The War Memorial was packed on Wednesday night as the Syracuse Crunch held a "Crunch Convention", an opportunity for fans to pick up their tickets and hang out with the new team. Fans and players alike went for a skate together, getting to know each other before this Saturday's home opener against Hershey. The Crunch aquired the former Norfolk Admirals when they became a Tampa Bay affiliate in the off-season, and with that acquired the Calder Cup Champions.
"it's a bit different, but it's a lot of fun," says Dustin Tokarski, "it's great to see a lot of fans out here, they're vibrant and having a good time, so it's very exciting."
" I 've heard of Syracuse being a good hockey town," says Cory Conacher, "and with (many of) us being Canadian we like to see th e fan support and we really appreciate it so, it's awesome to spend a little time with the fans before the season starts, and hopefully we can win a couple of our first games to start the season."
The new look Syracuse Crunch team refers to themselves as a family, and most of the players say that the bond they've already crated by winning the Calder Cup allows them to come into a new city with a positive attitude. First and foremost on their minds is repeating as Calder Cup champs, and showing Syracuse what it's like to win it all.
"It was just an amazing summer, it was an amazing run, "says Eric Neilson, "but you want to get right back out there, because you want that winning feeling again. Once you have that once, you want it again and again, there's nothing else that's satisfying other than winning."
Click on the video tab to watch a number of player interviews from today's Crunch Convention, and a one on one with Crunch owner Howard Dolgon.