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33 minutes | Jun 9, 2021
Syracuse Speaks: Looming Questions for 2021-22
In this episode, recorded June 8th, 2021, Alex begins to break down Syracuse's potential roster for the 2021-22 season. With NHL Free Agency scheduled for July 28th, she looks at the big questions for the Crunch through the lens of the unrestricted free agents (UFAs) and restricted free agents (RFAS) of the Lightning organization. Of those questions, Alex figures the biggest are those concerning current captain and upcoming UFA Luke Witkowski, and RFA forwards Taylor Raddysh, Boris Katchouk, Alex Barre-Boulet, and Ross Colton. For Witkowski, the question is multi-faceted, and concerns both his playing career, style, fit, and the potential captaincy vacancy that would open up with his departure. For the four forwards, the question is not whether they'll be qualified - that's pretty much guaranteed - but rather where they'll slate into the organizational depth chart and what kind of holes those decisions could leave in Syracuse. Alex ponders all of this and more, along with other questions concerning the goalies and the upcoming expansion draft. For her second segment, Alex brings back her Jersey Series. This time, she reaches for a very timely pick: Gabriel Dumont's jersey from the 2017 Calder Cup finals. The jersey was worn in game one of the Crunch's series against Grand Rapids, played on June 2nd, 2017. She reminisces about how Dumont grabbed her attention - something she also discussed recently with team photographer Scott Thomas - and also how that entire Crunch team really encapsulated the best of what the AHL has to offer its fans.
26 minutes | May 27, 2021
Syracuse Speaks: 2020-21, We Hardly Knew Ye
In this episode, recorded May 25th and 26th, 2021, Alex starts off by taking a look back at the 2020-21 regular AHL season. She recaps the major storylines that impacted the team - storylines that didn't actually involve COVID-19 that much, surprisingly - and marvels at how similar to a normal-sized season it all turned out to be. She covers the emergence of the Taylor Raddysh - Otto Somppi - Boris Katchouk line, and the the successes of defensemen Devante Stephens and Sean Day. She discusses the team's success against their divisional rivals, and looks back at it all with her ol' Rose Colored Glasses on, something that's easy to do with it all in the (figurative) review mirror. Alex then goes on to give a recap of the May 26th, 2021 Facebook Live talk with Crunch owner Howard Dolgon. She picks out some highlights including Dolgon's best guesses for getting fans back into the Onondaga County War Memorial and the team's plans for 2021-22, including a tidbit about a potential Opening Night date.
43 minutes | May 12, 2021
Syracuse Speaks: The Man Behind the Camera
In this episode, recorded May 6th and May 12th, 2021, Alex welcomes photographer Scott Thomas to the podcast. Scott has been shooting the Crunch since 2012, but has a long history of taking photos at various sporting events. Since starting with the organization, Scott has been all around the AHL, shooting Crunch games at multiple arenas. He's also been to several big events with the team, including games in Washington D.C. and Ottawa, and has also made a few trips to Tampa to shoot the Lightning. Scott clearly brings his fandom, passion, and expertise to every shot he takes. Throughout this episode, Alex and Scott cover the photographer's decade-long experience taking pictures of Crunch games. They discuss how things have changed over the years for sports photographers, and how the advent of Ephesus Sports Lighting has changed the game when it comes to taking and editing photos. Alex enthuses over her favorite series of photos Scott has taken, a set of pictures during and after former Crunch forward Gabriel Dumont's overtime goal during game four of the first round of the 2017 Calder Cup playoffs. In a conversation not to be missed, Scott takes the listeners through the process of getting shots during such an adrenaline-filled situation. Other topics covered include stories about Crunch captain Luke Witkowski, and talk of organizational players Ross Colton, Yanni Gourde, and Daniel Walcott. Alex and Scott discuss the importance of the AHL when it comes to developing talent, both on the ice and in the broadcasting booth/front office, and how the current circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic has changed how it all works
28 minutes | Apr 28, 2021
Syracuse Speaks: Makin' It Work
