020 NHL trade deadline
Syracuse Speaks: The 2020 NHL trade deadline
This week, Alex starts off by pondering some more on her current discomfort with the Syracuse Crunch roster. Although no conclusions were gained, she feels closer than ever before to an answer. She then dives into the NHL trade deadline and does some quick math (Basically: Cameron Gaunce + Mitchell Stephens > Anthony Greco). She ends the pod with a summary of Syracuse’s most recent jersey tributes and charitable activities, including a plug of the team’s upcoming Crunch At Your Service event.
37:42
February 25, 2020
Spillin' the Tea
Spillin' the Tea
This week, Alex is her usual permanently exhausted self who is spillin’ the tea on fan opinions regarding the Syracuse Crunch.  (Spoiler alert: They aren’t the most positive in the world.)  She also takes a look at the month ahead, including a peak at Syracuse’s Miracle on Ice night and their Pride Night.
31:38
February 05, 2020
Syracuse Speaks: Cheers!
Syracuse Speaks: Cheers!
This week, Alex celebrates Cameron Gaunce’s AHL All-Star selection. The defenseman was nominated this past Wednesday to the All-Star weekend for the first time in his career, and Alex expounds on why it was so wonderful. She then ponders whether the Crunch has actually turned a corner or not (and earns a beer from a friend in the process).
27:49
January 23, 2020
Syracuse Speaks: Optimism
Syracuse Speaks: Optimism
This week, Alex takes a look at the Syracuse Crunch's North Division-heavy January slate of games. She also discusses some team events coming up, and recaps some of the bigger headlines since she last recorded. She briefly touches on forward Daniel Walcott’s suspension before turning her focus to the sold naming rights for the War Memorial Upstate Medical University Arena at Onondaga County War Memorial.
21:01
January 08, 2020
Syracuse Speaks: It's all about the memories, baby!
Syracuse Speaks: It's all about the memories, baby!
This week, Alex briefly recaps the Syracuse Crunch’s December before naming her player of the month. (Hello, Gemel Smith Spencer Martin?!) She then spends the bulk of the epsiode mining her memories for her top five Crunch organizational moments of the decade. Although the actual events probably won’t surprise you, the order just might! Crunch fans old and new will enjoy looking back with her, and will hopefully be able to let her know their own list.  What are your top moments from the past ten years of the Crunch? Let her know on twitter @Allovimo!
25:57
December 18, 2019
Syracuse Speaks: One too many up/downs
Syracuse Speaks: One too many up/downs
This week, Alex starts with a cold open due to a recent transaction involving Tampa Bay Lightning organizational forward Cory Conacher. She then goes on to discuss other transactions that have changed the look of Syracuse’s roster, most notably those recalls and signings due to the injuries to defensemen Ben Thomas and Dominik Masin. She also expresses her hopes that the Crunch will take advantage of a fairly stable December schedule to get some consistency and chemistry going. Finally, she discusses the Crunch’s upcoming promotional nights, including their Tired Teddy Toss on Saturday. 
27:04
December 05, 2019
Syracuse Speaks: Celebrating Cameron Gaunce
Syracuse Speaks: Celebrating Cameron Gaunce
In this episode, Alex discusses the odd case of the Syracuse Crunch, a team that can seem incredibly discombobulated and, dare we say it, almost mad at each other one game and then much more coherent and confident the next. Inconsistencies abound, but a few players are managing to make extreamly positive impressions despite that, including defenseman Cameron Gaunce. Alex names Gaunce her Player of the Month and speaks to the great season he’s having so far. She also gives a general view of the North Division and where the Crunch is currently slotting in. 
