Archive for April, 2008


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NLL Playoffs: What They’ll Need To Do To Win

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Couple days away from the first round of this year’s post-season kick-off.

No Rock. No K’Hawks. Instead Philly and New York thought they’d crash the party.

We’ll also be seein’ a number of prime time players not makin’ the trip this weekend, definitely affecting their crews chances of going past the division semis.

Checkout what teams are lookin’ like heading into what will no doubt be one helluva NLL post-season, after the jump… READ MORE »


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NLL Playoff Predictions and Cliches

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It’s playoff time.  The time of year that players, coaches and media alike start throwing around clichés as if they had invented them themselves. 

In reading the various NLL Insider articles and making my own predictions, a few come to mind.  I am a big believer that during the National Lacrosse League regular season, it is typically the team that wants it more on any given night that walks away victorious.  When I say “wants it more” I mean the team that shows up focused, ready to work and willing to sacrifice themselves for the good of the team.

When the playoffs roll around, there are often a couple teams on the fringe that really don’t believe they have a shot at the Cup.  When the going gets tough, they will bow out and start their summer vacation early.  I was on a team once where a marquee player had a golf trip planned during the later stages of the playoffs.  Do you really think he was focused on winning it all?

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Update to the Kent Squire-Hill story

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As we reported yesterday, Kent Owen Hill–the man reportedly charged in the death of Tashina General–has been confirmed to be Six Nations Arrows transition player Kent Squire-Hill. Hill has been charged with second degree murder in connection with the death.

In light of these developments, Arrows head coach Regy Thorpe spoke with the Hamilton Spectator. While Thorpe describes Hill as a “wonderful man on and off the field” he stresses that the thoughts and prayers of the Arrows are first and foremost with the family of Tashina General.

On January 23, 2008 General’s mother notified police that her daughter had not returned home overnight after leaving for work the day previous. Her remains were discovered Friday, April 25 in an area near Chiefswood Road and Indian Townline. According to police, cause of death was strangulation.

Hill is said to have appeared in Brantford court yesterday for a remand hearing after he was reportedly arrested in North Bay and brought back to Six Nations. Hill is the alleged ex-boyfriend of General though the paternity of General’s unborn baby is as yet unconfirmed.

In addition to his junior career with the Six Nations Arrows which includes four league titles and one Minto Cup, Hill was a member of the 2006 and 2007 Iroquois Nationals, was named the 2007 Midfielder of the Year for the National Champion Onondaga Community College, and was expected to play for Syracuse University this fall.


Insider’s NLL All-Rookie Team

Last week I dropped some names for possible NLL All-Rookie Team. This week I’ve included the feedback of other Insiders and together, by default, we’ve come up with an All-Rookie squad.

Your official NLL All-Rookie team will be comprised of the top 6 Rookie of the Year vote getters, 1 goaltender maximum. There is no required breakdown but there’s usually a good cross-section of positions.

Official NLL balloting is conducted this week and closed before the first playoff game. All awards will be announced shortly, leading up to the championship game.

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NLL Insider picks for Rookie of the Year

We dropped an NLL All-Rookie team selection on you today so, of course, we also had to provide a vote for a Rookie of the Year (ROTY).

Overwhelmingly, but not unanimously, the Insider vote for the 2008 ROTY went to the No. 1 overall selection of the 2007 NLL Entry Draft, Jordan Hall.

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Rush know what they want

There was a 4-1 stretch to the season that looked mighty good to the Edmonton Rush this season. Scared a few other teams out West, too.

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Problem was, that 4-1 stretch was sandwiched between an 0-6 start and an 0-5 finish. Not good, at all. It all added up to a 4-12 finish for the club, and as disappointing as that finish is, the club is already feeling good about 2009. Rush owner Bruce Urban told the Edmonton Journal he’s got complete trust in what sort of moves his coach/general manager Bob Hamley plans to do this offseason, and that includes three first-round draft choices. “Bob’s a great judge of talent,” Urban told the Journal. “He’s analyzed what we’ve got, he’s analyzed what we need to get going. He’s not just winging it.”

Of course, there’s still a bit of time before most of us start thinking draft, but Hamley’s already got his head wrapped around it. He tells the Journal he’s essentially happy with the defense he’s got, but would like to lure Andrew Turner out of retirement. Who wouldn’t? So if Hamley is able to add Turner to his defense and get the gunslingers he wants in his offense, there could be a nice rush for Rush playoff tickets come this time next season.


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Jim Veltman: One More Time

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There was so much written about Jim Veltman the last week that I had a difficult time trying to think of something to say about him that wasn’t said already  (many times).

Everybody knows of his humanitarian work, his leadership skills, and his relationship with the fans. In fact, I think that part of the reason fans are so endeared to him is that his humble quiet demeanor is so unlike the “jock” stereotype.

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Who’s going to win this weekend . . .

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It’s not easy to pick winners in the NLL.

Especially this season.

The best you can do is take all the knowledge you have of the league, combine it with logic, reasoning and gut intuition to make an educated guess. Picking the score is even tougher, but it’s just a ballpark guess and adds to the fun.

My NLLInsider colleague and friend Brian Shanahan took a lot of heat for many of his picks this season when they turned out wrong. However, given the fact he’s the most knowledgeable guy I know when it comes to this league, it shows how tough being a prognosticator is. If he predicts games wrong, those panning his picks on message boards wouldn’t stand a snowballs chance in, well, you get the picture.

With that in mind, he’s my two cents on this weekend’s opening round of the playoffs.

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Does D really win Championships?

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It’s funny that a post popped up on the boards today about D winning Cups, cuz it’s an adage I was giving some serious thought to last week.

Does defense really win Cups?

It’s a line I’m sure everyone has heard a million and one times. But is it true? READ MORE »


Six Nations Arrows star Kent Squire-Hill reportedly charged in death of woman

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On the morning of the memorial service for Tashina General comes the news that 20 year-old Six Nations Arrows lacrosse player Kent Squire-Hill has reportedly been charged with second-degree murder in connection with her death.

21 year-old General was about five months pregnant when she disappeared on January 22, 2008. Hill reported dropping General off in the vicinity of her workplace, Village Pizza, around noon that day. According to the Hamilton Spectator, General never arrived at work. In the weeks that followed, Six Nations police were informed that General had been seen in the community but those reports remain unconfirmed.

The body was discovered by a police dog in an area off Chiefswood Road near Indian Line on the Six Nations reserve. An exact date of death has yet to be determined but preliminary tests indicate that General had been deceased for weeks or even months prior to the discovery of her body. According to police, General died of strangulation.

Note: while the accused is identified in the Spec article as Kent Owen Hill, NLLinsider has confirmed with a source close to the accused that Kent Owen Hill and Kent Squire-Hill are the same person.