In this episode, recorded April 27th and 28th, 2021, Alex ends up having to preempt her own episode when news breaks right before she had the chance to put the episode together. In a flurry a moves, the Florida Panthers rather dramatically changed the look of Syracuse's roster by recalling defenseman Brady Keeper and goaltender Sam Montembeault to their taxi squad. In a corresponding move, Florida also sent goalie Ryan Bednard from ECHL Greenville to Syracuse. With Spencer Martin still with the Crunch, Alex isn't really worried, but there's no doubt the sudden recall right before gametime came as a bit of a surprise. Getting back into the flow of things, Alex discusses the Crunch's newest social event, a hybrid happening with both virtual and in-person elements scheduled for May 4th. She also mentions the recalls of Grigori Denisenko and Aleksi Heponiemi to Florida, and the call-up of forward Nikita Pavlychev to Syracuse, before celebrating the reigning AHL Players of the Week: Taylor Raddysh (for the period ending April 18, 2021) and Boris Katchouk (for the period ending April 25, 2021). The excitement around those players - and linemate Otto Somppi - is palpable amongst the fan base and the coaching staff, and she makes the case that their achievements during this rather unique season can't be understated. Alex also discusses Syracuse owner Howard Dolgon's most recent optimistic statement about next season. In the final part of this week's episode, Alex previews Syracuse's April 28th game against Utica. She takes a look at the standings, glances back at their past few games, and then looks forward at the rest of Syracuse's season (Hint: So. Many. Comets). She also weighs the Crunch's scorers against the rest of the AHL in terms of points, and finds out something kind of surprising: Syracuse is really making the Eastern Conference proud.
32 minutes | Apr 14, 2021
Syracuse Speaks: Mid-season Check In
In this episode, recorded April 13th and 14th, 2021, Alex begins the podcast by discussing the most recent Crunch news and notes, including Syracuse owner Howard Dolgon's affirmation that the Crunch will not be participating in the AHL's 2021 postseason. She takes a look at how COVID has - and is - affecting the team and its schedule. She then dissects Syracuse's most recent game vs. divisional rival Utica on April 13th. She discusses the Crunch's rough roster situation, including missing captain Luke Witkowski and forwards Alex Barre-Boulet and Daniel Walcott. She mentions players who could arrive to help Syracuse out as the team enters their final half of the season, like defenseman Ben Thomas, who is on the taxi squad; newly-signed college forward Cole Koepke; and recently-assigned defenseman Andreas Borgman. The team's upcoming schedule is also covered, and Alex insists that although the playoffs are no longer a consideration, Syracuse is still playing for one big thing: Pride.
44 minutes | Mar 24, 2021
Syracuse Speaks: Table Talk with Hardev Lad
In this episode, recorded March 18th and 23rd, 2021, Alex welcomes writer Hardev Lad onto the podcast. Hardev is the current Crunch contributor for Raw Charge, a SB Nation blog that covers the Tampa Bay Lightning organization. Raw Charge has reported on the Crunch since 2012-13, when Alex herself was their main Syracuse contributor, and has featured continuous coverage of the team since that season. Hardev is very experienced in covering the AHL, and his insights into the team are invaluable for anyone looking for a fuller picture of how Syracuse is doing this season. In this episode, Alex and Hardev cover the following: Hardev's background in AHL coverage and his high comfort level in covering the Crunch for Raw Charge; Hardev's overall impression of Syracuse so far this season, including his positives, negatives, and his MVP up to this point; the differences in play being seen with Syracuse now that the roster is starting to look a bit more full; Hardev's assessment of players like Otto Somppi, Daniel Walcott, Spencer Martin, and Sam Montembeault; which player Harvev and Alex would steal from the Florida Panthers organization if they could. Syracuse Speaks is hosted on Anchor, but is distributed to many of the major podcast platforms including Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Breaker, Overcast, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, Spotify, and Stitcher. The royalty-free music featured in this episode was by Purple Planet Music and Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License. Thanks for listening!
44 minutes | Mar 11, 2021
Syracuse Speaks: A Little Bit of Everything with Patrick Williams
In this episode, recorded March 9th, 2021, Alex spends the time conversing with Patrick Williams. Patrick has been covering the American Hockey League for many years, and is just about one of the most knowledgeable people when it comes to the league. Alex and Patrick cover a lot of ground throughout the course of their 45-minute conversation, including a spin around the AHL as a whole, COVID protocols and team frustrations, zeroing in on the Crunch's inconsistencies specifically, and, lastly, the announcement from the Tampa Bay Lightning that they have re-signed Crunch forward Daniel Walcott to a new two-year contract. Thanks for listening! The royalty-free music featured in this episode was by Purple Planet Music and Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License.
