While the National Football League's free agency period has attracted the most attention, the National Lacrosse League comes up another annual event Wednesday. The trading deadline arrives at 5 p.m. Usually, that's a quiet time but it's already different now.
Casey Powell was traded by Rochester to Colorado for Jon Sullivan and a third-round pick. The deal was completed on Monday night, but it was formally announced today. It's always a surprise when a former league MVP is dealt, but the Knighthawks haven't played consistently well this season. When I told someone in the league that I had picked Rochester to win the East before the season, he replied, "Not enough balls to go around," meaning the Knighthawks had too many weapons and only one lacrosse ball to share.
Powell probably will retire after this season, and he's probably happy to be reunited with Mammoth assistant coach Ray Comeau.
Last year, the biggest move was from Toronto, which picked up goalie Nick Rose from Calgary and released Matt Roik.
Will the Bandits do much? Tough to say. I've gone back over the last four years, and they didn't complete any moves of consequence. Buffalo does have a great many players around, some of whom are not on the active roster. I could see the Bandits giving up a player in exchange for a draft choice to clear the roster out slightly. I could also see Buffalo trying to trade for a faceoff man, or at least sign one, if Jay Thorimburt is going to be out for any length of time.
By the way, rosters are frozen on Friday. I suspect we'll hear more then about possible suspensions and appeals from last week's hijinks as well. I would think there would be appeals, if only because the two teams don't want to lose four guys from the lineup in the same week.
Meanwhile ... the NLL sent around a statistical packet today that has all sorts of information. A few noteworthy items:
* Bandits' power play is at 41 percent. That's the lowest figure in the league. Buffalo is fourth in penalty-killing at 49 percent.
* Bandits have scored three short-handed goals, and given up 12.
* Buffalo's penalty-minute average is up to 18.2 per game. That's seventh in the league. Colorado moved up to second in the NLL at 22.1 PIM per game.
* Bandits are second in the league in shots at 52.1 per game, and sixth in fourth in fewest shots allowed at 51.2.
--- Budd Bailey