There was a quote that Damian Cristodero shared via Twitter from Pat Maroon of the Ducks, talking about Jon Cooper (who he played for in the NAHL in 2006-07):
Ducks LW Pat Maroon played for Cooper at NAHL St. Louis in 06-07. "He has a special bond with his players that just makes them work for him"— Damian Cristodero (@LightningTimes) November 14, 2013
The tweet was Story promotion, self promotion from a Lightning angle (Cooper). But the quote actually set off bells in my head, flipped a switch, a light bulb went on, etc... See, the player - Pat Maroon - reminded me of a more minor context to this game that's somewhat odd and awesome to behold at the same time.
Between the Tampa Bay Lightning roster and Anaheim Ducks roster (this does not speak for the starting lineups for tonight) there are a total of 17 alumni of the Syracuse Crunch being carried between the two clubs at the moment. Anaheim was the previous NHL affiliate for the Crunch, and players such as Nick Bonino, Emerson Etem, the aforementioned Maroon, Kyle Palmieri, Devante Smith-Pelly and Luca Sbisa all made stops in central New York while playing for the Crunch.
At the moment, it's extremely likely nine Crunch veterans will be in the lineup tonight for Tampa alone (Mark Barberio, J.T. Brown, Brett Connolly, Radko Gudas, Alex Killorn, Tyler Johnson, Richard Panik, Ondrej Palat, Andrej Sustr. Dmitry Korobov and Pierre-Cedric Labrie may be healthy scratches tonight.)
The Norfolk Admirals also have an intimate claim to this game, though I must confess I didn't count through Admiral References on roster players for the Ducks. The majority of the Lightning's Crunch veterans also played for the Ads before the affiliation switch in 2012-13.
Including Lightning head coach Jon Cooper as part of the alumni count is completely up to the reader.
UPDATE: The Norfolk Admirals pointed out via Twitter they've got more players to abost about than Syracuse as Alumni in tonight's game: