The Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning have partnered with the Florida Panthers to offer use of its American Hockey League affiliate Syracuse Crunch for the 2020-21 season.
Lightning General Manager Julien BriseBois and Panthers General Manager Bill Zito jointly announced the plan Wednesday.
It’s a solution to problems created when the Charlotte Checkers, Florida’s AHL affiliate, opted out of the season following safety and logistical concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As part of the partnership, the Panthers will be able to assign players to the Crunch to train, practice and play. The Crunch coaching and support staff will remain intact, led by head coach Ben Groulx.