The National Lacrosse League trade deadline is never quite as exciting as the trade deadlines in other sports. However, several teams in this 2016 season have needs, which could lead to a few more moves than we are used to seeing.
The Rochester Knighthawks might need to add a lefty with Cory Vitarelli on the shelf. Quinn Powless was added in a trade with New England earlier this season, but the Knighthawks need more depth at forward, even with Mark Cockerton on the practice squad. Paul Dawson was also recently placed on the injured reserve, so depth at defense could be a bonus.
The Toronto Rock are no longer having a lost season, but have plenty of veteran pieces that could help other teams if they allow themselves to be traded. Toronto has also lost defender Scott Johnston with another knee injury, so it wouldn’t be surprising for the Rock to pick up an Ontario based defenseman. Of note as well, Colin Doyle did not make the trip to Saskatchewan this weekend.
The Georgia Swarm are always an active team, but usually its trading away key talent from the Hive. Georgia’s season has gone south after a good start, now holding just a one game advantage over Toronto in the eastern conference standings. The team is healthy, but it has lacked defense since the start of the season. If the Swarm can convince a veteran defenseman to come to Gwinnett, that’s the move the team should be looking for.
The Buffalo Bandits have no first round picks in the 2016 draft and could be on the search to add more young talent. Additionally, Billy Dee Smith remains out of the lineup, so depth on transition could be something the Bandits seek. If Buffalo did look to add a first round pick, however, it would be by moving roster players, which they may not want to do in the playoff hunt. Or, they could wait until the end of the season.
Logan Schuss is on the IR in Vancouver, which means the offense in Vancouver is a bit thin. The Stealth are the furthest out of the playoffs out of any NLL team, so to give something up might not be in their best interest, but they could try to add another forward.
Last season was one of the more eventful deadlines in the history of the league, with New England acquiring defenseman Andrew Suitor and forward Garrett Billings, shipping Kevin Crowley to Toronto. Vancouver and Minnesota (now Georgia) also made a monumental move with Johnny Powless being exchanged for Logan Schuss.
There were hold out situations with Billings and Schuss last year, and this year there isn’t nearly as much of that, which means we may not see as many big names being dealt.