📝 by Patrick Williams
Speak with Syracuse Crunch defenseman Trevor Carrick even once, and it is quite apparent why the Tampa Bay Lightning wanted him last summer.
With 539 AHL games to his name along with a Calder Cup title, Carrick was brought in by the Lightning as a strong recall option who could also take on heavy minutes in Syracuse and provide proven leadership and experience.
Originally taken in the fourth round of the 2012 National Hockey League Draft by the Carolina Hurricanes, Carrick played five seasons in that organization with the Charlotte Checkers, wrapping up his run there with a Calder Cup championship in 2019. The native of Stouffville, Ont., played one season in San Jose and two more in San Diego (where he was teammates with his brother, Sam) before returning to the Eastern Conference in 2022-23.
The Crunch once again find themselves in the North Division playoff chase, two points behind second-place Utica. On Saturday night against Rochester, Carrick scored his 10th goal of the season in a 4-2 win, hitting the double-digit mark for the fourth time in his nine AHL seasons.
While standout All-Star Darren Raddysh is still on recall with Tampa Bay, Carrick is securing the Crunch blue line. Here are his thoughts on his first season in Syracuse and more:
ON WHY TAMPA BAY WAS THE RIGHT FIT FOR HIM
“Just the organization, to be honest… Everything I heard. Talking with all the management, (Lightning vice president and general manager) Julien BriseBois, and everybody. The decision was pretty easy. They’re trying to win again, and they’re going to give [Syracuse] the best chance to win, so any time you get to hear that it’s exciting.
“And [Syracuse is] close to home, too. The West Coast is tough with the time change. I loved my time out there, but it’s nice to be home and see the snow again. I hadn’t seen the snow in a few years.”
ON HIS FIRST SEASON IN SYRACUSE
“It’s been good. It’s been very welcoming here. It’s a first-class organization. Like anywhere… it’s an adjustment, right? New city, new teammates, new coaching staff, new system. But everyone’s been great so far.
“Especially the ‘D’ corps, the communication is very good, and playing with a guy like Darren Raddysh, he makes it easy out there.”
ON PLAYING FOR HEAD COACH BEN GROULX
“It does take time to adjust. I [was] playing in San Diego last year with a similar coach, Joël Bouchard, so for me I was kind of lucky. Coming here I realized…
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