August 5, 2010

Pick A Titan, Any Titan: Dispersal Draft Friday

by Corey McLaughlin | Lacrosse Magazine Online Staff

Orlando Titans captain and 2010 NLL MVP will be among players up for grabs Friday in a dispersal draft following the team's suspension of operations for 2011.

© John Strohsacker/LaxPhotos.com

The Orlando Titans hope to solidify ownership and return to arenas in 2012, but in the meantime its players will be dispersed across the 10 remaining National Lacrosse League teams Friday.
 
The NLL announced last Friday that the Titans, who reached the league semifinals last season, would not participate in the 2011 season because of an unsettled ownership situation, and that a dispersal draft of their players would be held.
 
The draft is scheduled for Friday. The Colorado Mammoth owns the first pick and a choice of stars that includes Casey Powell, the 2010 NLL MVP, Matt Vinc, the reigning goaltender of the year, and standout forward Jordan Hall.

The Boston Blazers pick second and Rochester selects third.
 
So, who will go first?
 
Mammoth president and general manager Steve Govett indicated that Colorado would select Vinc first, saying in a story on the team Web site that “winning championships begins and ends with goaltending.”

But he also did not rule out targeting Powell and Hall.
 
“We have certain needs that we are going to address,” Govett said. “[Vinc] is arguably the best goalie in the league and that could be an answer for us for years to come.

"They also have Casey Powell, who is an all-time great player, a future Hall of Famer. Then there is Jordan Hall, who is probably the best offensive transition player in the league. There are three options there where we just couldn’t go wrong.”
 
Meanwhile, the Orlando organization confirmed Wednesday the NLL’s earlier statement that the Titans would not field a team for the 2011 season. Team officials are looking to restructure ownership to include more minority investors from Central Florida.

The franchise moved to Florida from New York before the 2010 season.

THE TITANS TOP FIVE

A star-studded roster is up for grabs Friday in the dispersal draft of the NLL’s Orlando Titans. The best available:

Matt Vinc, Goalie
NLL's top goalie could go first to Colorado. Led league in save percentage (.810) and made 609 saves, third highest in history.
Casey Powell, Forward

League MVP. What else is there to say? Eight-year veteran is Titans' all-time leading scorer. He won’t slip past third to Rochester.
Jordan Hall, Forward

One of the league’s best two-way players enters his fourth NLL season next year. Second team All-Pro in 2010.
John Orsen, Defense

Second team All-Pro pick is a shutdown defender and experienced against the league’s top offensive weapons.
Ryan Boyle, Forward

Six-year vet was Titans’ fourth leading scorer with 60 points in 2010, only behind Powell, Hall and Pat Maddalena, who is a free agent.

“After much deliberation and careful analysis we felt that it was in the best interest of everyone involved to take a year off and come back in 2012 with a more financially fit and competitive franchise,” majority owner Gary Rosenbach said in a press release.

“It is pretty simple. In order for us to field a winning organization on the field, we need to refocus our efforts on rebuilding the business side of our house.”
 
The dispersal draft includes those Titans -- including Powell, Hall, Vinc and Rory Smith -- who filed claims to potentially seek free agency, but were denied by the NLL, the league said Tuesday.

NLL commissioner George Daniel voided the contracts of Titans Pat Maddalena and Patrick Merrill, who are now unrestricted free agents and can sign with any team.

The free agent signing period began Wednesday.
 
In their first season in Florida in 2010, the Titans won the East Division regular season title with an 11-5 record and lost to the Toronto Rock in the NLL semifinals.


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