NLL Commissioner Jim Jennings Provides Update on Expansion, NL2 and Other League Business
(Lyndhurst, NJ)- The following is a summary of the League's Monthly Teleconference for May of 2001. Commissioner Jim Jennings released the following information while speaking with the media today:
Possible Expansion in Montreal & Edmonton
The League has received a formal application for an expansion team to be placed in Montreal for the 2001-2002 season. The team would play at the Molson Centre. The application will be voted on by the League's Board of Governors in the next few weeks. The deadline for all expansion and relocation for the upcoming season is June 1st.
The League has not yet received a formal application for an expansion franchise in Edmonton. The Commissioner is planning to meet with a potential Edmonton investment group on Thursday, May 10th. The League expects to receive an application for Edmonton in the near future. If approved, Edmonton would enter for the 2002-2003 season.
Big Decisions Ahead
The NLL Board of Governors will hold their next round of meetings from June 10th-12th. Several key decisions are expected, including:
Length of Season-The Board will vote on possibly extending the Regular Season Schedule from 14 games to 16 games. The Board will also consider starting the season in mid to late November, instead of late December.
Creation of Divisions--The Board will also determine the new divisional alignments. The League is certain to go to at least a two, if not three-division lineup for next season.
Playoff Structure--The Board will also consider changing the structure of the Playoffs. The number of playoff teams is likely to increase from four to at least six.
NL2-The Commissioner will present a business plan for the NL2, a proposed developmental league. The NL2 would serve as the NLL's minor league, with teams playing in small to medium sized markets across North America. The Board is expected to make a final decision on the NL2, when it would start play, and how many teams would be involved.
May 21-Deadline for teams to submit its list of players to protect from the Expansion Draft.
June 15-2001-2002 Expansion Draft
June 18-Free Agent Signing Period Begins
August 24-26--2001 Entry Draft, Location TBD
October 5-Opening of Team Training Camps
February 16-17, 2002-All-Star Weekend, Location TBD
Update from New Teams
Since the last monthly teleconference call, the league awarded expansion franchises to Vancouver and New Jersey. Those teams join Calgary as three new teams set to join the League for the upcoming season.
Vancouver Ravens-Team Governor Tom Mayenknecht reported a strong response from the Vancouver community. The Ravens have already received more than 2,000 requests for season tickets. The team also reports being close to signing a Head Coach/General Manger. The candidates include Dave Evans, former Head Coach of the Philadelphia Wings, and Paul Dal Monte, a former player in the Western Lacrosse Association.
New Jersey Storm-The team is just one week into its existence, and team owner Jayson Williams reports a strong beginning. Michael Rowe, the Storm's Director of Business Operations, says the organization is assembling a staff and taking a significant amount of requests for season tickets. Williams is in the process of speaking with several coaching candidates. The former NBA and New Jersey Nets All-Star is also busy promoting the Storm and the League on national talk-shows, including The Late Show with David Letterman and The Rosie O'Donnell Show.