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Quick Strikes: Syracuse Crunch preview War Memorial suites

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Syracuse Crunch players congratulate Erik Condra (11) for his goal against the Laval Rocket in American Hockey League (AHL) action at the War Memorial Arena in Syracuse, New York on Saturday, March 3, 2018. Laval won 5-4 in OT.
Scott Thomas Photography

The Bolts

It’s the off season for the Tampa Bay Lighting, so let the speculation begin! [Raw Charge]

Tampa Bay needs some new blood in the locker room. Perhaps the staleness of the club, which I thought had vanished this season, reared its ugly head again. The UFA class isn’t amazing, but there are various options that Yzerman could explore including wingers David Perron, James Neal, Thomas Vanek, and Michael Grabner. Perron, Neal, and Vanek all performed great last season, although out of those three players, I’d only feel safe penciling Neal in for a top-six spot.

The Prospects

There’s a lot of work that’s going to be going on at the home of the Syracuse Crunch this summer as the Onondaga County War Memorial gets a much-needed face-lift. One of the biggest elements are luxury suites that will drastically change the look of the ol’ barn. Those suites were previewed Tuesday. [Syracuse.com]

The suites can be used for multiple events at the arena. The two larger ones suites will hold about 20-22 fans apiece each and four smaller ones can hold about 17-18 each.

The suites are part of an arena overall that is also expected to include a new scoreboard, renovated bathrooms and improved concession areas. Most of the work is expected to be finished for a Thomas Rhett concert on Sept. 21. All of it will be done in time for the first Crunch game in October.

Shane Conacher, younger brother of Cory Conacher and a forward that spent time with both the Syracuse Crunch and the Adirondack Thunder of the ECHL in ‘17-18, had his media day interview posted by the Thunder on Tuesday. He discussed his time with Syracuse, among other topics:

The game

If you’re interested in analytics, this is a cool article looking at when different types of penalties get called in NHL games. [Hockey Graphs]

Our analysis suggests that for infractions that involve less referee discretion, the rate with which each penalty is called is roughly similar within each period. However, for violations that involve more judgment, including holding and hooking penalties, fewer penalties are called in the third period, particularly in the last few minutes of the game.

A few weeks ago, goalie Maxime Lagace was with the Chicago Wolves of the AHL. Now he’s got a ticket to the best seat in the house for the Stanley Cup final with the Vegas Golden Knights. [Review Journal]

“It’s different for sure,” said Lagace, who will dress for for Game 1 while Malcolm Subban continues to rehab from an undisclosed injury suffered in practice during the Western Conference Final. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me.”

The Charlotte Checkers, AHL farm club of the Carolina Hurricanes, have a bright future ahead of them. [Charlotte Observer]

Here’s a two-word preview of the Charlotte Checkers for the 2018-19 season: Pretty good.

A breakdown of all things AHL can be found in this week’s edition of the From the Press Box podcast. This week, Patrick Williams, who is an old friend of Raw Charge, joined them [AHL Report]

Finally, I’d like to hijack this post to offer a word of congratulations to former Crunch goaltender Mike McKenna. McKenna, who backstopped the Crunch to the Calder Cup final in 2017, will be returning to the championship round with his new team this season, the Texas Stars. We - well, I - couldn’t be more thrilled for him! Best of luck, Mike.