January 6, 2011

NLL East Division Preview

by Corey McLaughlin | Lacrosse Magazine Online Staff

Dan Dawson (pictured) will play alongside reigning NLL MVP Casey Powell and Josh Sanderson, whom the Blazers acquired in the offseason. The three forwards were the top three vote getters in the 2010 MVP race.

This team-by-team breakdown (in order of last year's finish) of the National Lacrosse League's East Division appears in the January issue of Lacrosse Magazine. Don't get the mag? Join US Lacrosse and its 300,000-plus members today to start your subscription.

TORONTO ROCK

Last year: NLL runner-up, 9-7, 2nd in East
Who’s back: F Colin Doyle, F Blaine Manning, F Stephan Leblanc, F Garrett Billings
Who’s new: D Patrick Merrill, T Kyle Ross, F Pat Maddalena
Quick sticks: Rock brings back a core of marquee forwards and signed a few defenders, including Merrill, who played his first five NLL seasons in Toronto, winning two championships.

BUFFALO BANDITS

Last year: 8-8, 3rd in East
Who’s back: F John Tavares, T Mark Steenhuis, G Mike Thompson
Who’s new: F Tracey Kelusky, D Scott Self, T Jay Thorimbert, F Brenden Thenhaus
Quick sticks: Usual stars Tavares and Steenhuis remain, and the Bandits added a bunch of pieces, notably five-time all-star Kelusky in a trade from Calgary, where he was captain.

BOSTON BLAZERS

Last year: 8-8, 4th in East
Who’s back: F Dan Dawson, G Anthony Cosmo
Who’s new: F Josh Sanderson, F Casey Powell, T John Orsen, F Kevin Buchanan
Quick sticks: Blazers have the rights to the top three vote getters in the 2010 MVP race: Powell (who won), Dawson and Sanderson. Plus, they have one of the top two goalies in the league. Are these the Miami Heat?

ROCHESTER KNIGHTHAWKS

Last year: 7-9, 5th in East
Who’s back: F Shawn Williams, F Shawn Evans, F Craig Point
Who’s new: F Cody Jamieson, T Jordan Hall, G Matt Vinc
Quick sticks: John Grant isn’t in the lineup, as the K-Hawks traded him to Colorado and shook up the roster. Hall arrived in the dispersal draft of the Orlando Titans and Vinc, the reigning goaltender of the year, was a return in the Grant trade.

PHILADELPHIA WINGS

Last year: 5-11, 6th in East
Who’s back: G Brandon Miller, F Drew Westervelt, F Bill McGlone, T Max Seibald
Who’s new: F Ryan Boyle, F Brendan Mundorf, D Paul Dawson
Quick sticks: New front office regime brings a new attitude. Barring a setback, looks likely that former league MVP Athan Iannucci (knee) will return. The status of Merrick Thomson (post-concussion issues) remains unclear, however.


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