To say that Syracuse forward Mike Angelidis was a force for the Crunch this past season would be a bit of an understatement. The 30-year-old forward, who had what was arguably his best season in the AHL in 2014-15, ended 3rd on the Crunch in scoring. Only Yanni Gourde and Johnathan Marchessault scored more points. In addition to his banner year on the score sheet, Angelidis, who has been captain of the Crunch since the Lightning brought him along in 2012, was a clear force of leadership both on and off the ice. Many players in the organization owe a lot to his leadership, and fans in Syracuse had him at the top of their list of wishes for the 2015-16 season.
Those fans got their wish granted today:
LIGHTNING RE-SIGN FORWARD MIKE ANGELIDIS TO ONE-YEAR CONTRACT
TAMPA BAY - The Tampa Bay Lightning have re-signed forward Mike Angelidis to a one-year, two-way contract today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.
Angelidis, 30, skated in three games with Tampa Bay last season, recording 12 penalty minutes. He also played in 64 games for the Syracuse Crunch in 2014-15, recording 20 goals and 38 points while serving as the team's captain. Angelidis ranked third on the Crunch for both goals and points, while leading the team with 138 penalty minutes. He has been captain of the Crunch since the beginning of the 2012-13 season.
The Woodbridge, Ontario native has skated in 10 career NHL games, all with the Lightning, posting one goal and 17 penalty minutes. Angelidis scored his first career NHL goal in his debut on January 24, 2012 against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Amalie Arena.
The Woodbridge, Ontario native has played in 579 career AHL games with the Norfolk Admirals, Albany River Rats and the Crunch, collecting 119 goals and 245 points, to go along with 1,217 penalty minutes. In 2012 he was a member of the Admirals team that captured the Calder Cup Championship as the Lightning's top affiliate, skating in 18 games and recording a goal and six points. Angelidis has played in 61 total Calder Cup Playoff games, notching five goals and 21 points.
Angelidis will need to clear waivers in the fall to come back to Syracuse, but as any NHL team who claims him will need to have an immediate spot for him at the NHL level, hopefully that won't be a concern.
AHL fans gets used to roster turnover, as it's a fact of life in the league. Players just don't usually stick around for long, both by necessity and by design. But once in a while, fans get lucky. They get to experience having a character guy who is important enough to the organization to be re-signed for multiple seasons. Crunch fans are not only lucky in that area, but they hit the jackpot with Angelidis. It's not possible to overstate how important his return to Syracuse will be for the upcoming season.
By re-signing him, Tampa has gained both a depth player who is familiar with nearly every guy in the organization and a player who is as solid of a leader as they can hope to get for their farm team. There really isn't a doubt that Angelidis will be named captain in Syracuse again for the fourth year running. It's a position he's earned and a position he deserves. Fans and players alike have to be thrilled to have him back.