43 minutes | Feb 24, 2021
Syracuse Speaks: Real Talk with Jim Sarosy
In this episode, recorded Monday, February 22nd and Tuesday, February 23rd, Alex starts off with a little housekeeping. She covers the complications that are contributing to the team's current 1-3-1 record: the recalls of Ross Colton, Alex Barre-Boulet, and Riley Stillman; the injuries to Daniel Walcott, Henry Bowlby, and Aleksi Heponiemi; the complications of joining the players from two NHL organizations (the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Florida Panthers). She then briefly discusses Syracuse's game versus Rochester, originally scheduled for February 24th, that was rescheduled for March 1st because of an "abundance of caution due to COVID-19 protocols." She stresses that there has been no positive test result, and talks about her lack of desire to speculate over what is going on. She then welcomes Crunch Chief Operating Officer Jim Sarosy to the podcast. Throughout the personal, in-depth conversation, Alex and Jim cover a wide variety of topics, including: What the joys and the struggles of the past 11 months have been like for an AHL front office The moment the league's pause in March 2020 became real for Jim and those in the organization The full impact of the Lightning's support and partnership throughout everything that has happened What the plans for the future might involve, including how the team is aiming to reach out to fans and sponsors How Jim really feels about getting an office pet for the Crunch's staff and crew (hint: it's good news!) Although the past 11 months have been incredibly challenging for Jim and the Crunch, there's much to celebrate as Jim made sure to emphasize: "I'm beaming with pride on what we were able to do with a smaller group to be able to have this return to play come true."
30 minutes | Feb 11, 2021
Syracuse Speaks: An Emotional Return
In this episode, recorded February 9th and 10, 2021, Alex discuses the Crunch's return to regularly season AHL action this past week. In the first part of the episode, she breaks down some of the highlights of Syracuse's win over the Utica Comets from February 6th, including: The surprise emotional impact of having hockey back; Gabriel Fortier's first - and second - pro goal; Samuel Montembeault's excellent play; the team's cohesion. In section two of the episode, she briefly discusses the news that New York State will now be allowing a small percentage of people into arenas and venues, although she doubts this new will change the Crunch's plans much. She then goes on to ponder the team's upcoming schedule, including a game that was in progress at the time of recording: The Crunch's Wednesday game in Rochester. With fingers crossed for no COVID protocol news over the next few days, she offers discourse on the strangeness of discussing divisional standings when nothing about the season is normal.
49 minutes | Jan 27, 2021
Syracuse Speaks: Chatting with Patrick Williams
In this episode, recorded January 26th, 2021, Alex does some housekeeping before welcoming guest Patrick Williams! Patrick writes for the NHL.com and has various other projects in the works, including his Around the A podcast. Throughout the course of the episode, Alex and Patrick discuss anything and everything about the "new normal" in the AHL and how it's affecting teams like Syracuse.
37 minutes | Jan 13, 2021
Syracuse Speaks: The Crunch are Back!
In this episode, recorded January 12th and 13th, 2021, Alex starts by celebrating the return of the podcast from holiday break. She then breaks down the latest Crunch news, starting with the biggest and most obvious: Crunch hockey is back, and, boy, is it weird! Throughout the podcast, Alex dives into the following: Syracuse's new AHL division and the three teams the Crunch will reportedly be playing during their 36-game season: the Rochester Americans, the Utica Comets, and the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins What the Crunch is doing for their season ticket holders and fans in lieu of being able to have fans attend games in person Player moves from the Tampa Bay Lightning, including presumed Syracuse captain Luke Witkowski, familiar faces like Boris Katchouk and Taylor Raddysh, and AHL scoring powerhouse Alex Barre-Boulet The Crunch's dual affiliation with the Florida Panthers and the players that Florida has assigned to the team, including 2018 first-round pick Grigori Denisenko and veteran forward Scott Wilson Alex ends the podcast by answering a question from Twitter (thanks, Deana!): Which team does she see being the Crunch's biggest competition this season? Spoiler alert: Considering the three teams Syracuse is going to be playing, the answer is not exactly a surprise...though a lack of live fans may take some bite out of things.
