Weird — I just finished writing about two different blockbuster trades that the Rock made with the San Jose Stealth, and they go and make another one. This time, they threw the Rochester Knighthawks into the mix.
The Rock traded Aaron Wilson and a draft pick for next year to Rochester in return for Stephen Hoar. Rochester sent their draft pick for this year to San Jose, who sent Luke Wiles to Toronto. So Toronto gives up Aaron Wilson and a draft pick for Luke Wiles and Stephen Hoar, Rochester gives up a draft pick and Stephen Hoar for Aaron Wilson, and San Jose gives up Luke Wiles for a draft pick. Got all that?
As much as I like Aaron Wilson, I think this looks like a good deal for the Rock. I don’t know much about Luke Wiles (since the Stealth have never played in Toronto), but from the numbers, he looks like a similar player to Wilson anyway. Hoar, who has one of the best names in the NLL (he’s heard “Hey Steve, your mama’s a Hoar!” all his life, and now replies with “Not until she married my dad!”), is a solid defender and transition guy. It kind of sucks to have traded an offensive star like Wilson to a division rival, but it may not matter. The Knighthawks lost John Grant, Jr. for the season today, so I guess the K-Hawks are hoping that Wilson will make up for that loss to some extent. You simply can’t replace a talent like Grant, but if you have to try, Wilson will do as good a job as just about anyone.
Paul Tutka wrote a piece in NLLInsider.com today about the moves the Rock have made this off-season, and when you put them all together, it does look pretty good:
In: Luke Wiles, Stephen Hoar, Craig Conn, Jason Crosbie, Chad Thompson (injured last year), Lewis Ratcliff
Out: Josh Sanderson, Aaron Wilson, Jim Veltman, Mike Poulin, Dan Ladouceur
The goaltending situation is a little dicey. Watson is coming off a Goaltender of the Year award, so no real worries there but if he gets hurt, the backup will be Mike Attwood (not sure if he’s ever seen action in an NLL game) or one of the two goalies they drafted the other day, neither of which has ever played in the NLL either. Poulin didn’t see a lot of floor time last year, but he was the goaltender of the year in the OLA this past season, in a league featuring Cosmo, O’Toole, and Brandon Miller. Might have been good to protect Poulin instead of Watson, but then make Watson a franchise player so Boston would be unlikely to draft him.