Archive for the ‘Editorial’ Category


O’Neill: It’s easy to lose sight of positivity and optimism, but reminders are plentiful

A view from the bench during the Pee Wee C championships in Richmond, B.C. (Photo: Marty O'Neill)
A view from the bench during the Pee Wee C championships in Richmond, B.C. (Photo: Marty O'Neill)

The recent weekend of my lacrosse life revealed a Canadian champion in the World Field Lacrosse, my child’s silver medal placement in the B.C. Pee Wee “C” Championships in Richmond B.C. and the message “you gotta stay positive” inside an old favourite song Saturday night from one of my favourite bands visiting the River Rock Casino from Minnesota. Usually on ILIndoor, the reports I broadcast are not the brightest snapshots of our sport of lacrosse. In recent news the latest reminder of decay comes at the hands of the National Lacrosse League and the Philadelphia Wings. This news hits home within me, having given the Wings organization 3 of the hardest working years of my life. READ MORE »


Did Team Canada gain an edge with NLL experience to win gold? You be the judge

Garrett Thul was the only member of Team USA who played NLL last season. Team Canada had 17. (Photo: Larry Palumbo)
Garrett Thul was the only member of Team USA who played NLL last season. Team Canada had 17. (Photo: Larry Palumbo)

So Canada won the FIL World Championship in Denver with an 8-5 win over the United States on Saturday. It was field lacrosse, of course, but that still counts for patriotic bragging rights and once again, the Canadians have it. But here at ILIndoor, it’s our job to cover the world of indoor lacrosse and as luck would have it, there are plenty of indoor connections to what went down on Saturday. We could sit here all day and crunch numbers and analyze this and dissect that, but the angle we’re looking at is the National Lacrosse League. And Canada wins this one, too, 17-1. READ MORE »


O’Neill: Loading up on talent provides opportunity for some, leaves other behind

The movement(s) of goalie Peter Dubenski is just 1 example of the battle for resources between teams. (Photo: BCJALL)
The movement(s) of goalie Peter Dubenski is just 1 example of the battle for resources between teams. (Photo: BCJALL)

For as long as I can remember, competitive Canadian lacrosse has had two seasons, the first half extended preseason and the second half playoff push. We could be talking about the senior leagues or the Junior A rung, but either way there are a plethora of teams that don’t resemble the lineup sheets posted in April compared to the ones in late June. Senior has had issues getting top players back from the National Lacrosse League relocation or University down south since the 90s. The Shamrock teams of the 90s I played on were usually missing our top Junior pick at a U.S. school like Chris Pratt (‘92) at Rutgers, Del Halliday (‘94) at Loyola and Bruce Alexander (‘95) to Mercyhurst. It was the same for other Senior teams and is the norm in this era of heavy Canuck recruits in the NCAA. READ MORE »


Departure of the Philadelphia Wings should be surprising, but really, it’s not

Philadelphia fans have suffered, but the relocation of the Wings is the biggest hurt they've felt. (Photo: Larry Palumbo)
Philadelphia fans have suffered, but the relocation of the Wings is the biggest hurt they've felt. (Photo: Larry Palumbo)

One of the unfortunate lessons we’ve learned as fans of the National Lacrosse League is that teams come, and teams go. We’ve seen it all too often. Boston, Vancouver, Chicago, Arizona, San Jose, Albany, Pittsburgh, Columbus, Detroit and New York, just to name a few. The failure of some teams came as no surprise. Others were stunners. But the Philadelphia Wings? That’s not supposed to happen, right? They’ve been around, well, forever. Always a part of the NLL landscape, everyone’s favorite rival and one of the best road trips an opposing fan can make. So you’d think losing a team that’s been around for 28 seasons and won 6 championships would rank right at or even above the stunner level. But the reality is, it does not. The writing has been on the wall for some time, but that does not make last week’s development any less sad. READ MORE »


O’Neill: Grow the game by opening avenues for everyone, or risk being left behind

The passion of NLL fans should be an aspiration for lacrosse teams all across North America. (Photo: Todd Bauders)
The passion of NLL fans should be an aspiration for lacrosse teams all across North America. (Photo: Todd Bauders)

The world of sport has a carnival atmosphere here in early July of 2014. Inundated with World Cup soccer, the biggest game on two feet has spent the past few weeks showing us all who the big dog is on the world stage of sports. Everyone can cheer on a country of choice or just marvel at the spectacle of a sport that is larger than life. The World Cup is more complete than Olympic soccer, making it the ultimate soccer showdown. North America is growing in its appreciation of soccer again with Major League Soccer growing in size and spectatorship. National Lacrosse League cities like Vancouver, Philadelphia and Toronto have strong support for their hometown team. READ MORE »


O’Neill: Who’s flying under the radar when it comes to finding an NLL roster spot?

