The Orlando Titans have announced that they will not be playing in the NLL in 2011. It sounds like they’re trying to pull an Arizona Sting and simply sit out for a year, saying they’ll be back in 2012. The Sting didn’t actually return at all, and no team that has ever left the NLL has come back, so you’ll excuse me if I don’t hold my breath waiting for the triumphant return of the Titans. It should be noted that I predicted the demise of the Titans back in January.
The streak of not having two consecutive NLL seasons with the same teams continues, now at eighteen seasons. I’ve talked about this before, back in 2008 when the Chicago Shamrox folded. There’s a list in that article of the team changes in the NLL since 1994, and you can add “2010: New York moved to Orlando, San Jose moved to Washington, removed Portland” and now “2011: Removed Orlando” to that list. It seems unbelievable to me that neither prospective owners nor the NLL itself seem to do the necessary market research to determine whether or not a team will be viable in a particular market. Updating the stats from my earlier article, we now have twenty-five teams that have either folded or moved since 1987, compared to eighteen teams in the NHL since 1917.
The dispersal draft was held today, and most of the Titans players were divvied out among the remaining teams. Patrick Merrill and Pat Maddalena were both named free agents by the league, thanks to a little-used NLL rule allowing players to opt out of dispersal drafts as long as they are named “Pat”. The big winners, not surprisingly, were the teams that chose early – Colorado picked up goaltender Matt Vinc with the first overall pick and Jarett Park in the second round, while Boston now has the two most recent NLL MVP winners in Casey Powell and Dan Dawson. The Mammoth have been without a real #1 goalie since Gee Nash was let go and effectively retired a couple of years ago, so picking up the reigning Goaltender of the Year is huge for Colorado. Boston was a tough team last year, and grabbing Powell, John Orsen, and Greg Peyser only makes them better.
As for the Rock, they picked up Mike McLellan and Mat MacLeod, two guys I know nothing about. But the depth of my lacrosse knowledge is such that even though I don’t know anything about these guys, I can still offer some pieces of brilliant insight:
- Their initials are both M.M.
- MacLeod is one of six guys named Matt (or Mat) involved in the dispersal draft.
- MacLeod is the second player named Mat (with only one ‘t’) to play for the Rock, after Mat Giles.