Saturday, December 25, 2010

NLL Roster Changes

By Graeme Perrow

All your roster updates, in one handy spot. Note that this just covers players who are on the roster - players on Injured Reserve or Physically Unable to Perform lists may be included here as "Out".

NLL East

Boston Blazers

In: David Brock, Kevin Buchanan, Scott Campbell, Geoff McNulty, John Orsen, Casey Powell, Matt Quinton, Kyle Rubisch, Josh Sanderson

Out: Gary Bining, Paul Dawson, Mat Giles, Jon Harnett, Matt Lyons, Sean Morris, Kyle Ross, Matt Smalley, Brendon Thenhaus, Daryl Veltman

Buffalo Bandits

In: Chad Culp, Clay Hill, Travis Irving, Tracy Kelusky, Scott Self, Brendon Thenhaus, Mike Thompson, Jay Thorimbert

Out: Mike Accursi, Kevin Dostie, Sean Greenhalgh, Ken Montour, Kyle Schmelzle, Billy Dee Smith, Brandon Swamp

Philadelphia Wings

In: Matt Alrich, Ryan Boyle, Paul Dawson, Ray Hodgkinson, Steve Holmes, Athan Iannucci, Bodie MacDonald, Brett Manney, Ryan McClelland, Ryan McFadyen, David Mitchell, Brendan Mundorf, Shawn Nadelen, Joe Smith, Alex Turner

Out: Rob Blasdell, Dave Cutten, Tom Hajek, Kevin Huntley, Jordan Levine, Brett Moyer, Steve Panarelli, Jeff Reynolds, Josh Sims, Bob Snider, Geoff Snider, Dan Teat, Kyle Wailes, Mike Ward

Rochester Knighthawks

In: Mike Accursi, Troy Bonterre, Tyler Burton, Jarrett David, Colin Hall, Cody Jamieson, Pat McCready, Ian Rubel, Josh Ruys, Matt Vinc, Chase Williams, Matt Zash

Out: Marshall Abrams, Mac Allen, Cory Bomberry, Matt Danowski, Shawn Evans, Kevin Fines, John Grant Jr., Peter Jacobs, Cody Johnson, Bobby McBride, Pat O'Toole, Andrew Potter, Regy Thorpe, Steve Toll, Shawn Williams

Toronto Rock

In: Pat Campbell, Mike MacLeod, Pat Maddalena, Patrick Merrill, Gee Nash, Tim O'Brien, Aaron Pascas, Kyle Ross

Out: Scott Campbell, Steve Dietrich, Brendan Doran, Mike Hominuck, Anthony Lackey, Pat McCready, Geoff McNulty, Kim Squire, Josh Wasson

NLL West

Calgary Roughnecks

In: Cory Conway, Curtis Dickson, Jon Harnett, Derek Hopcroft, Brandon Ivey, Dan MacRae, Dayne Michaud, Curtis Palidwor, Geoff Snider, Daryl Veltman, Kurtis Wagar

Out: Craig Conn, Craig Gelsvik, Tracey Kelusky, Matt King, Rob Kirkby, John Lintz, Cutris Manning, Jeff Moleski, Josh Sanderson, Carlton Schuss, Rob Van Beek, Devan Wray

Colorado Mammoth

In: Mac Allen, Shayne Bennett, Rob Blasdell, Ned Crotty, Ben Davies, John Grant Jr., Matt King, Matt Leveque, Mike Mclellan, Jarrett Park, Josh Wasson

Out: Rich Catton, Cory Conway, Chad Culp, Shawn Dhaliwal, Chris Gill, Chris Levis, Andrew Leyshon, Derek Malawsky, Ryan McFadyen, David Morgan, Bruce Murray, Curtis Palidwor, Jed Prossner, Brad Richardson, Bryan Safarik, Neil Tyacke, Matt Wilson

Edmonton Rush

In: Bill Greer, Kedoh Hill, John Lafontaine, Bruce Murray, Devan Wray

Out: Bruce Alexander, Chris McElroy, Ryan McNish, Justin Norbraten, Ryan Powell

Minnesota Swarm

In: Mat Giles, Tyler Hass, Travis Hill, Matt Kelly, Ryan Sharp, Rory Smith, Andrew Suitor

Out: Colin Achenbach, Kevin Buchanan, Ryan Cousins, Josh Funk, Scott Self, Sean Thomson, Jay Thonimbert

Washington Stealth

In: Chet Koneczny, Chris McElroy, Jeff Moleski

Out: Joel Delgarno, Wade DeWolff, Travis Gillespie, Ben Hunt, Brett Manney, Kyle Sorensen

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Roster Day WTF?

By Mike Wilson

We are less than 40 hours away from Christmas day, the happiest time of the year. It is also a happy time for NLL fans that get the bonus of receiving the knowledge of what players will play for their favourite teams. Every coach sent in their rosters today; and all but one of those coaches made it past that mark.

From the Blazers website:

"Boston Blazers Head Coach Tom Ryan has been relieved of his duties with the team according to Blazers President and General Manager, Doug Reffue."

