The Tampa Bay Lightning has placed forward Erik Condra on waivers. If Condra clears - which is probable - he will be assigned to the Syracuse Crunch and assume the role as their captain.
Condra has been with the Lightning organization since the 2015-16 season. He’s played 67 of his 366 NHL games with Tampa. Last season, in a bit of a surprise move, Condra was put on waivers at the start of the season and assigned to Syracuse. Once there, he assumed an immediate leadership role, swallowing his pride and any negative feelings he had about the send down, and playing his heart out for his new team.
Condra did play 13 games with the Lightning last season. He was relied on when Tampa Bay needed a veteran presence, and spent a difficult few months bouncing back and forth between the two clubs. However, when it was revealed towards the end of the season that the Lightning wasn’t going to be returning then-Crunch captain Luke Witkowski (who had only played 18 games for the Crunch as captain), the decision to name a replacement captain was made.
The choice before the coaching staff was pretty clear, and on March 18th, Condra was named the new captain of the Crunch. All in all last season, Condra played 55 games in Syracuse, amassing 15 goals and 33 assists. Fans appreciated his hard work in the face of many personal challenges (for example, his family was never sure when they’d be able to see him, for instance), and his teammates were galvanized by Condra’s lead-by-example style.
Condra played in 18 Calder Cup playoff games with Syracuse, scoring 5 goals and 11 assists. Heartbreakingly, Condra sat out the final four games in the final round with a herniated disc. The problem “...severely weakened the muscles in his legs and prevented him from skating at full speed.” Condra would go on to have a successful surgery for the issue, and has been rehabbing in both Syracuse and Tampa since the start of the season.
The Crunch and its fans are certainly looking forward to having their captain back in the line up. Syracuse is a very young team that has had a rough start to the regular season. Their record currently stands at 3-6-1-2.
Condra’s energy, heart, and effort has certainly been missed on the ice. It will be good seeing him back in Syracuse.