Thank you for the question!! I am a little shocked I haven't been getting inundated with questions recently about everything that is going on with the Mammoth and the NLL.
We are very excited, to say the least, at some of the recent acquisitions for the upcoming season.
Matt Vinc is a special player, a great goaltender and great locker room leader. We have talked to Matt and I am very confident that he will be in a Mammoth uniform come training camp and the start of the season. This young dynamic goaltender has expressed his excitement to play in Denver and should immediately impact our win/loss record. His statement to me was one that sang the praises of the Mammoth as the most professional franchise in the NLL.
Matt is a teacher in S. Ontario and has expressed some concerns about making sure he misses as little work as possible, we feel we can accomadate that and the dates that we have submitted to the League for our home schedule would reflect many more Saturday's than challenging Fridays. The flight to Denver is not too dissimilar than the flight to Orlando, only 20 minutes longer, the bonus is that gaining two hours by travelling west allows you to leave later from the east in order to arrive in Denver at a reasonable time.
We have not, and will, not be entering into any discussions to trade Matt Vinc.
We are excited to have him, he is excited to be here, and ultimately I would love for him to live and teach school in Denver, but that is a discussion for another time.
Jarett Park is a very dynamic player that reminds me of a retired Jay Jalbert, big, fast, with a great stick as well as a formidable defender. Jarett will fill a great need for us as we focus on increasing the speed and tempo of our team. Jarrett is very excited to be a member of the Mammoth, I spoke with him yesterday and he does plan to be a part of the Denver community for the season. He is currently dealing with some shoulder issues that hindered his ability to play last season in Orlando but I fully expect those issues to be addressed in the next couple of weeks.
Chad Thompson could be an interesting pick up for us. A big, strong, left handed offensive player that was a bit of a shock being available in the third round of the dispersal draft. It will be interesting to see what type of impact he can make with us in camp.
Craig Conn is a very exciting prospect for us. His knee continues to gain strength and stability. His injury was a two year process and has become mostly a non issue. We have been monitoring his play with the NW Salmonbellies in the WLA and he has been playing a regular shift with no issues, and contributing nicely. He is gaining his timing and touch back and should come to camp ready to fit in nicely into our offense. He and Alex Gajic are spending a tremendous amount of time building a very nice chemistry.
Jason Jones is another bright spot for the off season. His play this summer has shown that he can step in against men and contribute on a regular basis. This is a player that is chipping in two goals a game against most of the opponents he will face in the NLL. Not big in stature but very hard working and crafty, with great hands and a fantastic touch around the net. He could easily be the steal of the off season as he was undrafted and ready to step in right away, he could easily be a 1st rounder in the upcoming draft. Another player that will make Denver his home for the season.
Ben Davies is coming off knee surgery last year and has been a regular defensive contributor in Maple Ridge of the WLA, another very big, very strong defender that has some wheels. Some might remember him from the MCLA and the Simon Fraser Clansmen lacrosse team where he was a standout midfielder with a very strong stick with offensive ability Ben still remains on our draft list from last season and is excited to come to camp this season to show us he belongs in the NLL.
We were noting this morning that 5 of the top 11 scorers in the WLA playoffs in 2010 are Mammoth players coming into our season with some great momentum. A healthy Ilija Gajic is great news for all of us.
We aren't done yet and expect to add some nice pieces from the entry draft coming up in September. We are also intrigued by several of the restricted free agents out there this year and plan on being active in that market as well. And there are still some interesting players available as street free agents, look for more of those signings next week.
As Bob Hamley has permanently relocated to Denver and is in our offices full time, we have had the great opportunity to begin to formulate the systems and game plans to be much more successful in 2011. I look forward to a much more productive and entertaining upcoming season.
Last season was completly unnacceptable and we are doing everything in our power to present a better product for the coming season.