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Rochester Knighthawks GM Regy Thorpe signs playing contract for 2009 NLL season

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NLL Insider has learned that current Rochester Knighthawks GM Regy Thorpe has signed a contract today that will not only have him serving as the franchise’s active GM, but also as a player during the 2009 NLL season.

It appeared that Thorpe had ended his 14 year playing career this past off-season when the Knighthawks named the hard-nosed defender their new GM after the departure of Ed Comeau, who left Rochester to pursue a new GM and coaching position with the New York Titans.

The dual role Thorpe will apparently be serving in is the first of its kind in the NLL, while occurrences of a player-GM are extremely rare in any professional sport in North American or abroad.

There is speculation that the Knighthawks have had trouble rebuilding a defense that is currently without an unsigned Marshall Abrams, who was moved to the team’s protected player list earlier today, Jack Reid, Stephen Hoar, and previously to today, Thorpe.

In place of the players listed above, the franchise has added the likes of Kyle Laverty, Troy Bonterre and Entry Draft pick, Kyle Guadagnolo.

Guadagnolo’s Syracuse teammate, defender Brendan Loftus, who was also selected in this year’s Entry Draft, has yet to sign with the Knighthawks.

The current Rochester GM had never actually officially announced his retirement prior to stepping into his new role with the team. Previous to the announcement of Paul Suggate taking over the team’s coaching duties, it was also rumoured that Thorpe would likely also have been named the team’s head coach.

Thorpe had previously told the Rochester D&C, on the day of his move to the team’s front office, “I think I can better serve the team the next couple years up in the management office, helping the team achieve its goals. I think I have a good idea what the team needs.”

League insiders and players are already wondering what Thorpe’s presences in both the team’s front office and locker room will have on the team, creating a dynamic very rarely seen at a professional sports level. It’s unknown how many games the team expects Thorpe will start, if indeed that’s the plan.

It’s expected the Knighthawks will be making an announcement sometime this week in regards to Thorpe’s signing and what that will mean to the team this season.

The foremost boxla writer, Tutka is a former NLL scout and a longtime Inside Lacrosse contributor. Email him at paul.tutka@nllinsider.com.

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