As I stated earlier this Winter, the further Floridafication of Major League Lacrosse’s newest franchise was only a matter of time.
First the team shipped Brodie Merrill and (Boston native) Martin Cahill off to the Boston Cannons in exchange for Florida native Lee Coppersmith and PT Ricci. Then the Launch moved Roy Lang (a CA native) out to Denver as they picked up a new goalie in Adam Fullerton, which means another goalie trade (to get rid of Queener or Dillon Ward) will likely go down in the near future, depending on Fullerton’s availability this season. Fullerton was stationed in Colorado in the past, and this move makes more sense if his service location with the Army has changed to a base in Florida. We’ll have to see about that…
But the biggest news of all has been the Casey Powell – Joe Walters swap that went down yesterday. Powell was a leader for the Bayhawks last year, and helped them win their second straight title. It’s a little surprising to see Powell leave such a monster team, but when you consider all the promotion work he did for the last MLL All-Star game (held in Florida), it starts to make some sense. Then you remember Powell lives in Florida, and runs a HS lacrosse program in the state, and it makes even more sense. Then you learn that Powell was supposedly one of the “leakers” of the new Florida franchise news and we enter “duh” status.
This move was going to happen from the get go… and thankfully, it makes sense for both teams. Florida gets a local guy with a legendary name, and plenty of gas left in the tank. And Chesapeake gets a veteran offensive midfielder who should fit in with the snipe heavy play of the Bayhawks.
Here is what Dave Cottle, coach of the Bayhawks, had to say about the deal:
Huh, it looks like Casey asked to be traded to Florida. That makes even more sense.
Since Florida doesn’t have a website just yet, here is the current list of players they control, as far as we can tell:
PT Ricci, Lee Coppersmith, Adam Fullerton, Casey Powell, Reid Acton, Josh Amidon, Kevin Crowley, Kevin Cunningham, Tucker Durkin, Jordan Hall, Cody Jamieson, Stephen Keough, Roman Lao-Gosney, Cameron Lao-Gosney, Chris LaPierre, Matt Lovejoy, Donny Moss, Jason Noble, Mike Poppleton, Brett Queener, Jeremy Thompson, Garrett Thul, and Dillon Ward.
Can we expect to see more movement from the Florida Launch? As long as there are lots of Canadian players on the roster, I think the answer is a resounding yes.
One other thing to keep an eye on is that with the NLL and MLL seasons overlapping more now than ever, MLL teams could be much less likely to keep Canadian primarily box style players on their rosters. Why these two leagues can’t find a way to work together is totally mystifying, but that’s an issue for another day. For now just keep an eye on Florida, and know that these types of trades are still only the beginning.