I now ask the internet, WTF? I have yet to hear the reason behind this firing but I can easily make a list of why I am very confused. 

  • As an expansion franchise they have made the playoffs in both of the two years of their existence. It took the Rush 5 years to make the playoffs for the first time.
  • They have 3 of the games top offensive players in Dan Dawson, Josh Sanderson, and Casey Powell. How can a coach go wrong when he has these 3 tearing it up.
  • He just sent in his roster. He made the team and the Blazers told him he can't coach it. 

If the people of the internet could justify this firing, let me know in the comment section below.

Thanks for reading.

Follow Mike on Twitter @WilsonNLLBlog

Monday, December 20, 2010

NLL rule changes (That I would like to see)

By Avry Lewis-McDougall

The 2011 NLL season is one for experimenting as the league is bringing in orange balls during the preseason and changing faceoff stick distance but there are some rules that I would love to see the league test out one day. 

1. Full overtime, sudden death only used in playoffs

I would love to see a full frame of OT, I mean could you imagine the final scores after 5 full quarters? Would be interesting to see a 30-29 shootout or maybe even the ability to see who has enough gas in the tank to go an extra frame. A game might be 11-11 after regulation time but who has enough for one more frame? That 11-11 game could wind up 17-11 very quickly. Why keep sudden death in the playoffs? To keep the element of the sudden upset, I want to keep the chance of seeing an OT game last 8 minutes or 8 seconds when it really counts. 

2. Faceoffs only at start of quarter

Now this may be too radical for the NLL to ever adopt but this would literally create non stop action until the buzzer. How I could see it working is that when a team scores the opposition would have to bring the ball back over half before the team that scored can attack. This would force teams into thinking quicker and see who has the ability to run a truly flawless offense or defense. 

3. Flashing nets

The Ontario Hockey League adopted this a few seasons ago and abandoned it but I think it is a very smart idea to bring to the NLL. The amount of challenges would go down as the light would only flash when the ball crosses the goal line, thus less stoppage time. 

Gary Gait back for one more year

By Alex Hinkley

It was announced on Saturday that Gary Gait has re-signed with the Rochester Knighthawks for one more season. This is great news for Hawk fans as many thought the 43 year old veteran would be finally calling it quits for good after last year.

"I want to help them transition into a really young team and, with the injury situation, I want to help them out," Gait said in a quote on NLL.com.

With three NLL Championship Titles under his belt, six league MVP awards (the most of any player), and fifteen all-pro appearances, Gait is one of the all time greats in the National Lacrosse League. The Hall of Famer still has plenty left in the tank to offer the K-Hawks in 2011. In 11 games last season, he scored 16 goals and added 16 assists for 32 points. The year before he had 37 points in 11 games (22 G + 15 A). 69 total points in 22 games isn't too shabby.

Aside from inevitably being slower due to age, one thing that has held Gait back from scoring as much as he did years ago was that he was at best the third man down the offensive ladder. There is only one ball out there and with other guys like John Grant Jr., Shawn Williams, Craig Point, and the Evans brothers, Gait just didn't get enough opportunities. He only had 52 shots on goal last year. With 16 goals, that means over 30% of his shots went in! Compare that with John Grant's 20% scored, Craig Point's 28%, or Shawn Evans' meager 14% and it is easy to see that Gait can still compete with the best.

With injuries to Knighthawks forwards mounting, John Grant being traded to Colorado, and Cody Jamieson still not officially signed, Gait should provide a much needed boost to the Hawks offense this season.

Source: examiner.com

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Balls!

By Mike Wilson

During the Christmas season there are 3 colors you will see quite a bit. Green, Red, and White. In lacrosse you can see the same colors. Green being the turf, Red being anything from a jersey to an ad, and white being the ball. Or is it?

From an NLL Press Release:

"The National Lacrosse League is experimenting with a pair of potential rules changes during the preseason. At the recommendation of the league’s competition committee, the NLL is using orange-colored lacrosse balls for all preseason games.

The ball has brought up a discussion. So you may ask how a different color ball could change the aspects of the game.

Lets go into that:

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Stability in the NLL

By Graeme Perrow

Most NLL fans know that every year, teams appear, disappear, or move. But here's a sobering fact: the last time an NLL season began with exactly the same teams as the previous year (in the same cities) was 1993. That's eighteen straight seasons with some kind of team movement. Here's what's happened since then:

  • 1994: Removed Pittsburgh
  • 1995: Added Rochester, removed Detroit
  • 1996: Added Charlotte
  • 1997: Removed Charlotte
  • 1998: Added Ontario and Syracuse, removed Boston
  • 1999: Ontario moved to Toronto
  • 2000: Added Albany, Baltimore moved to Pittsburgh
  • 2001: Pittsburgh moved to Washington, Syracuse moved to Ottawa, added Columbus

Friday, December 10, 2010

Knighthawks already crippled by injuries

By Alex Hinkley

The Rochester Knighthawks have already been crippled by injuries and the 2011 season hasn't even begun! Yesterday I wrote that newcomer Jordan Hall would be out for at least four games after undergoing surgery to repair a sports hernia but he isn't the only one injured.