Burnaby's Bryan Safarik, far left, is a physical defender who rarely gets the praise he deserves. (Photo: Dan Brodie)
Burnaby's Bryan Safarik, far left, is a physical defender who rarely gets the praise he deserves. (Photo: Dan Brodie)

Summer lacrosse has broken ground on the 2014 seasons and Junior is starting to wind down for the playoffs while Senior is just starting to wind up for a frenzy of games before players book off for the 2014 World Field lacrosse Championship next month in Denver. Constant chatter out West has this being a throw-away year for the representing WLA member, who figures on a tough series with the East in the Mann Cup this fall. The balance of Senior A talent has shifted heavily to the East again and the top teams have added firepower to their already potent squads. Six Nations, Peterborough and Brooklin look especially strong for deep playoff runs in what should be an extremely hard fought Eastern championship. READ MORE »


O’Neill: Let’s target a new demographic so excuses don’t outnumber lacrosse fans

Fans of all ages show up in Victoria. Should Should the game broaden its target audience? (Photo: Kevin Light)
Fans of all ages show up in Victoria. Should Should the game broaden its target audience? (Photo: Kevin Light)

As the spring has given way to summer, I have found myself watching Jr. A lacrosse again in 2014. It remains the purest form of lacrosse in one sense. The players are less developed physically and mentally and the mistakes are honest. Teams aren’t over-coached and if they were the players most likely wouldn’t be able to absorb enough of the teachings. The junior game is about effort and determination with a little bit of testosterone thrown in. I appreciate the struggle a young rebuilding team must endure just like I appreciate the players showing up to play in Port Coquitlam, Nanaimo or Mississauga. Those are the teams that don’t have heavy executive and dollars to compete with the top dawgs. Still they persevere. READ MORE »


O’Neill: Canadian facemask controversy has 2 sides to the story, so here they are

Marty O'Neill has designed lacrosse gear for years and weighs in on the current controversy in Canada. (Photo: Marty O'Neill)
Marty O'Neill has designed lacrosse gear for years and weighs in on the current controversy in Canada. (Photo: Marty O'Neill)

The whole Canadian Lacrosse world has been working through the evolution of the regulations of our sport the past couple of years. New rules for goaltending equipment and net sizes hit us up a few years back. These days, face masks or head gear have become the centerpiece of an ongoing dilemma of what the rank and file has been asked to endure. I need to make something clear. I design and manufacturer lacrosse equipment and have been doing so for 25 years. I designed the face mask that revolutionized box lacrosse face masks back in 1999-2000 that is still worn today by NLL pros. I have been through the standards clearance process 3 times and most recently the CSA standard certification. I have some relevant experience to share. READ MORE »


Pilson: Games within the game will decide who wins NLL’s Champion’s Cup

The solid play of goalie Mike Poulin has been key for Calgary's success this season. (Photo: Dale MacMillan)
The solid play of goalie Mike Poulin has been key for Calgary's success this season. (Photo: Dale MacMillan)

It comes down to this: one game (and maybe a mini-game) for all the marbles. One team trying to become the first club in National Lacrosse League history to win three championships in a row. The other trying to win its third franchise title, looking to keep its pattern of hoisting the Champion’s Cup every five years in tact after winning in 2004 and 2009. With the aforementioned mini-games aside, both teams have won 15 games this season, with the Riggers going 3-1 in the playoffs and the Knighthawks 1-2. Calgary is also a perfect 2-0 against Rochester now this season and hopes to make it 3-0 and avoid another nail-biting mini-game to settle it all. There’s no shortage of great storylines in this championship series between two teams not all that familiar with each other. READ MORE »


Pilson: Roughnecks drew plenty of strength from energized Saddledome fans

The Roughnecks started strong and maintained their strength for 60 minutes to win Game 1. (Photo: Brad Watson)
The Roughnecks started strong and maintained their strength for 60 minutes to win Game 1. (Photo: Brad Watson)

For the first time in the 2014 National Lacrosse League playoffs, Roughnecks fans didn’t need a defibrillator. The Cardiac Kids won a game that never really seemed in doubt for them, taking the first game of the Champion’s Cup series 10-7 over the Knighthawks at the Saddledome. After first beating Colorado in overtime in the West semi, then beating Edmonton in overtime in the first game and needing a rally in Game 2 vs. the Rush to even make it close before winning a tight mini-game to clinch the West Division, the Riggers took an easier route Saturday night. Known all year for their late heroics and fourth-quarter comebacks, the Roughnecks led wire-to-wire against the two-time defending champs to go up 1-0 in the championship series. READ MORE »