IL Indoor Roundtable: CP to Colorado, who’s to blame for brawl in Buff and how about the other Rock adding Sanderson?

How will Casey Powell affect the Colorado offence? (Photo: Larry Palumbo)
How will Casey Powell affect the Colorado offence? (Photo: Larry Palumbo)

The big lacrosse news this week came on a variety of fronts, so we have diverse subjects for our IL Indoor Roundtable. First, the panel of Ty Pilson, Bob Chavez, Teddy Jenner and Stephen Stamp look at the big trade between Colorado and Rochester that saw Casey Powell head out west and Jon Sullivan heading the other way. ¬†We toss around who’s to blame for starting the Colorado/Buffalo brawl. Finally, the panel weighs in on the proposed move of the Ajax Rock to the Toronto Rock Athletic Centre in Oakville and the team adding Terry Sanderson as General Manager.

An obvious subject has presented itself to kick off this week’s roundtable. Who wins the Casey Powell trade and what does it mean for both Colorado and Rochester?

PILSON: Tough to pick a winner at this point, but it’s clear both clubs addressed an issue. Rochester needed more depth on defence, got a high draft pick to boot, and Colorado got some extra punch on offence. The Mammoth were desperate for more goals. Some of the youngsters they had hoped would step up haven’t. No other team in the West would deal them a significant forward because they are division rivals and everyone wants to guard their depth in case of late injuries, and no one else in the East (Philly or Buffalo) have the depth or want to deal a forward (Toronto wants depth, too). So far Powell has been so-so in Rochester and they have a surplus of forwards. Did Steve Govett and the Mammoth pay a steep price? Yes. Is it a big gamble, one which could backfire if Powell is past his best-for date and retires after this year? Yes. However, this league isn’t about long term. It’s about winning right now and being last isn’t going to fly in Denver. Powell should help Junior and Jones get more time on the other side of the floor and give Gavin Prout a guy to work with on his side. It sure will be interesting to see how Powell does with the Mammoth, that’s for sure.

CHAVEZ: I think it’s a win-win, especially if Prout is out for an extended time. But even with Prout in, the Mammoth were woefully unproductive from the right side this season. When John Grant Jr. and Adam Jones combine for 49 goals from the left side, and Prout, Sean Pollock and Jordan McBride combine for 27 from the right, guess which side opponents key their defense on? Powell may not have the quickness and execution he had in the past (who among us does?), but he’s still very active with his movement away from the ball. Sullivan gives the Knighthawks some speed — and good decision-making — out of the back end that they’ve been missing with the retirement of Pat McCready and Ryan Cousins.

JENNER: Agreed on the win-win line of thinking but the one question I keep asking is- Was Govett forced to make this trade due to an injured Prout?! Gavin didn’t play in Buffalo and then all of a sudden they make this trade…. CP adds depth, experience and another scoring threat. But depleting an already shaky D could be a back breaker here for the Mammoth. The Hawks get to tighten up a backend that’s giving up a league low 92 goals. Speed, grit, experience and leadership are all qualities Sully brings with him after 9 seasons in the NLL. This also opens up the righty offense in Roch and asks the question, will this allow Mike Accursi a chance to get back into the lineup?!

STAMP: Good points all around. I really like the trade for Rochester because I’m a big fan of Sullivan and, nothing against Casey but it seems like removing one of the righties might just be addition by subtraction for their offence. As for Colorado, it’s a little less certain how it will play out but adding Powell certainly looks on paper like it makes them better.

While we’re with the Mammoth, they were part of a line brawl at the end of the game against Buffalo last weekend and meet the Bandits for a rematch this week? Who do you blame for brawl breaking out? Was it Bob Hamley for calling a timeout with a big lead late, or Darris Kilgour for sending out guys who clearly had instructions not to dance? And what do you think should be the fallout?

CHAVEZ: I’m not going to blame Bob Hamley’s timeout call for that fight. He explained why he did and even if you don’t buy his reasoning, it’s a pretty silly reason to start a fight over. If Colorado were shooting on cage at that point of the game, by all means, drop the gloves and let them know. But calling a timeout at the point is not that insulting. And if the Bandits are going to take that much of an issue with a timeout call, maybe they have more to worry about than we thought. There will be suspensions and they’ll all be sorted out, but the guys will have to be careful down the stretch to avoid another misconduct penalty that’ll incur an automatic suspension by rule. Neither team can afford to have guys benched as they fight for playoff spots.

PILSON: I agree with Chavez. Hamley explained why he took the timeout. Makes sense to me. The long and the short of it is fights at the end of games – especially when they are blowouts or lop-sided losses – are stupid. It makes the NLL look bush league. Hopefully the league brass sends a message.

JENNER- I’ve spoken with many players form both sides. 1- the game wasn’t getting out of hand so need for the fights. 2- Cupido is a football and lacrosse player, I’m sure he can take a few whacks over a lose ball. 3- if you want to protect your players, just turn the ball over. 4- why put out 5 fighters?! I wonder if Rory was to fight- cause it looks like he was waiting for he green light. For me- I blame Hamley- he sent out the troops when he was up 6 with under a minute to go in a game that was fairly tame.

STAMP: Ok, how about some Major Series Lacrosse talk? Terry Sanderson has joined the Ajax Rock as their GM in light of their likely move to Oakville. How much difference do you think he’ll make to a team that has yet to be competitive in MSL and how quickly does he make the difference? I think it will be huge and it will be quick. Sanderson is such a smart and competitive lacrosse guy that he’ll make that team start getting better immediately. And if the move to Oakville goes through I think it’s a huge positive for the team and for lacrosse in general. Talk about a win-win.

CHAVEZ: I like the Oakville move and getting Sanderson on board is great. He’s a fantastic lacrosse mind and scout who obviously knows what he’s doing. The bigger battle will be getting the players, and we all know how challenging that can be in MSL. There are lots of forces — spoken and unspoken — at work in that league that dictate player movement.

PILSON: I’m no expert on the MSL being way out here in the hinterland of Alberta, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see this will be a great move for the franchise and the league. Terry Sanderson is a winner. Period. He’s great at evaluating talent and even better at building a roster much the way a kid puts together his latest lego masterpiece: making a whole bunch of pieces fit together to create a winning combination.

JENNER: Having played against some of T’s Bramptom teams and NLL teams as well- it’s easy to say there aren’t too many guys who are better on the job than he is. Plus a move to Oakville and the TRAC will be great for a struggling franchise. Jamie Dawickhas put in countless hours building a new culture out there and this is another example of him continually trying to grow the game.

Stamp is a TV sports announcer and lacrosse lover whose skill set made him a defender but who always dreamed of being a goal-scorer. He can be reached at stamplax@hotmail.com.

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