Week one of NLL camp is in the books, and we have learned a lot about teams and players. What are the ten biggest stories from camp? Keep reading on for the top stories.
1. Kyle Hartzell Hold Out?
According to our Rocco Granato, Kyle Hartzell is not happy with the trade to Philadelphia and coaches think he has a problem with his role. Hartzell was recently placed on the protected players list, so we might not see Hartzell in the NLL this season.
2. Knighthawks Have a Goalie Situation
Jake Henhawk was late to the party due to border issues and Ben Van Every is injured, but the Rochester Knighthawks were happy with Ian Duffy and Mike Matteo who were there when needed in a pinch. We could see a good battle open up in Rochester.
3. MacIntosh Concussion
Jordan MacIntosh suffered a concussion against the Colorado Mammoth in an exhibition game yesterday. He suffered an elbow to the head from Jovan Miller and had to leave the game. If out long term, that is a major blow to the Minnesota transition.
4. Lum Walker Out for Season
The Toronto Rock lost a stud rookie defender in Mike Lum Walker, who injured his knee in just the first practice of the season. He will miss nine months, and thus, the season. Toronto is deep on defense, but he will be missed.
5. Buffalo Injuries Not Serious
As we reported earlier today, both Mark Steenhius and Scott Self do not have serious injuries. Both had minor hip precedes and should be ready for the start of the season. They are very happy that Steenhius just has this hip injury, as they thought it had been a double sports hernia.
6. Young Goalies Pushing Colorado
Tye Belanger is out for a bit for the Mammoth and Chris Levis is getting older. Camp goalie Matt Roik is older and struggled last season, but two other goalies are pushing the envelope. Dan Lewis, just 22 years old and rookie Mike Attwood both saw time at Mammoth camp yesterday, and they each have a chance with Belanger out.
7. Free Agents Giving Philly Hard Decisions
Philadelphia has brought in more free agents than anyone, and they are forcing the Wings into some very difficult decisions. Righty shooters Ethan Farrell and Greg Rogowski both skipped their last PLL game for camp last night and impressed again. Eric Lusby and Joe Vitale are also doing a lot on the left side, something the Wings need with Brendan Mundorf out. Transition man Will Harrington is also impressing, and we could see him on the squad.
8. McBride’s Year?
Second year player Jordan McBride scored two goals in the exhibition game yesterday for the Mammoth. Last season the forward scored 20 points in 11 games, but we could see a bigger role for him in 2013.
9. Dhane Smith is Legit
Smith scored two goals in the scrimmage yesterday, and GM Steve Dietrich said that he will be used out the backdoor, which Smith is excited about. He was one of the best on the floor in Buffalo on Saturday.
10. Mammoth Defensive Woes Not Getting to Them
John Orsen is on the PUP and Ian Hawksbee is holding out, but that didn’t stop men like Rory Smith yesterday. The Mammoth might be fine even with some of their top defenseman to start the year.