NLL OFF-SEASON REPORT


By Ted Montour

Much has happened in the 2002 Indoor off-season. The Montreal Express will suspend operations for the 2003 season, while president Brad Watters looks for a buyer for the year-old club. Head Coach Terry Sanderson has gone upstream (on the Ottawa River), to take over the reins of the Rebel from his brother Lindsay, who will remain General Manager. The Rebel's leading scorer, restricted free agent Mike Benedict, has been traded to the New Jersey Storm, in return for Jersey's two selections in the dispersal draft of the Montreal roster. The Storm have also announced that Interim Head Coach Jim Brady has been confirmed as Head Coach and General Manager.


Wanna buy a lacrosse team?

Express' leading goal scorer Ted Dowling has signed with expansion Colorado; while Dowling was an unrestricted free agent, and therefore not part of the dispersal draft, NLL rules stipulate that Colorado must forfeit its first dispersal draft pick as a consequence of this signing. Look for Colorado to also go after University of Denver grad and Vancouver Ravens' rookie surprise Mike Law.

Some tidbits from Jim Jennings' first NLL Commissioner's monthly State of the League conference call:


Last Years Scoop & Shoot Finals!


Most speculation around the dispersal draft has focused on Express Captain Tracy Kelusky. Kelusky took a pass on Major League Lacrosse this summer, opting (along with the Knighthawks' John Grant) to play for Coquitlam of the Western Lacrosse Association. Avoiding the MLL stricture against releasing players for the World Championships, Kelusky and Grant lead Canada to a silver-medal finish at the Worlds.

While Calgary and Ottawa, with the first two dispersal draft selections, can be counted on not to pass up Kelusky, here's a bit of totally unsubstantiated speculation. The brothers Sanderson trade their second-overall dispersal pick, along with whatever Western Canadians on the Ottawa roster (think of goal-tenders Matt Disher and/or Andrew Leyshon, 45-goal scorer Ryan Painter, second-leading point getter Chris Konopliff) that it takes to sweeten the deal, to Calgary for the first pick. They then trade the first pick to Albany, for Attack Captain and Champions Cup hero Josh Sanderson.


Josh Sanderson

Albany takes Kelusky, Ottawa gets leadership, scoring, and the proverbial "bag o' chips" in the coach's son, and the rest of the NLL is left wondering (with the draft clock ticking) what the hell happened. This is a finagle worthy of "Turk", and would be one dandy kick-off to draft-day festivities. Think about it.



DID YOU SEE THOSE JERSEYS?
Carc's sporting the new REBEL/STX Uniforms!



September 19, 2002