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Lightning Round: Syracuse Crunch head coach Benoit Groulx wins 200th game with the team

And some light money laundering in Arizona

Syracuse Crunch Head Coach Benoit Groulx on the bench against the Utica Comets in American Hockey League (AHL) action in the Adirondack Bank Center at the Utica Memorial Auditorium in Utica, New York on Wednesday, October 16, 2019. Utica won 6-2.
Credit: Scott Thomas

Syracuse Crunch head coach Benoit Groulx won his 200th career game with the team in a 6-2 win over the Belleville Senators. Groulx has coached in 525 games over eight seasons between the Crunch and Rochester Americans (2008-10) and has 273 career wins at the AHL level.

Through six seasons with the Crunch — half of which shortened by the pandemic — Groulx has coached the team to a Calder Cup finals while heading up one of the industry-leading player development pipelines for the Tampa Bay Lightning. The likes of Erik Cernak, Anthony Cirelli, Carter Verhaeghe, Mathieu Joseph, Ross Colton, Alex Barre-Boulet, Taylor Raddysh, Boris Katchouk, and many more have all graduated from his team into the NHL. Many showed big improvements from their junior expectations, like BB and Colton.

Throughout his entire career, I’ve known Groulx to be an extremely compassionate, thoughtful, and supportive coach. You see it in his interactions with the media (myself included), how he talks about his players/staff, and how he’s always trying to build him up. We’ve had many moments where Groulx has interviewed (or potentially interviewed) with NHL clubs, and while we will be extremely happy for him when his time in this organization does end, it will be a massive blow to the Crunch and the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Here are some behind the scenes from the NHL All-Star weekend with Steven and Carter Stamkos.

Around the NHL, wait for Nathan MacKinnon to get dinged hard for his two-hand swipe at a linesman in yesterday’s game over a face-off. Not acceptable in any form or for any reason, if you ask me.

Interesting news out of Arizona as they got the Maple Leafs to pay for one of their players to stay in Arizona. Carter Hutton, a goalie, was traded to Toronto, but will be loaned back to them through the AHL. Hutton is injured, and after getting waived would’ve made $750k in the AHL — aka too much for that franchise (Tucson’s highest paid player makes $225k). So Toronto is footing the bill and Hutton will get to stay in Arizona with his family. When Toronto decides to bring him back, time will tell. I doubt he’ll have to leave Arizona until the playoffs unless there are massive goalie injuries.

Unrelenting accused wife-beater Bobby Hull, who has also allegedly held some indefensible racist opinions, has been removed as ambassador for Chicago. How he was given the position in the first place is something we’ve covered in our “around the league” section many times in the past.