Casey Powell tells Inside Lacrosse he’s done with Major League Lacrosse and is retiring. He’s 36 and you knew the day would come eventually but he did say he’s keeping options open and is “looking forward to playing in the NLL again this season.” Wait, what? If that’s the case, the Rochester Knighthawks fans have got to be excited. Because if that scenario unfolds, and the reigning champions add the likes of CP, Paul Rabil (acquired via trade with Edmonton) and a healthy Jordan Hall (torn ACL in 2012), what sort of lineup is Rochester going to throw on the floor for the 2013 season? It’s a big “if” because Rochester doesn’t even know if Rabil plans to play, but if Powell does make it back to the NLL after sitting out last season, he can only play with Rochester because the Knighthawks franchised him earlier this summer.
“Although I’m done with the MLL, I still feel like I have a lotta lacrosse left in me,” he told IL. “The fire still burns and I look forward to continuing to play the game that I love. It just won’t be on MLL fields.”
It’s still very early, and the possibility that Rochester trades Powell is not out of the question. Rochester currently does not have a pick in the first or second rounds of the upcoming entry draft, so owner/GM Curt Styres may opt to make a move to change that. Trading Rabil is yet another option if the Knighthawks feel the need to acquire more picks. Rochester won the title without those 2 guys, so the idea of moving them is not a stretch.
But, what if Rochester does not move them? The Knighthawks were inconsistent during the regular season — as were many NLL teams. They got hot at the right moment and rode that momentum to a win in the title game at home. Bringing in a pair of sticks like Powell and Rabil could give the lineup a bit of a foundation for more stability.
Adding Powell would give the team a proven veteran leader who is not afraid to pay the physical price to score goals or set them up. That sets a fine example for youngsters, who don’t want to disappoint any teammate, much less the only American to be named MVP of the NLL. Adding Rabil gives Rochester even more speed — along with a bit of a chip-on-my-shoulder attitide — to the transition game. If you’ve seen Rabil’s work in Washington, you know what he’s capable of and it’s an attitude and approach to the game that any team would like to get on its scoresheet.
It’s an interesting scenario playing out in Rochester. There are plenty of options and fortunately for Knighthawks fan, all of the options appear to be good ones.
Plus the links
Buffalo Bandits goalie Mike Thompson announced his retirement from the NLL earlier this summer and this week, it was defenseman Darryl Gibson’s turn. “I wanted to go out on my own terms,” Thompson told Bandits.com. “Some goalies don’t have a choice and I didn’t want to put myself in that situation.” Gibson played for 7 teams in his 12-year career, the last 3 with Buffalo. “My only regret was not winning another ring with this group. It was truly an honor to be a part of the Bandits family, and I will always consider myself a Bandit,” said Gibson in the same Bandits news release … Toronto Rock forward Dan Carey has been named an assistant coach for the men’s field team at Trent University … Defenseman Chet Koneczny signed a 1-year deal with the Colorado Mammoth and will compete for a roster spot after sitting out the 2012 NLL season … Steve Toll knows the feeling, having won a Minto Cup in 1991 with St. Catharines. This weekend, he’s assisting Rush coach Derek Keenan with the Whitby Warriors as they try to defend their 2011 Cup title … The Minnesota Swarm rewarded coach Joe Sullivan, the 2012 NLL Coach of the Year, with a new 2-year contract. The team also renewed contracts with assistant coaches Aime Caines and Bobby Keast along with western scout Jake Elliott … The left side of the lineup in Philadelphia added a bit of depth with a trade to acquire Kevin Buchanan from Buffalo. Buchanan joins a left side that already includes Ned Crotty and Brendan Mundorf, along with another newcomer in Kevin Ross, who was acquired in a separate deal this offseason. The Wings sent David Brock and Mike Hominuck to Buffalo for Buchanan and a 2013 third-round draft pick … The Toronto Rock re-signed veteran defenseman Rob Marshall and added Brandon Ivey, an unrestricted free agent who was drafted by Calgary in the first round in 2011 but didn’t make the team last season. Ivey played Junior A in Orangeville, where he was coached by Matt Sawyer, an assistant with the Rock.Chavez is an avid lacrosse player in Rochester and a journalist for the Democrat and Chronicle as well as a longtime Inside Lacrosse contributor. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to RochesterSports.com.
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