The Buffalo Bandits have re-signed captain and 22-year veteran John Tavares and eight more players for the 2014 NLL season. (Photo: Bill Wippert)
Buffalo Bandits general manager Steve Dietrich announced today that the team has signed John Tavares and eight additional players, all to one-year contracts for the 2014 National Lacrosse League season.
“I'm excited to be back for another season in ‘Banditland’,” Tavares said. “After a disappointing season collectively and individually I am looking forward to helping the team get back to the top of the league.”
In addition to Tavares, the Bandits have also agreed to terms with Mike Hominuck, Jamie Rooney, Derek Hopcroft, Kurtis Wagar, Joel Matthews and Jordan Critch as well as 2013 draft picks Mitch Wilde and Nick Diachenko. All one-year deals are pending league approval.
Tavares enters 2014 as the all-time leading scorer in NLL history with a total of 1,666 points (779+887) since joining the league in 1992. Last season, he appeared in 12 games and contributed 39 points (14+25). The Mississauga, Ontario native has played his entire 22-year career as a member of the Bandits.
Hominuck returned to Buffalo for a second stint leading up to the 2013 season after previously spending two years (2004 and 2005) with the club. The Welland, Ontario native is coming off a 12-game season in which he tallied 21 points (14+7). Over his nine year NLL career to date, Hominuck has been credited with 311 points (127+184) and 418 loose ball recoveries.
Rooney appeared in three games in his inaugural season with the Bandits in 2013, registered seven points (3+4). Acquired from Toronto with Glen Bryan in exchange for a second-round pick in the 2012 NLL Entry Draft and a fourth-round pick in the 2013 NLL Entry Draft on August 3, 2012, he has notched 124 points and 219 loose balls over 66 career NLL games.
Hopcroft, acquired prior to the 2013 season from Colorado in exchange for a conditional fifth-round pick in the 2014 NLL Draft, suited up in four contests last year for Buffalo and recorded 11 points (4+7). Over his 18 game NLL career to this date, the Toronto native has 40 points (20+20).
Wagar just completed his first season with the Bandits after also being signed as a free agent prior to the 2013 campaign. He registered 333 minutes between the pipes in 2013, earning a 12.22 GAA to go along with a 2-6 record. He has seen 529 minutes of action as a goaltender and compiled a record of 3-7 as well as a 11.91 GAA.
Matthews, Buffalo’s fourth-round choice in 2012 (31st overall), has yet to appear in a game for the Bandits after being registered as a Non-Roster Player for the Bandits during 2013 (Physically Unable to Perform – PUP). Prior to being drafted he completed a 25 game career with the University of Detroit Mercy, where he notched 87 points (61+27).
Critch, selected by the Bandits in the second-round of the 2012 draft (16th overall), appeared in five games for the club in 2013. Over this time, he recorded five points (3+2) after enjoying an 81-game Junior career, over which he compiled 146 points (68+78).
Wilde, Buffalo’s second-round selection (15th overall) in the 2013 draft, spent the past four years playing with Robert Morris University. Over 26 career games with the Colonials, Wilde tallied nine points (4+5).
Diachenko, chosen one pick before Wilde in the second round of this year’s draft (14th overall), recently completed his four-year career for the University of Delaware over which he contributed 75 points (67+8). He was also named a Colonial Athletic Association Second-Team All-Star in 2013.