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Six Teams Declare Franchise Players

08/02/2012, 5:35pm EDT
By NLL.com

Free Agent signing period now underway

Toronto has placed the franchise player tag on Colin Doyle (pictured) and Josh Sanderson.

The next step teams take in shaping their rosters for the 2013 season is now underway, as the free agent signing period has opened.  As of August 1, teams can sign Unrestricted Free Agents to contracts, and sign Restricted Free Agents to an offer sheet.  The team that owns the Restricted Free Agents’ rights can retain the player by matching the offer. 

Six teams opted to place the franchise tag on as many as two of their players who qualify to be Unrestricted Free Agents.  By placing the franchise tag on a player, the team retains the players’ rights for the 2013 season.

On Thursday, the Buffalo Bandits announced that the club has placed the franchise tags on forward Tracey Kelusky and goaltender Anthony Cosmo.             

In a surprise move on Wednesday afternoon, the Rochester Knighthawks announced that they have placed the franchise tag on Casey Powell.  The former NLL Most Valuable Player did not play during the 2012 NLL season while recovering from a knee injury. 

Earlier on Wednesday, the Colorado Mammoth announced that the team has once again placed its franchise tags on forwards John Grant Jr. and Gavin Prout, ensuring they will play for the organization again in 2013.

“John and Gavin are coming off tremendous seasons, and we expect nothing less from them again this coming year,” said Mammoth president & general manager Steve Govett.

Grant set a new NLL single-season points record (116) in 2012 en route to winning his second career MVP award. Prout, meanwhile, mustered 83 points despite missing the team’s final two regular-season games. It was his highest point total since 2008.

Prout, 34, is the team’s all-time leading scorer, while Grant, 37, sits just seven career points shy of 1,100. Both players are signed to long-term contracts that include the franchise designation as part of their deals.

On Tuesday, the Toronto Rock announced that the team had placed the franchise tags on two of its core veteran players, Colin Doyle & Josh Sanderson.

“Colin Doyle has brought so much to this franchise and this city with 6 championships but also just so much more to the game of lacrosse,” said Sanderson.  “He is our captain and he’s a really special player, one that doesn’t come along often.”
“Josh is just a proven winner in this league,” said Sanderson of his son.  “He’s won a championship here and I know he’s not done and his goal is winning another championship right here in Toronto.”
Also on Wednesday, the Edmonton Rush announced it had placed the franchise tags on forwards Aaron Wilson & Ryan Ward. The Philadelphia Wings placed the franchise tag on goaltender Brandon Miller.  Minnesota, Calgary & Washington did not place the franchise tag on any of its players. 

Check back to NLL.com for updates on player signings.

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