SIX NATIONS – It’s the end of training camp for all Canadian Lacrosse League (Clax) teams, and last Friday night and Saturday’s Saturday’s showcase series of games at the ILA solidified the rosters of all Canadian Lacrosse League franchise teams. The series of games involving all five Clax teams provided a chance for the coaches and general managers to see what their hopefuls look like in game-like situations before they made their final cuts.
The series was not about who would win or loose, it was about watching players in different circumstances. But that being said, the Ohsweken Demons won all three of their scheduled games easily.
Now, Demons’ head coach Randy Chrysler has a problem — – a good problem, but a problem just the same. Last year’s league championship team, the Ironmen are not playing this year, but the Ohsweken Demons, the league’s inaugeral season winners, are and that means a glut of talent. Add to that the Jr. A Arrows Express and the Jr. B Founders Cup Champion Rebels graduating players to choose from and Chrysler will have to let players go that would easily make any other team in the league.
With so much lacrosse talent vying for 20 jobs, who gets cut and who stays will not be made based on talent alone, , according to Chrysler.
“It will be talent, plus attitude and dedication to the team that will make the difference,” he says. But even at that, he admits it will be a very tight race. The roster is to be finalized by Wednesday, January 22nd.
Due to off season problems at the league management level, the season had to be trimmed down to fefour home and four away regular season games before playoffs.
The list of member teams has also been reduced from seven last year to five this year.
The Iroquis Ironmen, who shared the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena with the Ohsweken Demons last year, have taken this season off with hopes that maybe next year they will come back in one form or another.
The Toronto Shooting Stars have also taken a year off to try and find a more cost efficient home arena. Last year they tried to make a go of it with a brand new franchise in a brand new league at the fabled Maple Leaf Gardens. Maybe a bit too soon.
The Brampton Inferno franchise has become the Southwest Cyclops, and will be playing their four home games this year at the ILA in Six Nations.
“We are trying to find a home for the Cyclops a little further west for next year,” said Newsome. “We’re looking for something in the Windsor, or London area for 2015.”
It was thought earlier that a team out of Tuscarora would be more or less trying the league on for size with a limited number of games played to test the Tuscarora market. But that idea has been shelved for a year.
“We are still talking to them down in Tuscarora and we hope to have something in place for next year,” said Newsome.
The professional, Canadian Lacrosse League, or C-Lax, begins its third season February 1st in Niagara, but the Demons home opener will be Saturday night, February 8th at the ILA. The Southwest Cyclops’ home opener will also be at the ILA, Friday, Feb. 14th.