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Lightning Round: Starting Strong in Syracuse

Syracuse Crunch Assistant Coach A.J. MacLean, Head Coach Joel Bouchard and Assistant Coach Daniel Jacob behind the bench against the Utica Comets in an American Hockey League (AHL) preseason game at the Upstate Medical University Arena in Syracuse, New York on Saturday, October 7, 2023. Syracuse won 6-3. Photo by Scott Thomas (Scott Thomas Photography)

It’s the 30th anniversary season for the Syracuse Crunch. They played their first game of the season last night, a 4-3 win over the Utica Comets in overtime, and will host the Bridgeport Islanders for their extra special home opener.

Even for those fans who don’t care very much for the Crunch and are just focused on the Lightning, there’s still a wide open job on the Lightning’s third line that wasn’t solidified even before Tyler Motte’s injury. Once Vasilevskiy gets back, there’s no space to add a big name forward, so finding someone who impressed enough to get a chance — either on waivers like Eyssimont or on the Crunch — is their only way to go. Koepke, Edmonds, Robert, Goncalves, Fortier, Usau, Groshev. We’ll see who can stand out above the rest. Currently ABB is fighting Austin Watson and Waltteri Merelä for the job.

Former Lightning prospect Adam Erne is back in the NHL after signing a one-year contract with the Edmonton Oilers. He was on a PTO with them until they could make roster space.

Want to know what people are thinking? Check out a summary of the results of the Athletic’s annual prediction contest.

This was quite a big fight that made even my brain hurt.

The Colorado Avalanche signed Devon Toews to a 7×7.25 million contract extension.

A hater’s guide to the Atlantic Division.

A wishlist for the Flyers this season.

And Daniel Alfredsson is returning to the Ottawa Senators organization after falling out with the now-deceased former owner.

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