SYRACUSE, N.Y. - With a little more than two weeks to go until the Syracuse Crunch's training camp begins, the ice rink is set up at the War Memorial and the construction on several renovated and new facilities is nearly complete.
Along with getting a new parent club during the offseason, Tampa Bay, the Crunch will have new lighting in the arena, a renovated locker room, a new weight room, new lounges, and new offices for the coaches.
There will also be a new roster due to the affiliation change, but it is not yet complete due to the possibility of an NHL lockout, which would result in some extra players being sent down to the Crunch. The NHL owners and players have until Saturday night to avoid a work stoppage, but while it would be a worst-case scenario at the NHL level the AHL would stand to benefit from increased attention and attendance as it would become the top level of professional hockey being played in North America.
The Crunch are scheduled to begin their training camp on Oct. 1 but an NHL lockout would move that date to Sept. 28. Syracuse begins its regular season Oct. 12 at Rochester and plays its home-opener Oct. 13 against Hershey.