It's been announced that the Crunch has signed right wing Jon DiSalvatore. DiSalvatore had been playing with the EHC München of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL), but reportedly was looking for a way to come back to North American. The Lighting organization gave him a way, and he's accepted his ticket to Crunch land.
Filling a hole? Permanent roster player? Leadership role? Whatever this is, whatever this guy is going to be expected to do, he is certainly welcome news for a rather stagnant Syracuse Crunch and their fans. Before their win this past Saturday, Syracuse had lost nine of their last 11 games, and was blown out of the water twice this past week by St. John's with 6-2 and 5-1 finals.
DiSalvatore was selected by the San Jose Sharks in the 4th round (104th overall) of the 2000 NHL Entry Draft. He played five games in the NHL with the St. Louis Blues during the 2005–06 NHL season. He also played in one game with the Minnesota Wild in the 2011–12 NHL season.
Last season, DiSalvatore played in 68 games with the Hershey Bears. He scored 18 goals and 31 assists for a total of 31 points. The year before that he played in 76 games for the Houston Aeros, netting a total of 61 points (28-33). He's played in a total of 593 AHL regular season games and 43 AHL playoff games.
When DiSalvatore was signed by Hershey at the start of last season, he was praised for his consistency and his leadership. At the time, he had the following to say about why he was signing with the Bears organization:
I’m at a point in my career where I’m looking for those teams that are trying to win the Calder Cup every year.
The track record of Tampa's farm teams for aiming to win that Cup has obviously been established. Norfolk won it in 2012, the Crunch made it to the finals in 2013. If DiSalvatore is still looking for that, and one would assume he is, it partly explains why he's ended up in Syracuse.
During last year's time with Hershey, DiSalvatore scored 9 power play goals. He scored 13 the year before with with Aeros. Given that, Tampa might be hoping that he'll help right the Crunch's struggling unit; Syracuse has 5 goals in its last 60 some-odd power play chances. DiSalvatore was also captain for the Aeros for three straight years, so he definitely knows his way around the locker room and knows how to motivate his fellow players. He was named to the AHL's Second All-Star Team in 2011-12.
DiSalvatore was a veteran healthy scratch a couple times towards the end of the 2012-2013 season. It appears he got squeezed out of the roster and was scratched for five straight games. However, he returned and clearly pushed himself to keep a roster spot, netting 6 points in the final four games of the regular season. He helped Hershey to stay competitive during the first round of the Calder Cup playoffs last season, scoring the game-winning goal in the first two games of that series against the Providence Bruins.
Fans, can follow DiSalvatore on Twitter: