Tampa Bay Lightning: Former Crunch Captain Mike Angelidis Finds New Home

Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /

The former captain of the Tampa Bay Lightning’s AHL affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch, has signed with a new team in hopes of finding a new path to the NHL.

The off-season in hockey can be hard for some and while it allows for players to rest and recover, many continue to train throughout the summer and a few are even moved to a different team in a different city. For the former captain of the Syracuse Crunch, Mike Angelidis, it’s been a matter of finding another way to finally earn a spot in the NHL long-term.

Angelidis has spent most of his career in the AHL and has seldom been called up, especially during his time with the Tampa Bay Lightning‘s affiliate in Syracuse. Originally undrafted, the long-time AHL veteran was signed by the Lightning in 2010 and he joined its AHL affiliate at the time, the Norfolk Admirals, and played under head coach Jon Cooper, who now is with the Lightning, of course.

The 31-year-old forward was a member of the 2012 Calder Cup winning team in Norfolk and he recorded 27 points in 54 games that season as well as playing in 6 games with the Tampa Bay Lightning in the same season. After that, Angelidis would get called up three more times, but that would be it and he continued to play with the Crunch in the AHL.

Tampa Bay Lightning
Tampa Bay Lightning /

Tampa Bay Lightning

This past season, he played in four games with the Lightning and recorded one goal and five penalty minutes. However, that was the final time he played with the team during the regular season. Angelidis was assigned back to the Crunch, which failed to make the playoffs.

When the off-season rolled around, the Lightning declined to give the Unrestricted Free Agent a qualifying offer and that was when he began his search for a spot on another team. Fast forward to now and the veteran forward signed a contract with the Calgary Flames‘ AHL affiliate, the Stockton Heat, on Monday.

It’s a long way from Syracuse and his hometown of Toronto, but Angelidis decided that this was his best option and it might ultimately lead to some more playing time in the NHL. Though he signed an AHL-only deal, which doesn’t contain any NHL components, he hopes that if he plays well, the Flames organization will switch him to an NHL deal.

Since Angelidis will now be playing in the Western Conference, it’s unlikely that he’ll play against the Crunch unless the two teams meet in the Calder Cup Finals. Otherwise, fans will have to travel quite a bit to see him play.

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As we move closer to the regular season in both leagues, we wish all the best to Mike and his family as they transition into living in a new city and playing on a new team. Hopefully, after putting in all his hard work, he’ll finally earn a permanent spot on an NHL roster. It’s been a pleasure to have such a great person play in the Tampa Bay Lightning organization.