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Luke Witkowski Named Syracuse Crunch Captain

December 5, 2019 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Syracuse Crunch News Release

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - The Syracuse Crunch have announced defenseman Luke Witkowski has been named captain for the 2019-20 season. "We felt that it was important for the team to select the captain this year," said head coach Ben Groulx. "I think Luke is a great choice because he's a team-first person. He's positive, he's coachable and it's well deserved. There are a lot of things that our guys can learn from him. He is a leader by his actions every day."

Witkowski, 29, is in his sixth season with the Crunch and second stint with the Tampa Bay Lightning organization. He previously served as Crunch captain early in 2016-17 before being permanently recalled to the Lightning for the remainder of the season. During the 2015-16 season, the defenseman served as an alternate captain.

"It's an honor to be chosen by your teammates and know that a majority of the guys see you as a leader," said Witkowski. "I feel like I'm naturally a leader by example and can hold myself and my teammates accountable. I'm a professional, I show up every night and I bring my work ethic. We have a great leadership group in the room and they're going to help me, so I'm looking forward to it."

Witkowski, 6-foot-2, 217 pounds, has skated in 13 games with the Crunch this season, tallying one goal and three assists. He also appeared in 12 games with the Lightning, recording one goal and two assists. A native of Holland, Michigan, Witkowski has played in 131 career NHL games with the Lightning and Detroit Red Wings registering 13 points (2g, 11a) and 162 penalty minutes. He has amassed 231 career AHL games, all with Syracuse, posting eight goals, 43 points and 561 penalty minutes. He was selected by the Lightning in the sixth round, 160th overall, at the 2008 NHL Draft. Prior to his professional career, Witkowski spent four years at Western Michigan University. He was named captain during his junior and senior seasons from 2011 to 2013. He was also captain of the Fargo Force of the USHL in the 2008-09 season. The Crunch have had 21 full-time captains in franchise history and four since affiliating with the Lightning in 2012. Witkowski's second stint follows Gabriel Dumont, who served for the 2018-19 season, and Erik Condra, who captained the Crunch during the second half of the 2016-17 season, after Witkowski earned a full-time position with the Lightning, through 2017-18. Mike Angelidis also captained the team from 2012 to 2016.

Single game tickets and packages for the 2019-20 season are on sale now and can be purchased in person at the Crunch office located inside the War Memorial Arena at 800 S. State St. in Syracuse, by calling the office at 315-473-4444 or online through Ticketmaster. For the latest Crunch news, visit or follow the club on Facebook (, Twitter (@SyracuseCrunch) and Instagram (@syracusecrunch) using #SyrCrunch.

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