SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) –

The Syracuse Crunch took to the ice on Tuesday for their first practice of the preseason. Joel Bouchard takes over as the head coach of the Crunch, replacing Ben Groulx who won a franchise record 256 games with Syracuse.

Bouchard previously was an AHL head coach in San Diego and Laval. He also played 11 seasons in the NHL with eight different teams.

Syracuse opens the preseason on Thursday at Rochester. The Crunch’s season-opener is slated for Friday October 13th, at Utica. Syracuse’s home-opener will be the following night on October 14th against Bridgeport.