Crunch fans have been demanding moves. They've wanted action. They've said, practically yelled, that they needed something to happen.
One thing is clear: Springfield is gearing up for the playoffs while Syracuse is, in effect, waving the white flag on what has been a very frustrating season. As expressed by the tweet, the Columbus Blue Jackets (CBJ) organization has acquired Dana Tyrell and Matt Taormina from the Tampa Bay organization in exchange for Jonathan Marchessault and Dalton Smith. It's expected that Tyrell and Taormina are headed for the Springfield Falcons, Columbus' AHL affiliate. Marchessault and Smith are expected to be assigned to Syracuse.
Springfield is currently second in the Eastern Conference with 74 points on the season. Syracuse is 11th with 53 points. The Falcons are clearly looking for some defensive depth to carry them into the post season. Taormina, despite his struggles with back problems, has been one of the most dependable Crunch players this year when in the line up. He has 18 points (6g; 12a) and did work on the Crunch's power play. Tyrell, who has struggled in the past with knee injuries but has not had many troubles this season, was also one of the more dependable players for the Crunch this year. He has 21 points (9g; 12a) and saw a lot of time on the Crunch's penalty kill. Both Taormina and Tyrell were often cited by the coaching staff, their fellow players, and Crunch fans as being two of the hardest working guys on the ice every single night.
Both players have also seen time with Tampa Bay this season. Tyrell played in 7 games with the Lightning, as did Taormina. Neither registered any points during their time up.
Marchessault is 23 years old. He's 5'9 and has played in 56 games this year for Springfield. Prior to the trade he was the Falcons' top goal scorer with 41 points (14g; 27A). He has played in two NHL games. Both of those games occurred during the 2012-2013 season and he registered zero points in those two games.
Smith has played in 117 games with the Springfield Falcons. During those 117 games, he's registered 18 points. However, it's clear that Smith's game is more on the pugilist side of things - he has 227 total penalty minutes. To put that into perspective, current Crunch player Eric Neilson has played in 71 games for Syracuse and has 235 total minutes. Philippe Paradis has played in 49 games and has 83 minutes. So, it looks like Smith is along those lines.
Marchessault is clearly the gem here for Syracuse, although one player probably won't make too much of a difference at this point. The signing of Smith, even though he is a former second-round pick, is a complete head-scratcher. Syracuse has plenty of grit in Neilson, Paradis, P.C. Labrie, and Mike Angelidis. If the over-all plan is to get Syracuse into the playoffs, it isn't clear at all how Smith fits.
From Syracuse's perspective, there's also this little problem:
With Taormina traded and Sustr, Mormina and Cote out, the Syracuse defense looks a bit thin right now.— Jeremy Houghtaling (@JGHoughtaling) March 5, 2014
Yes, yes it does.