Since I posted my predictions of the NLL East and West divisions, there have been a few changes in the league. The team rosters have been released, a number of players have announced that they will not play in 2009, but most importantly the Chicago Shamrox have ceased to exist, and their players scattered to the four winds in the umpteenth NLL dispersal draft. Here are my updates to my previous comments:
All the rumours I’ve read about Craig Conn say that he’ll be ready for action mid-January, so me might miss the first two or maybe three games. If he’s fully recovered and as good as he can be, he’s a big addition for the Rock. The Rock also picked up Bill McGlone from Chicago, and I know nothing about him. He had 40 points in 16 games in 2007, which is hardly MVP-worthy but pretty decent, though his production dropped by 50% in 2008. Goaltending is still a concern. I watched the first game of the season, and the Rock’s offense looked pretty solid, even without Conn.
They’ve lost Brett Bucktooth, possibly for the year, and I forgot that they will now have Sean Greenhalgh, who missed all of last year.
So much for “not many changes”. Grant is still gone, but so now is Scott Evans, and the Gaits reunite once again as Gary’s twin brother Paul is the new head coach. As far as I know, Paul has zero pro lacrosse coaching experience, so that will be interesting.
Athan Iannucci had surgery in the off-season, and from what I heard, was supposed to be out for a couple of games at most. Now there are rumours that he should be back mid-season, and I’ve read at least once that he may be out for the entire season. Losing the reigning scoring champ and league MVP is a pretty big blow.
Also Peter Jacobs retired.
They were going to be a pretty decent expansion team anyway, and now adding former Goalie of the Year Anthony Cosmo makes them even better. Jake Bergey chose to sit out the year rather than play with someone other than the Wings. I think this is odd, considering the Wings have twice left Bergey unprotected in expansion drafts, and he was chosen by Boston each time. The first time he was traded back to the Wings, this time he decides to sit out. Perhaps the Boston GM shoud have given Bergey a phone call before picking him?
Losing Iannucci is major, so Philly is no longer my pick to win the division. I’m a little more optimistic on Toronto and a little less on Rochester. Chicago was last anyway, so that doesn’t really affect anything. Boston got better, but I don’t think they improved enough to put them into the playoffs. End result:
- New York
One thing I missed that’s different about 2009 for the Roughies is the return of captain Tracey Kelusky, who missed half of last season. Shawn Cable is not on the roster, but he only played 7 games last year (for 5 points), so that’s not much of a loss points-wise. Avery was released, so it’s only Campbell and King in goal.
Much-hyped rookie Paul Rabil has been signed, so add one to the list of potential offensive stars on the Stealth.
The only change here is that Dallas Eliuk has now officially retired. No big surprise, and he wasn’t going to be playing anyway.