Last week the Knighthawks placed forward Shawn Evans on the Physically Unable to Perform list. Players are often placed on the PUP when they suffer injuries outside of an NLL game which prevents them from playing (while the injured reserve is for players injured during games). It's unknown why he is on the list but it may not actually be due to injury. Sometimes players are put on the PUP due to personal obligations. Evans recently won the Major Series Lacrosse Bucko McDonald Leading Scorer Award after turning in a 21 goal, 60 assist performance for the Peterborough Lakers. His absence will seriously hinder the Hawks' offensive production.

Shawn Williams is also a question mark going into the 2011 season. Williams suffered a broken arm in August during an MSL playoff game against the Six Nations Chiefs. There hasn't been any word recently on whether or not Williams is fully healed and ready for the season but the Knighthawks placed him on the Physically Unable to Perform list on November 23rd which isn't a good sign. Defensemen Marshall Abrams was also placed on the PUP the same day as Williams.

Even Cody Jamieson isn't at 100%. According to fan reports on the Wingszone Message Board, Jamieson has been having knee problems during training camp. One veteran user on the forums writes, "I believe that Cody has actually had some knee surgery and that's why he didn't play with the Nations in Hawaii. From what I've heard he is on target to be ready for the season opener, but another new front line player will not be ready to play the first couple of games." Let's hope he's right.

With injuries mounting, the offense is starting to look drained. At least Craig Point still seems to be healthy and the Knighthawks did re-acquire forward Mike Accursi during the off-season. Accursi should definitely help out on offense while many of the big guns are missing. Gary Gait is also still listed on the roster on Knighthawks.net. Could he be coming back to help for one more season?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Jordan Hall to miss four weeks

By Alex Hinkley

It was announced yesterday on Knighthawks.net that newly acquired Rochester Knighthawk Jordan Hall will miss at least the first four games of the season after undergoing surgery to repair a sports hernia. Hall, who will be recuperating for the next eight weeks and thus miss the first four weeks of the season, was one of the two new big name players brought in on offense (the other of course being first round draft pick Cody Jamieson). The Jamieson and Hall combo would have helped to fill the void left by John Grant Jr.'s departure to Colorado.

“It is disappointing, but I would rather miss the first four games instead of the last four games,” said Hall.

The Knighthawks picked Hall third in the NLL Dispersal  Draft of the former Orlando Titans players. He had over 50 assists the previous two seasons. Hall is definitely a very talented player and would have been a great setup man to have at the beginning of the 2011 season when teams are still working to establish their chemistry. It will be interesting to see how the Knighthawks' offense fairs without him (or without John Grant for that matter).

The Knighthawks had the worst offense in the league last season with only 155 goals scored.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Thankfully It’s Just Preseason

By: Melissa Dafni

After last night’s game at the Pepsi Center against the Toronto Rock, the Mammoth coaching staff have some very hard decisions to make.  Unfortunately, regardless of the score, I don’t think the players made it any easier for them.

Mammoth offensive veteran standouts Brian Langtry and Jamie Shewchuck each scored three of the Mammoth’s seven goals.  But as for the rest of the offense… it’s going to be tough.  There were a lot of dropped passes and missed loose ball opportunities.

Granted, some of it may have been nerves.  Some of these guys have never played in the Pepsi Center, nor in front of a crowd that despite only being 6,507 strong was quite loud.  Some of it may have been chemistry.  I’m sure the coaches were changing lines up a lot trying to find who pairs well together.

The defense wasn’t much better.

Read the rest at http://www.prosportscolorado.com

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Lacrosse season is just around the corner

By Alex Hinkley

Today marked the first major snow in the greater Rochester area and lacrosse fans know what that means - Knighthawks season is just around the corner! It seems like every time the Rochester Knighthawks play at home, I have to brave the elements to get there. One year it snowed the night of every home game without fail. Unfortunately, a blizzard even forced me to miss a game once several years back and I had to watch it at home on the cruddy B2 network. Luckily for fans of today's NLL, just about every game is broadcast live online via the NLL Network.

The Hawks began preparing for the upcoming 2011 season just last weekend as training camp for the team opened on Saturday. On December 18th, the K-Hawks will take on the Boston Blazers in a preseason game at the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena in Six Nations. With so many new faces joining the team including All-Stars Matt Vinc and Jordan Hall, Rochester is going to need as much time as they can get to prepare so they start off the season on the right foot.

"Everyone's really positive and upbeat. The team gelled real quick together. From what I've seen, I don't think we'll have any problems or issues this year. It's gonna be a good team," said Knighthawk Troy Bonterre in a video interview appearing on the official Knighthawks website after a team practice. Bonterre took the season off last year due to work and family responsibilities taking up most of his time but aims to be back with the team in 2011.

The Knighthawks' season officially starts in a little over a month when Rochester goes on the road to play the Minnesota Swarm on January 8th. Their home opener is on January 15th against division rivals, the Toronto Rock.