The Tampa Bay Lightning announce a three-year partnership extension with the Lyon Hockey Club of the French Magnus League.
The key to any successful team, in addition to talented players and a skilled coaching staff, is a team’s developmental system. Thanks to people like Tampa Bay Lightning Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman, the Lightning have one of the best developmental systems in the National Hockey League.
Of course, there are only so many spots on the Lightning’s main roster and there are plenty of talented players ready to fight for their spot. Where does this leave the remainder of the players? On one of the Tampa Bay Lightning’s many affiliates.
When someone mentions a Tampa Bay Lightning affiliate, the team that usually comes to mind first is the Lightning’s American Hockey League affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch. Some of the most talented players on the Lightning’s main roster right now got their start at the War Memorial Arena in Syracuse.
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What some people don’t know is the Lightning have many affiliates in a number of leagues. For example, the Tampa Bay Lightning used to be paired up with the Florida Everblades of the ECHL.
Unfortunately, the Lightning were forced to end their partnership with the Everblades when a new policy that stated an ECHL team could only have one NHL affiliate. Now, the Tampa Bay Lightning find themselves aligned with the Kalamazoo Wings.
It just so happens the Lightning have a lesser known affiliate a little further away from home. This well-traveled affiliate is the Lyon Hockey Club of the French Magnus League in Lyon, France. It seems the Lightning have a pretty healthy relationship with their brother abroad.
On Thursday morning, the Tampa Bay Lightning announced they have signed a three-year extension with the Lyon Hockey Club which will see the Bolts through to the 2018-19 season. Just what does this mean for the Tampa Bay Lightning? Nothing directly, but it means a heck of a lot for the Syracuse Crunch.
The extension keeps the door open for the Syracuse Crunch to hold training camp in Lyon as well as play some of their preseason games. Sometimes it’s nice to break away from what has become normal and flex your muscles somewhere new.
As we’ve mentioned plenty of times before, the Tampa Bay Lightning have one of the best, if not the best developmental system in the National Hockey League. For the Lightning to extend their agreement with the Lyon Hockey Club for three more years means the Bolts see something special in them. We can’t wait to see how this extended agreement benefits all facets of the Lightning moving forward.