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Benoit Groulx announced as head coach of Syracuse Crunch

It's been a long two years for Crunch fans. Are brighter times ahead?

Vaughn Ridley, Getty Images

Crunch fans have clamored over the past two seasons for the release of once head coach Rob Zettler and today, they got their wish. The 48 year old former NHL defenseman, had taken over full-time coaching duties in Syracuse after then-head coach Jon Cooper got the call to take over as the front-man in Tampa Bay. The 2013-14 season marked the first full year of Zettler as the guy behind the Crunch bench. Since then, he has lead the Crunch to an overall record of 104-86-25. Over the course of the past three seasons, the Crunch have reached the playoffs only once and were swept by the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins.

It's been reported by Lindsay Kramer of the Syracuse Post Standard that Zettler has been offered a different job within the organization.

Replacing Zettler will be hockey journeyman Benoit Groulx. Groulx played professionally for 11 years in France and Belgium before hanging up his skates in 2000 and accepting an assistant coaching job with the Shawinigan Cataractes of the QMJHL. He took a head coaching job the next season for the Hull Olympiques (now known as Gatineau Olympiques) a position he filled for six years before trying his hand in the AHL. Groulx coached the Rochester Americans and took them to the playoffs once where they were eliminated in the first round. After his stint in the AHL, he returned to the Gatineau Olympiques where he has served as the General Manager and head coach ever since.

In his 14 seasons as a head coach he has won three championships and has only missed the playoffs once. During his coaching career, he has worked with prominent NHL players such as Claude Giroux, David Krejci, Max Talbot, and Jason Garrison.

I think I speak for all of the Crunch faithful when I say we are ready for playoff hockey to return to the War Memorial. Benoit Groulx has an extensive track record of not only making it to the playoffs but making deep runs into the post-season and winning. This is the first step in what is bound to be an exciting summer.