26:45
November 21, 2019
Syracuse Speaks: Just not buyin' it
Syracuse Speaks: Just not buyin' it
In this episode, Alex says she feels it’s put-up-or-shut-up time when it comes to naming a captain for the Crunch. She expresses her frustration with the process that seems to have been halted by the arrival of former Crunch captain Luke Witkowski. She then gathers herself back together in time to discuss some former Crunch players that could be paying their old team a visit this month (including Hubert Labrie, Matt Beleskey, and Matthew Peca). Finally, she rounds out the episode with a peak into two upcoming promotional nights for the team: Military Appreciation Night and their Hockey Fights Cancer game. 
28:28
November 07, 2019
Do not panic yet
Do not panic yet
In this episode, Alex takes a look back at Syracuse’s October. She selects Cory Conacher as her player of the month and discusses why she picked him. She also ponders the two “yardstick” games the Crunch played - and lost - this month, and expounds on why it truly isn’t yet time to panic. Finally, she highlights some of the positive changes around the Onondaga County War Memorial, including the addition of regional dishes to the menu. 
30:44
October 24, 2019
It IS October!
It IS October!
In this episode, Alex begins to warm up to the 2019-20 Syracuse Crunch season. She discusses some changes that have occured with the team since the last time she talked about them, and some roster moves and potential additions/subtractions. She then takes a look at Syracuse’s schedule and highlights some upcoming matches and promotional nights, including the Crunch’s Home Opener on October 19th against the reigning Calder Cup champions. 
28:17
October 10, 2019
It's preseason, baby!
It's preseason, baby!
In this episode, host Alex Ackerman gets you back into the spirit of Crunch hockey with an opinion-packed discussion of the team’s preseason roster. She dishes on who is in town, why the goalie situation is so impressive - and so puzzling - and how exciting it is to have a roster so talented this early in the season. She also has one final discussion on the vacat captaincy position in Syracuse, and explains why her opinion hasn’t changed since mid-summer. Finally, she rounds out the episode with a brief look at the remaining bubble players in Tampa, and how their performance might affect the future.
36:42
September 26, 2019
Episode 11: A chat with Lauren Kelly!
Episode 11: A chat with Lauren Kelly!
 In this episode, host Alex Ackerman welcomes guest Lauren Kelly to the pod! Lauren writes for both Raw Charge and Mile High Hockey, covering juniors. She is a wealth of information and passion! The two discuss Peter Abbandonato, an over-ager from the Q, and what Lauren expects out of his upcoming season with an AHL contract with Syracuse. They also parce out the expectations for forwards Taylor Raddysh and Boris Katchouk, and how the trajectories for the two have changed now that they’re in the pros. Lauren also expounds on why juniors are so fun to watch, and also which tournaments are must-sees. Lauren also answers a most difficult question: Which Foote brother is her favorite? Alex and Lauren cover all of this and more in a packed episode! 
27:54
August 14, 2019
Syracuse Speaks: Episode ten
Syracuse Speaks: Episode ten
In this episode, host Alex Ackerman celebrates 10 episodes by attempting to convince the Crunch that they need to do a Harry Potter theme night this upcoming season. She outlines her reasons, describes the flexibility and the potential ease of theme, and mentions some predecessors in hockey that have already successfully done wizarding-themed events. She also mentions the easy charitable connections the night could have, bringing up both local organizations and organizations in the wider Harry Potter universe. She muses on nerds, geeks, and hockey fans, and the natural mesh that just might hold them all together.  It’s a magical episode that bridges the two main passions in Alex’s life!  A few post-production notes: Ravenclaw colors are blue and bronze, not blue and gold. My apologies to Matt Esteves and the other Ravenclaws in my life. Gryffindor colors are scarlet and gold, not red and yellow. Apologies for the misspeak. 
30:39
July 31, 2019
Syracuse Speaks: Episode nine
Syracuse Speaks: Episode nine
In this episode, host Alex Ackerman discusses the release of the Syracuse Crunch’s regular season schedule. She talks about some highlights, discusses why the schedule is so North Division-heavy, and ponders what fans can do if they’d like to see a bigger variety of teams. She then finishes out her recap of the 2018-19 AHL season for Syracuse by covering March and April, including the Connor Ingram demotion and the team’s strong end to the regular season. Playoff? What playoffs? Never happened. 
