5 Things Lightning Fans Should be Thankful for this Year

(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
(Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /

4. Benoit Groulx

You may not know the name and he may not get the headlines, but Benoit Groulx deserves credit for part of the Lightning’s great success. Groulx has been the head coach of the Lightning’s AHL affiliate Syracuse Crunch since the 2016-17 season. In order to have a successful NHL club, you have to not only draft well, but develop those players. Since Groulx has taken over, the Crunch have continued to churn out players who are able to contribute at the NHL level when they are ready.

Groulx deserves as much credit as anybody in the organization for the continued development of young players who are on the road to becoming NHL ready. In today’s NHL, you need to develop your own players. You cannot build a championship team through free agency or trades alone. Yanni Gourde, Carter Verhaeghe, and Ross Colton were of some of the greatest of Groulx’s products on the Lightning’s path to back-to-back cups and Groulx deserves recognition in helping develop them as players. Alex Barre-Boulett, Taylor Raddysh, and Boris Katchouk make the next wave ready to contribute right now at the NHL level after their time in Syracuse under Groulx.