MLL: Sims to Join Sonke in Retirement?
from staff reports
Jeff Sonke has already announced his retirement. Will longtime teammate Josh Sims follow him?
Major League Lacrosse released its 23-man protected rosters Tuesday, and both Denver Outlaws midfielders were left unprotected.
"It was difficult for me," Sonke told LM after the Outlaws' lost in the MLL championship game for the third time in four years in August. "I really thought we were going to pull this one out. For my career to end like that was tough"
Sims, a year older than Sonke, said he too was contemplating retirement.
Among the names not protected for 2010 were several other
long-time MLL veterans, causing speculation that some could follow
The Boston Cannons elected not to protect veteran midfielder Kevin Cassese. Cassese, a seven year veteran, began his career with the Rochester Rattlers in 2003. In four seasons with the Rattlers, he collected 152 groundballs, and went 180 of 363 on face-offs. He then spent the next two seasons in Philadelphia, winning the MLL Championship with the Barrage in 2007, before joining the Cannons in 2009. In 62 regular season appearances, Cassese has scored 64 goals, 12 of which were two-pointers, and added 28 assists for 104 points. He also has 9 points and 15 groundballs in 6 postseason appearances.
In addition to Sonke and Sims in Denver, veteran defenseman Tom Garvey, was left unprotected by the Outlaws. Garvey also announced his plans to retire shortly after Denver’s loss in the 2009 MLL Championship Game to the Toronto Nationals. Garvey began his career in Boston in 2005. He would spend the next four seasons in Denver. Garvey has appeared in 48 regular season games, collecting 51 ground balls, and also played in a total of eight postseason games, seven as a member of the Outlaws.
Sims has played in the league since its inception in 2001, and was one of the three original players assigned to the Baltimore Bayhawks. Sims spent his first five seasons with the Bayhawks, before joining the Outlaws in 2006. He won two MLL championships with Baltimore. As a member of both the Bayhawks and the Outlaws, Sims has appeared in the MLL postseason in each one of his nine years in the League. His 16 playoff appearances are more than any other player in league history. His 29 goals in the playoffs lead all players, and he is tied with Roy Colsey for most points scored in the postseason with 36. In 80 regular season games, Sims has scored 116 goals, including 15 two-pointers, and added 57 assists for 188 points.
Sonke also began playing in 2001 and also spent the first five seasons of his career in Baltimore. He is seventh all-time in regular season games played with 97. In that span, he has scored 144 goals, including 24 two-point goals, which places him third all-time for two-pointers scored in the regular season. Sonke also has 58 assists and 226 points in the regular season. Sonke is second only to Sims in total postseason appearances, having played in 14 playoff games, where he has scored 18 goals, three two-pointers, and five assists.
Four players who appear in the top eight in terms of all-time regular season games played, goalie Brian Dougherty (105 games), defenseman John Gagliardi (96 games), attackman Tim Goettelmann 110 games) and midfielder Blake Miller (100 games) were all left unprotected by the Long Island Lizards.
Dougherty has played for the Rochester Rattlers, the Long Island Lizards and the Philadelphia Barrage over the course of his nine-year career. Winning championships with the Lizards in 2003, and back-to-back championships with the Barrage in 2006 and 2007, Dougherty also was named the Warrior Goaltender of the Year in each of those three seasons. Dougherty earned a record of 60-42 in the regular season, with a 12.85 GAA and a .578 save percentage. In nine postseason appearances, he has a record of 6-3, with a 12.89 GAA and a .570 save percentage. He leads all goalies in the number of regular season games played, total minutes played (5,945), saves (1752) and wins.
John Gagliardi was one of Long Island’s original three assigned players in 2001, and has spent his entire nine-year career with the Lizards, although he was limited to just three games this season. He has collected 306 ground balls and contributed nine goals, one two-point goal and 11 assists. Gagliardi has also made eight postseason appearances, collecting 29 ground balls.
Goettelmann, the 2009 New Balance Sportsman of the Year, is the league’s all-time leader in games played, having become the first player to break 100 games early in the 2009 season. His 230 career regular season goals place him fourth on the all-time list and he is sixth all-time in regular season scoring, with 315 points. In nine postseason appearances with the Lizards, Goettelmann has scored 17 goals and five assists.
Blake Miller is another one of the MLL's original assigned players, having been assigned to the Bridgeport Barrage in the league’s inaugural season. Miller’s best season came in 2004, when he scored 46 goals and 11 assists, earning the title of Warrior Offensive Player of the Year and winning the MLL championship with the Barrage. He has scored 193 goals and 52 assists in the regular season, as well as scoring 14 points in five playoff games.
In Toronto, legend Gary Gait was on the Nationals' unprotected list. Gait was picked up by Toronto prior to the 2009 season, having not played in the league since 2005, when shared MLL MVP honors with Mark Millon of the Boston Cannons. Hampered by injury, Gait only appeared in three games this past season, scoring two goals. Gait began his MLL career in 2001, winning his first MLL title with the Lizards that season. For the 2002 season, Gait was traded to the Baltimore Bayhawks, where he would remain until his retirement in 2005. At the helm of the team as both player and coach, Gait led the Bayhawks to MLL titles in 2002 and 2005.
Among the players left unprotected by the Washington Bayhawks were attackmen Spencer Ford and Scott Urick. Ford has played at least one game for five different MLL franchises. As a member of the Los Angeles Riptide in 2007, Ford was named Warrior Most Improved Player of the Year, when he scored 13 goals and added a single-season record 47 assists. He is sixth all-time in regular season assists with a total of 102 collected over the span of 38 games. Ford also has 37 career regular season goals.
Urick has also played nine seasons in the league, the first eight with the New Jersey Pride. Urick currently is third all-time in both regular season games played with 103 and in regular season goals scored with 138 goals.
Those players left unprotected have been released into the MLL Player Pool, which will remain frozen until after the completion of the 2010 Supplemental Draft, which will be held Dec. 9.
A complete list of each team’s 23-man protected roster, as well as those players which were left unprotected, is included below.
Boston Cannons Protected
Casey, Matt -Midfield
McClay , Ryan-Defense
Boston Cannons Unprotected
Chicago Machine Protected
Kelly, Anthony -Midfield/FO
Chicago Machine Unprotected
Denver Outlaws Protected
Ethington, Tom -Defense
Koppens, Shane -Attack
Denver Outlaws Unprotected
Long Island Lizards Protected
Danowski, Matt -Attack
McDevitt, Tony -Defense
Panarelli, Steve -Defense
Spallina, Brian -Defense
Long Island Lizards Unprotected
Toronto Nationals Protected
Grant Jr., John-Attack
Toronto Nationals Unprotected
Sorensen, Kyle, Defense
Washington Bayhawks Protected
Glading, Daniel -Attack
Rubeor , Ben-Attack
Staines, Ronnie -Defense
Washington Bayhawks Unprotected
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