19 minutes | Nov 18, 2020
Syracuse Speaks: Andy Andreoff's Hockey Fights Cancer Jersey
In this episode, recorded November 17th, 2020, Alex spends some time briefly hyping up her latest article for The Sin Bin, a gift guide to the Crunch's garage sale. If you missed it, please go check it out, and maybe check off some gifts for your loved ones in the process! She then goes on to discuss the next jersey in her game-worn jersey collection. This jersey, worn by former Syracuse forward Andy Andreoff during the 2018-19 season, is a favorite of Alex's for a few reasons: 1. It's gorgeous. 2. It was part of Syracuse's first game-worn jersey collection for Hockey Fights Cancer. 3. It was worn by Andreoff, who was a huge part of the Crunch's success during the 2018-19 season. The jersey, won thanks mostly to Alex's best friend (thanks again, Chuk!), played a part in a night that honored cancer survivors and those who have been lost to it. Alex finishes the podcast by expressing seasonally-appropriate gratitude to her listeners. As always, thanks so much for listening!
33 minutes | Nov 4, 2020
Syracuse Speaks: AHL's Return to Play and Karl Goehring's Jersey
In this episode, recorded November 3rd and 4th, 2020, Alex begins by discussing the AHL's new return to play date of February 5th, 2021. She covers the potential obstacles to this date, the specific complications Syracuse faces, and the reaction of Crunch owner Howard Dolgon to the new date. Dolgon, who had originally expressed doubts as to whether the Crunch could play without fans in the stands, has since changed his tune and has stated that his team will be ready to play whenever the AHL is. Speculation about this sudden change mostly points to the Tampa Bay Lightning pitching in to help the independently-owned team get their season going even without revenue from the fans. Alex then continues her Jersey Series with a jersey of a player she has followed since the beginning of her time as a Crunch fan: Karl Goehring. Goehring, who played the better part of five season with Syracuse and who coached the team for three, has been a favorite of Alex's since she first started watching hockey and the team in 2004. The jersey she has of his is from the 2007-08 Crunch season, and it is one of the most beloved in her collection.
33 minutes | Oct 21, 2020
Syracuse Speaks: NHL Free Agency 2020 and Jeff Szwez's Jersey
On this episode, recorded October 20 and 21, 2020, Alex starts off by recounting the Lightning organization's free agency so far, including: What's going on with the Lightning's RFAs: Ross Colton, Ben Thomas, Mitchell Stephens, Gemel Smith, Alex Volkov, Dominik Masin, and Mathieu Joseph The AHL/ECHL goalie roster: Newly-signed Chris Gibson, returnee Spencer Martin, and ECHL'er Clint Windsor "The New Cameron Gaunce": Defenseman Andreas Borgman She then goes into the continuation of her Jersey Series. This time, she delves into the fan she used to be back when she first started watching the Crunch by discussing Jeff Szwez. Szwez, a forward who was a bit of a fighter in his days with Syracuse, was the name on the back of the very first game worn jersey Alex was able to collect. Her memories of Szwez - and other fighters who have made their way through Syracuse throughout the years - conflict with the fan she is now, a fan who struggles with the physical and mental cost hockey enforcers pay to entertain their fans.
39 minutes | Oct 7, 2020
Syracuse Speaks: NHL Draft, Player Signings, Matt Taormina's Jersey
On this episode, recorded October 7th, 2020, Alex actually has news to discuss! Over the course of the podcast, she covers the following topics: some of the Tampa Bay Lightning's 2020 NHL Draft picks: Jack Finley, Gage Goncalves, Maxim Groshev, Eamon Powell, Jaydon Dureau, and Nick Capone the signing of two of the organization's restricted free agents: Mitchell Stephens and Gemel Smith the NHLPA's decision to target January 1st, 2021 for the start of the 2020-21 NHL season, and what that might mean for the AHL the continuation of her Jersey Series with a 2013 Calder Cup finals jersey worn by defenseman Matt Taormina
19 minutes | Sep 23, 2020
Syracuse Speaks: The Jersey Series - Mark Rycroft
On this episode, recorded September 23rd, 2020, Alex discusses the next jersey in her collection: a St. Patrick's Day jersey worn by forward Mark Rycroft during the 2007-2008 Crunch season. A bit of context: On March 16th, 2008, the Crunch would don St. Patrick's Day jerseys and would claw to an overtime victory against in-state rivals Binghamton, winning in overtime 4-3. At the time, fans were excited by the continuation of what was a mini-winning streak, one that stood at three after the victory over the B-Sens. That winning streak would go on to end up in Syracuse's record books, finally ending with the culmination of the regular AHL season on April 13th, 15 games after the streak had started. That series of games in March, a series that started on March 8th and included the game with the St. Patrick's Day jerseys, was the beginning of a special time for many Crunch fans, including Alex. This jersey in her collection is a bit more than just one that belongs to a former player.
31 minutes | Sep 16, 2020
Syracuse Speaks: The Jersey Series - Mike Angelidis
On this episode, recorded September 15th, 2020, Alex starts off by examining the case of the EIHL, otherwise known as the Elite Hockey League over in the UK. The EIHL recently made the decision to suspend their 2020-21 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Alex mades direct comparisons between their league and the AHL, using the Cardiff Devils and their press release as her focal point. Unfortunately, the EIHL's decision does not give Alex confidence in the AHL being able to start their own season in December. She then goes on to discuss the next two jerseys in her collection, both belonging to former Crunch captain Mike Angelidis. She discusses Angelidis' impact on both the Crunch organization and the city of Syracuse itself. She also dives into her own memories of the captain and the impact he had on her as a fan.
39 minutes | Aug 26, 2020
Syracuse Speaks: The Jersey Series - Dan Smith
On this episode, recorded August 25, 2020, Alex starts a new series for her podcast that will discuss her collection of game worn jerseys. She kicks it off with her memories of former Syracuse Crunch captain Dan Smith, a defenseman who played for the team from 2007-2009 when the Crunch was affiliated with the Columbus Blue Jackets. This episode takes the listener through her decade-old bond with him. The inspiration to publish this particular tale was based on her newest jersey acquisition, which Smith offered to sign for her. Posting a picture of the jersey on social media prompted her realization that many of her listeners weren't fans of the team when he played there. She felt his story - and the team history in his jersey and the others in her collection - deserve to be shared. The royalty-free music featured in this episode was by Purple Planet Music and Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License. Thanks for listening!
28 minutes | Aug 12, 2020
Syracuse Speaks: In summary...
On this episode, recorded August 10, 2020, Alexandra takes a figurative spin around the news surrounding the AHL, it's potential return for the 2020-21 season, and what specifically that return might look like in Syracuse. She attempts to bring some certainty to the following questions: Why is it too soon to assume the AHL will actually start on December 4th, 2020? What obstacles are potentially in the way of the league opening? What's going on with the 2021 AHL All-Star event? How does she feel about a potential scheduling shift in future AHL seasons? What might things look like in Syracuse when/if the AHL returns? What kind of player is (hopefully) on the Tampa Bay Lightning's shopping list for the Crunch this upcoming season? What is going on with: Dominik Masin? Cory Conacher? Daniel Walcott? The royalty-free music featured in this episode was by Purple Planet Music and Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License.
26 minutes | Jul 15, 2020
Syracuse Speaks Episode #30: The Black Aces from the Syracuse Crunch
On this episode, recorded July 13, 2020, Alexandra starts off with some housekeeping as she discusses her move to The Sin Bin and what she imagines her coverage will look like going forward. She then dives into what's going on with Syracuse Crunch and its organization: -She covers what is known about the team's roster for next season, including where the Lightning has their work cut out for them down on the farm (Hint: dear lord, the net is empty again, and that blue line? Omph...) -She briefly covers potential holes in the Tampa Bay Lightning's roster, and ponders who from Syracuse might fill them -She discusses the Black Aces, players who have been called up from Syracuse to the Lightning for their Phase 3 training camp, including 2020 AHL All-Star Alex Barre-Boulet and Crunch captain Luke Witkowski Syracuse Speaks is hosted on Anchor, but is distributed to many of the major podcast platforms including Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Breaker, Overcast, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, Spotify, and Stitcher. The royalty-free music featured in this episode was by Purple Planet Music and Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License.
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