Season ticket renewal time for the Syracuse Crunch has come, and from the chatter on Twitter and in person, it isn't being received positively.
Now, to be fair, part of this is the Crunch's own fault. Team owner Howard Dolgon's preferences towards "big events" instead of improving fan-organization relations with worth-while giveaways and season ticket holder benefits is slowly chipping away at the team's most valuable supporters. However, the hesitation of current season ticket holders to even put down $50 to save their seat is also coming from a visible lack of anything more than mediocrity on the ice. It's also coming from the Lightning's reluctance to address organizational depth in the face of call ups and injuries and the concerns many have about the organization's overall ability to win at the AHL level.
I think our effort has been there, especially in the last month. I think we've really dug deep within ourselves for the most part to try to give ourselves a chance of winning games. I think we just need to keep learning. Players are here to learn and get better. We have a fabulous coaching staff. We have a great leadership group. And I've seen progression from the start of the year to this point. I expect to continue to see progression, have us play more and more games where we're going to find ways to win instead of finding ways to lose.
In reaction, fans laughed incredulously at BriseBois and wondered if he was watching the same team they were. They marveled at his ability to praise a group of guys who have been visually struggling to keep their heads above water almost all season.
And how has the Crunch itself responded to such high praise?
They haven't won a game since and are currently riding an eight-game losing streak.
This week's compliment(s):
Sometimes, one of the only things hockey fans can grab onto is just simply liking the players on their team. However, this is hard to do when fans don't feel like they see the players in casual situations or get to read articles that talk about their personalities or stories. For instance (in what admittedly seems like another universe), Crunch fans fell in love with that 2012-2013 team not just because of how talented they were or how far they went, but because we got to know Radko Gudas and his beard and Eric Neilson and his "woooo!"
While the Crunch were on the road this past week, the team put their official Snapchat into the hands of Syracuse defenseman Luke Witkowski. The Crunch traveled to Toronto by bus last Sunday, flew up to St. John's Monday where they played two games Tuesday and Wednesday, and then flew into Ottawa Thursday, where they played a game against Binghamton in their parent club's arena. Witkowski snapped team moments in airports, on buses,during practice, out to eat, and doing some sightseeing, giving fans a better feel for who these guys really are.
Some fans connected the amount of site seeing and free time the guys on the team got while on the road with the way the team played during the trip (three losses, one overtime point, no wins), but it was those same fans who have talked about how these guys play like strangers who are just in it for themselves. The team can't get to know each other without spending time together, and the fans can't get to know the team if some of those moments aren't captured somehow. It was a smart move for the organization and a good step to connecting better with its fans, something that is desperately needed right now.
Other transactions, player, and organizational news:
-The Crunch are again participating in a Change for Change initiative this season, and are hoping to raise even more than last season with an extended campaign. Change for Change is an initiative created by Crunch Captain Mike Angelidis and his teammates that aims to raise money for pediatric cancer research at Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital and help improve the odds for children with cancer. All TampaCuse fans can help out by donating through their Go Fund Me page.
-Syracuse re-signed forward Andrew Yogan (C) to another professional tryout contract, his second so far with the Crunch this season.
-Syracuse recalled defenseman Charlie Dodero from Greenville of the ECHL last week.
-Syracuse dressed Crunch defenseman Daniel Walcott as a forward (again) this past week.
-Crunch defenseman Anthony DeAngelo was healthy scratched due to a coach's decision for all three of the Crunch's games last week. DeAngelo has been a healthy scratch 6 times this season overall.
Syracuse Crunch media highlights:
The Crunch's SoundCloudhas been updated with broadcasts and player interviews from the past week.