Hello PACK! I hope the summer is treating everyone well and you are finding ways to enjoy this heat we have been experiencing. It has been a while since I last wrote and I wanted to give you an update on how the Black Wolves are doing this summer.
We had the World Outdoor Lacrosse Championships this past month in Netyana, Israel. The new World Champions are the United States of America in a thrilling gold medal game that was decided on a goal with no time left on the clock. We had a few Black Wolves compete in the tournament with Kevin Crowley and Mark Cockerton representing Team Canada. We are proud of their efforts and their silver medal win.
We had a very interesting expansion draft take place between Philadelphia and San Diego looking to establish their rosters. We lost Anthony Joaquim, a very promising young defender and Matt Rambo, an America field player that we were hoping to have in the mix.
After the expansion draft the “transaction freeze” was lifted and we could get to work. We started by signing Callum Crawford to a two-year deal. What can I say that Callum hasn’t already said or demonstrated? Callum was an unrestricted free agent that could have waited till August 1st and test the free agency waters with other teams. He decided against that. He believed in our vision here and signed for two years. I think this speaks volumes of what we are doing here and trying to build. Callum touched on that in his video after signing (watch HERE) about the family here and that is something I am very proud that we have built here in New England.
After signing Callum we had a hole on the right side with the departure of Kyle Buchanan, and we went out and traded for Tyler Digby. Now, some of you mentioned on social media that we did have Tyler before, and you are correct. We had him for a brief moment in 2015 and then traded him to Calgary for Shawn Evans. Most of the time you have to give up something good to get something good and that is what we had to do with Tyler, but we always liked Tyler and kept our eyes on him. The timing was perfect for us to make this deal and bring in a huge piece (figuratively and literally – Tyler is 6’5” and 240lbs). He is the perfect complement to our right side with arguably the best goal scorer in the league, Kevin Crowley, the athletic playmaker, Callum Crawford and now we add the big athletic, inside presence of Tyler. We are very excited about how are right side looks with three players over six feet tall and 200 points who all have scored at least 30 goals in a season. Like I said before, this was the perfect piece for us and we are very happy.
We also signed Jay Thorimbert on Wednesday and with that signing we bring back an elite face off specialist and one of our important leaders. Jay was also an unrestricted free agent who believes in what we are doing and signed with us before he could explore other options.
With the addition of Jay, that brings us to the following players that are signed for the upcoming season:
- Doug Jamieson
- Callum Crawford
- Kevin Crowley
- Stephan Leblanc
- Reilly O’Connor
- Brett Manney
- John LaFontaine
- David Brock
- Jay Thorimbert
- Nick Chaykowsky
- Joel Coyle
- Derek Suddons
- Colton Watkinson
We also have some contracts that are out and waiting for their return. This is very exciting because we are keeping the core together of our playoff team last year. Free agency begins on August 1st and we will be very active. So stay tuned for some more exciting news.
This has been a good off season so far, but we are far from done to building a team that you can be proud of and building a team that brings the championship to New England.
I look forward to my next From the Desk of the GM as we get closer to training camp. Thanks and can’t wait to see everyone at Mohegan Sun soon.