Today, the Syracuse Crunch announced that Gabriel Dumont was named the team’s 21st captain, alongside rotating Alternates Andy Andreoff, Cameron Gaunce, Michael Bournival, and Kevin Lynch. Dumont is in the third year of his contract with the Lightning (we’ll ignore his 23 games in Ottawa last season), and at 28 years old, he’s seen leadership before.
Dumont will be replacing Erik Condra, who had been captain since March 2017.
In a press release, Crunch head coach Ben Groulx said of Dumont: “We chose Dumont as captain because when we talk about identity, culture and habits, he represents all of those. He’s a great person and a good leader. He’s served as a captain before and is the example we look for in a player. Dumont is the best guy to show this young team the right way to be a professional on and off the ice.”
Drafted in the 5th round in 2009 by the Montreal Canadiens, Dumont has been a reliable bottom-six NHL forward and top-line AHL forward for nearly a decade. The high point in his NHL production came with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2016-17, when he had 2 goals/2 assists for 4 points, alongside 29 PIM in 39 games. In 22 playoff games for the Crunch that season, Dumont scored 5 goals/6 assists for 11 points and 12 PIM. Basically, he’s a sturdy and productive leader in the AHL, and does a credible job as a fourth-line grinder for the NHL.
In the Crunch press release, Dumont said, “It’s a great honor, especially following the two years I’ve been here with Erik Condra and Luke Witkowski serving as our captains. I have big shoes to fill, but I’m excited to be selected by the coaches and the team as captain going into the Crunch’s 25th season. It’s something natural to me, I try to go out there and lead by example.”
Not too long ago, our Syracuse Crunch editor Alex wondered, who will be the next Crunch Captain? She managed to nail the selection with her top choice. In her words:
My top pick for the position of captain is forward Gabriel Dumont. Dumont has been part of the Crunch’s leadership core for two full seasons already, and he’s been an alternate for both of those seasons. He was previously a captain when he was with both the St. John IceCaps and the Hamilton Bulldogs. The Crunch simply play better when he’s on the ice.
However, the one drawback could be that he’s obviously in the running for a call up should there be a need. As seen with Witkowski, being a candidate for a call up or an extended NHL stay as captain can complicate things at the AHL level. It’s obviously hoped that a team captain is present for more than just a quarter of the season, so Dumont’s bubble player status might make holding the captaincy difficult.
The Crunch are going to gamble that Dumont stays — and with the new kids in the Lightning lineup, there’s a good chance that he’ll get to.
Here are a few choice moments from his career: