The search for a new American Hockey League affiliate could close in Syracuse for the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Currently, Norfolk and Tampa Bay are in their final year of a five-year deal.Lightning General Manager Steve Yzerman is looking to make those lengthy bus rides for road games more abbreviated.
The Syracuse Crunch recently exercised the option to end their current deal with the Anaheim Ducks. The Anaheim/Syracuse partnership is currently in its second season, and they have failed to make the playoffs during that time.
If Tampa Bay and Syracuse strike a deal, the Crunch would become the Lightning’s ninth affiliate in their relatively-short franchise history.
Previous Affiliations: Atlanta Knights(1992-96 IHL), Adirondack Red Wings (1996-98 AHL), Cleveland Lumberjacks (1998-99 IHL), Detroit Vipers (1999-01 IHL), Springfield Falcons (2001-03; 2004-07 AHL), Hamilton Bulldogs/Hershey Bears (2003-04 AHL), Norfolk Admirals (2007-2012 AHL)
Regarding when a decision will be made, “We will likely wait until the end of the season.” Yzerman said.