With the Clax season starting this weekend here are the top 5 stories to watch for as the season goes on.
5. Can the Blizzard be competitive?: The Barrie Blizzard are new to Clax this year and are the first ever expansion team in the league. On paper Barrie looks like a team that could surprise a lot of people but can they live up to that potential. In the preseason Barrie has looked good as they knocked off the Durham TurfDogs 19-11. If Barrie can continue their strong play and become a contender they will have all eyes in Clax on them.
4. Is Relocation the answer?: For the Toronto Shooting Stars and Niagara Lock Monsters this will be their first season in Clax as Toronto relocated from Oshawa and Niagara relocated from Peel. Both teams struggled last year but will relocation provide a new will to
win. The Lock Monsters made some major changes to their team trading for Dylan Llord, Brad Favero , Dustin Dunn and Dan Williams. These players will help compliment Kim Squire and will make the Monsters competitive this year. For the Stars the question is can they bring winning back to Maple Leaf Gardens as they will be the first pro team
to play there since it closed in 2001. The Stars team on paper looks solid but they will need to show what they can do on the floor and make a statement.
3. Can Oshweken Repeat?: The Oshweken Demons won the Creator’s cup in 2012 and will have their sights set on repeating as champions this year. The Demons bring back roughly the same team from last year but will it be enough. The Demons traded Chris Atwood this offseason to the Iroquois Ironmen and have now put the pressure on Jeff Powless to
carry the load for the team in net. If Powless can stay on top of his game and the Demons can get some scoring with the absence of Atwood they will be able to be competitive this year and make a run for a repeat.
2. Inferno Play with fire: The Brampton Inferno played with fire this offseason during the draft and choose many players who were already drafted to NLL teams and had to hope that some would not make the cut and return to Clax. The Inferno also took another risk as they traded for Barrie’s top pick in the NLL supplemental draft and took Steve Fryer who looked solid this past summer in the WLA with the Langley Thunder. The question now is will this strategy make the Inferno the team to beat or will they burn out. The Inferno will be relying on Dustin Caravello , and Scott Tinning to make an impact of offense while Rick McCullugh will have his chance to prove himself between the pipes. If the Inferno fail to win this season expect their draft tactics to be questioned.
1. MVP Traded? : The hot topic heading into this season is what impact the reigning league MVP Chris Atwood will have on the Iroquois Ironmen. The Ironmen were finalists for the Creators cup last year and did so by having a deep offense which struggled with consistency issues and great goaltending from Mike Atwood. Chris Atwood has proven he can carry the offensive load for a team as he did for the Demons last year and if he can improve on his 71 points from last year watch out as Chris Atwood will be a one man wrecking machine and will make all the players around him better. Atwood could be the key to the Ironmen getting their hands on the creator’s cup.