GURT'S BLOG: BANDITLAND IS OPEN FOR BUSINESSBlogs | 12/27/2013 1:41:53 PM | John Gurtler
It is the most wonderful time of the year!
Below is a time-line of the off-season events of note that took place with the Bandits and NLL:
April 27 - End regular season with loss and first time out of the playoffs twenty-odd some years. 6-10 record.
May - Evaluation period with one-on-ones, looking for answers and direction, status of each player.
June 10 – Bandits decide not to renew contract of Darris Kilgour and coaching staff.
June 13 – Mark Steenhuis is named to All-Green Team by the Green Sports Alliance.
June 27 – Washington Stealth relocate to Vancouver, Canada; home games will be played at the Langley (B.C.) Events Centre.
July 3 – Bandits name Troy Cordingley as head coach. In four seasons with Toronto, he led the Rock to a pair of championships and division titles, and received two Coach of the Year awards. Cordingley played seven years with the Bandits, and was an assistant coach for six years.
July 15 – Bandits acquire Ryan Benesch and transition player Andrew Watt from Minnesota for first-round pick in 2015 & 2016 and third round in 2017.
July 17 – Bandits announce coaching staff: Dan Teat, Richie Kilgour, Rusty Kruger, Steve Toll, Dave Pym and Rob Buchan.
July 30 – Bandits acquire Rory Smith from Colorado, in exchange for Carter Bender (who did not make the Colorado Mammoth).
September 3 – NLL announces 2013-2014 schedule, which includes 18-game schedule, nine home and nine away, for each team. Buffalo opens at home on Dec. 28 vs. Philadelphia.
September 16 – The Bandits make five selections in the NLL Draft, including two picks in the second round: Nick Diachenko (University of Delaware) and Mitch Wilde (Robert Morris University). Buffalo also acquired Joe Resetarits (Calgary) and Mitch Jones (Vancouver) in separate trades.
September 25 – John Harasym announced his retirement after spending the better part of five seasons with the Bandits. The feisty player appeared in a total of 135 NLL games including Philadelphia, Toronto, Chicago, Minnesota, Rochester and Columbus.
September 25 – The American Indoor Lacrosse Association announced that Buffalo will host a regional qualifying event November 30 and December 1.
October 22 – NLL and Professional Lacrosse Players Association reached an agreement on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement that runs through 2020. Included are: modifications to free agency, which include lowering the age of unrestricted free agents from 32 to 30; reduction of franchise player designation per team from two to one; and the ability for veteran players (34+) to reject Franchise Designation.
Other highlights in the new CBA:
-Two additional regular season games, increasing from 16 to 18
-Expanded playoff format with two-game series in the Divisional and Championship Finals, from the previous single-game elimination format. If the series is 1-1 after two games, the teams will immediately play an additional 10-minute period to decide a series winner.
-Reduction of roster from 23 to 20 players with four practice players; game roster goes to 16 runners and two goaltenders.
-Eastern Division is realigned, with Minnesota joining Buffalo, Philadelphia, Toronto and Rochester.
October 30 – Bandits sign Aaron Wilson, Shawn Williams, Chad Culp, Anthony Cosmo and David Brock.
November 4 – Bandits sign five players, including draft picks Kevin Brownell and Hayden Smith.
November 15 – Bandits sign nine players, including all-time leading scorer John Tavares for his 23rd season.
November 25 – Bandits sign nine players lead by Dhane Smith and newcomers Ryan Benesch, Rory Smith and Joe Resetatits. Steve Priolo and Jay Thorimbert also ink.
December 7 – Bandits agree to terms with Billy Dee Smith, and defeat Philadelphia in their first of two preseason games.
December 8 – Training camp continues at First Niagara Center as the Bandits defeat Philadelphia in their second preseason game.
December 13 – Mike Hominuck announces retirement. Playing three seasons with the Bandits, the reliable transition player appeared in 102 NLL games also with Portland, Minnesota, Edmonton, Toronto and Philadelphia.
December 14 – Bandits lose preseason game number three to Edmonton.
December 16 – Bandits announce 20-man roster for the upcoming season. Sixteen players return and four join the club, including Ryan Benesch, Rory Smith, Joe Resetarits and Andrew Watt. A total of 10 players are gone from last year’s opening night roster. The roster includes eight forwards, five transition players, five defensemen and two goaltenders. Four players move to the practice squad, which include Jordon Critch and Hayden Smith.
December 21 – Bandits go through spirited practice, deliver season tickets in the afternoon and participate in team function off-site.
December 22 – Bandits host first-ever Christmas party for player families and team personnel. In addition to 85-foot food buffet, there was open skating on the First Niagara Center rink.
December 26 – Bandits prepare for the season opener with their first official practice of the regular season.
December 28 – Bandits set open regular season play on home turf of First Niagara Center against the Philadelphia Wings. Game time is 7:30 p.m.