Expansion Rapid Reaction
The Premier Lacrosse Leaguesâ€™ alarming growth
E X P A N S I O N
Expansion Rapid Reaction
Expansion Rapid Reaction There’s a lot to digest in the wake of the expansion announcement. Some major repercussions, some minor. Some obvious outcomes, some unanticipated. Let’s run through the ripple effects of the league tacking on an extra point to its Year 1 touchdown: It took 10 weeks and a score differential tiebreaker to sort out postseason seedings. In a seven-team league, securing one of those four spots will be even tougher. More teams means more games. More games means more tour stops. More lacrosse. And more roster spots. More roster spots will open doors for players who had limited playing time in 2019. The Atlas attack line -Ryan Brown, Eric Law, Kieran McArdle, Chris Cloutier -- immediately comes to mind. All four players deserve to start full-time in this league. Which three will the new Atlas head coach prefer? The odd-man out could be the face of the new club. We’ll go more in-depth on the players who could use a dust filter for a Hoover Max Extract® 60 Pressure Pro™ once protected rosters are announced. There are plenty of them.
The original six will each be allowed to protect 10 players. That puts several starters per team in the pool. There are 14 starters when you factor in all positions (three attackmen, three offensive midfielders, a faceoff specialist, an LSM, two SSDMs, three defensemen, and a goalie). Trimming down will be more manageable for Chrome than it will be for the postseason squads. Take the Redwoods, for example. They had 11 All-Stars. Head Coach Nat St. Laurent won’t be able to protect all of his All-Stars! Reminder: Ryder Garnsey was not an All-Star. Neither were All-Film Team members Eddy Glazener and Pat Harbeson. Jack Near and John Sexton were key members of
Lacrosse Daily a rope unit that was a big part of the Redwoods’ identity. It’s possible (and likely) that the Redwoods will leave multiple All-Stars up for grabs entering the expansion draft. The Whipsnakes had 10 All-Stars, and faceoff athlete Joe Nardella was somehow snubbed. Nardella, Connor Kelly, Tim Muller, John Haus, and Ben Reeves were crucial to the Whips’ championship run. If Head Coach Jim Stagnitta wants to protect any of those key contributors, it could cost him an All-Star. Having said that, there will be a cap on the amount of players that Team Seven can steal from each existing team in the expansion draft. The Redwoods and
Whipsnakes won’t lose all of their unprotected players. Expect head coaches to try to recoup their losses immediately after the expansion draft. They might trade one blue chip player from their 10-man protected roster for two or three of the role players that the new team stole. The trade front was quiet in 2019. Expansion will crank up the volume. Trade talks could start before the expansion draft, too. Chrome has three All-Stars on its roster. There are a few more players worth keeping. But are there seven more? If not, Chrome should try to deal future picks for players.
Expansion Rapid Reaction
The coaching staff of Team Seven will have the unique opportunity to construct a roster to fit both: (a) their scheme and (b) the league’s rules. In 2019 we saw what wins in this league: offense to defense transition and defense to offense transition. The shorter field and 52-second shot clock led to an absurd amount of possessions ending in transition. You don’t necessarily need to deploy full-time, two-way midfielders. But generating and preventing transition shots should be objectives No. 1 and No. 2, in some order.
“Will Pat Spencer make their 10man protected roster?”
networks. That doesn’t mean they can’t cook up chemistry along the way. A bunch of guys from Minnesota and Boston upset the Soviet Union in 1980. I’m excited to see new networks of teammates grow together. Looking ahead to the 2020 NCAA Draft: The Archers still have the top pick. That’s even more valuable now. A month ago, adding another offensive weapon to that roster would have appeared glutton ous. Depending on how the expansion draft plays out, there should be room for Michael Sowers, Grant Ament or Michael Kraus. Speaking of the Archers, will Pat Spencer make their 10-man protected roster? The top pick in 2019 hasn’t played in the PLL yet; he’s been busy cramming on college basketball players.
Existing chemistry dating back to Maryland and Notre Dame helped the Whipsnakes and Redwoods, respectively, in Year 1. The original six were formed with those relationships in mind. This seventh team might not have such large alumni
Head Coach Chris Bates has said that their 2020 draft choices will hinge on Spencer’s basketball aspirations. That timeline will be sped up now. Coach Bates and his staff will have to make a bet on Spencer before his super senior season at Northwestern wraps up. Can he hoop professionally overseas? Is he an NBA prospect? Another 2019 draftee who has yet to suit up: Whipsnakes midfielder Brad Smith. Smith spent his rookie season on injured reserve. His game is tailor-made for this league. He has two-point range. A team would be smart to use him on faceoff wings like the Redwoods used Sergio Perkovic to unleash that range. The Duke product could be a perfect trade candidate for Chrome. A fourthround pick for Brad Smith -- who
says no? Pardon My Take will be nominating some team names on Friday’s episode. My vote for Team Seven’s name: Wave LC. Weather-related teams can’t miss. Miami Heat, Oklahoma City Thunder, Tampa Bay Lightning, Carolina Hurricanes, Colorado Avalanche, San Jose Earthquakes, Connecticut Sun. All are strong in my opinion.
“More roster spots will open doors for players who had limited playing time in 2019.”