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Brodie Merrill Returns to Seals Active Roster

Can you believe it? The legendary Brodie Merrill is coming out of retirement to rejoin the San Diego Seals.

It was officially announced today that the Seals have moved 42-year-old, eventual hall-of-fame defenseman, Brodie Merrill, from the Retirement List to the Active Roster. Back in mid-September, Merrill announced his retirement from playing lacrosse. Now, only six months later, the NLL’s all-time leader in loose ball recoveries (2,778) and one of the league’s-best in causing turnovers (he is 3rd-best all-time with 257), has reversed his decision.

The Seals are in Calgary this evening to face the Roughnecks in Week 16 action. There is no official word yet if Brodie will be out on the floor battling with his teammates.

“We’re not sure,” Merrill said of Brodie playing tonight. “We’ve got a tough lineup decision to make based on how some other guys are feeling.”

Before his retirement, Merrill played in the NLL for 17 seasons. He played in two NLL Finals (2008 with the Portland Lumberjax and 2015 with the Toronto Rock), but was never able to climb to the top of the mountain. This remarkable return could change that.

According to Seals GM and Head Coach Patrick Merrill (and Brodie’s brother), Brodie has been following the team closely. Over the past few weeks, Brodie has been having discussions with his family and the team about making this triumphant return. Knowing that the team has a few injuries, and now that the trade deadline has passed, all parties felt now was the right time to make this move.

Brodie was influenced, in part, by his family, as well as Seals assistant coaches Jordan Hall and Cam Woods, who were Brodie’s former teammates – Brodie played with Hall in 2013 and 2014 with the original Philadelphia Wings and played with Woods (and his brother Patrick) on the 2008 Mann Cup-winning Brampton Excelsiors.

No matter who would’ve talked with Brodie, if he didn’t feel he could contribute to the Seals, and if the coaches didn’t think he would be a benefit to this team, he wouldn’t be back. That’s why Coach Merrill believes we should expect the same Brodie Merrill we saw last year before he retired.

“Expect more of the same,” GM and Head Coach Merrill said. “If you watched our playoff games [last year] and all the biggest games we had, during the course of the season, he was still pretty good for us.”

With five regular season games remaining, Merrill adds even more valuable grittiness and experience to a back end that is already one of the best in the league. Beyond Brodie’s experience, size, strength, and composure in big-game situations, GM and Head Coach Merrill praised his brother’s versatility.

“He can play in lots of types of situations,” GM and Head Coach Merrill said. “He can play on the face-off team, the short-man, and can even bang around on offense if needed, so, being able to use his versatility also helps.”

Heading into their Week 16 matchup on Friday night against the Calgary Roughnecks, the Seals are 9-4 and sit in third place in the unified standings. This move comes on the heels of the Seals trading for Chris Wardle hours before Tuesday’s trade deadline. These moves tell us that the Seals want to finish this regular season higher than third in the standings.

In the team’s practice on Thursday night, Brodie told the guys that he was ready and willing to help in any position the team puts him in. He added that he is grateful to have another shot at chasing a NLL Cup.