24:54
July 15, 2019
Syracuse Speaks: Episode eight
Syracuse Speaks: Episode eight
 In this episode, host Alex Ackerman discusses the additions of forward Gemel Smith and goalie Zachary Fucale to the Syracuse Crunch/Tampa Bay Lightning organization. She also ponders the re-signings of Cedric Paquette, Carter Verhaeghe, and Danick Martel, and which ones could potentially end up with the Crunch. Lastly, she jumps back into her recap of the 2018-19 AHL season for Syracuse and covers the highs and lows of February, including some scary foreshadowing of the future. 
19:40
July 09, 2019
Syracuse Speaks: Episode seven
Syracuse Speaks: Episode seven
In this episode, host Alex Ackerman discusses the organization’s first foray into free agency this summer. She briefly covers what the Lightning did for the Lightning, including the signing of Luke Schenn and Curtis McElhinney, and then she discusses what Tampa did for Syracuse. The Lightning signed four free agents and hired a coach for the Crunch: goalies Scott Wedgewood and Spencer Martin, forward Chris Mueller, defenseman Luke Witkowski, and coach Joe Palmer. She considers all five of them and what their contracts mean for the team.  She also says goodbye to forwards Andy Andreoff and captain Gabriel Dumont, explains why a veteran presence is so important to AHL teams, and reaffirms her choices for the now-vacant captaincy in Syracuse.  Come on in for this fully loaded show! 
31:08
July 01, 2019
Syracuse Speaks: Episode six
Syracuse Speaks: Episode six
 This week, host Alex Ackerman has a very special guest on: Raw Charge contributor and Syracuse Crunch writer Justin Godfrey! The two of them cover a myriad of topics including what the Crunch might look like this fall, how Justin really feels about Ben Thomas, which players Justin is looking for a big year from (hint: Mitchell Stephens and Boris Katchouk are among them), when Alex is officially allowed to panic about the goaltending situation, and more! They also experience a right of passage in the podcasting world: having news break while recording, and needing to somehow move forward coherently.  
35:43
June 24, 2019
Syracuse Speaks: Episode five
Syracuse Speaks: Episode five
This week, host Alex Ackerman does her best to make sense out the flurry of transactions and news the Syracuse Crunch saw this past Friday. First, she discusses Eddie Pasquale’s decision to leave the Tampa Bay Lightning organization for the KHL, then she discusses the heartbreaking retirement of forward Michael Bournival. Next, she gets so caught up in her thoughts over the whole Connor Ingram situation that she forgets to actually mention what organization the goalie was traded to (it was Nashville). Finally, she ends on a high note with a discussion of what re-signing Cameron Gaunce means for the Crunch, and what it could mean for the captaincy. 
26:24
June 17, 2019
Syracuse Speaks: Episode four
Syracuse Speaks: Episode four
In this episode, Alex answers some questions her listeners had about the game itself and about the Crunch’s restricted free agent defensemen. She then continues her look back at the 2018-19 season for Syracuse, following up last week’s discussion of October/November with December/January. Alex picks out the Crunch’s continued identity struggles and surprise scoring problems as lows (among others). Before things got too depressing, she then reminds her listeners about a certain game in December against a fierce rival, the return of an old friend, and the beginning reign of one Eddie Pasquale.  
28:21
June 10, 2019
Syracuse Speaks: Episode three
Syracuse Speaks: Episode three
This week is all about Mike Angelidis tangents and identity problems.
33:26
June 04, 2019
Syracuse Speaks: Episode two
Syracuse Speaks: Episode two
This week is all about heartfelt goodbyes and potential hellos for both Syracuse and Tampa.
27:28
May 28, 2019
Syracuse Speaks: Episode 1
Syracuse Speaks: Episode 1
The who and what of the Crunch's past and potential future.
30:45
May 20, 2019