The National Lacrosse League, in conjunction with the Rochester Knighthawks, unveiled today the team’s logo and operations staff during a franchise launch event at the Blue Cross Arena.
Under the ownership of Pegula Sports and Entertainment (PSE), the Knighthawks enter their inaugural campaign as one of two expansion teams in the NLL following the relocation of the original Knighthawks franchise to Halifax, Nova Scotia, where the team will operate as the Thunderbirds.
“The Knighthawks and the city of Rochester have played an enormous part in the NLL’s history and have created some incredible memories for more than two decades,” said NLL Commissioner Nick Sakiewicz. “We are excited the Knighthawks name will remain as we look forward to a new era of more great moments the fans and organization will create in the coming seasons. As we continue to expand our league, it is important to remember our roots and the communities that got us here.”
Today’s announcement comes eight months after PSE officials, Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren, and New York State elected officials collectively announced the acquisition of the Knighthawks through an expansion agreement with the NLL. The new Knighthawks become the second NLL team under the ownership of PSE, which also operates the Buffalo Bandits as well as the Buffalo Bills (NFL), Buffalo Sabres (NHL) and Rochester Americans (AHL). Additionally, PSE oversees all aspects of operations for the downtown Blue Cross Arena.
“The history and community impact of professional lacrosse in this market is strong and well storied,” said Rob Minter, vice president of business operations for the Knighthawks. “We’re thrilled to finally unveil the next chapter of that story as we introduce the new look and feel of our expansion club. This is another exciting step in our continued investment and support of sports and entertainment here in Rochester.”
The team’s colors will be predominantly a mix of a military-style green, black and white with silver accents. Rochester’s primary logo is a winged “R” outlined in the team’s main colors while the secondary logo features a flying hawk with gold accentuations in the bird’s beak, talons and feathers. Both representations will be prominently featured on the team’s home and away jerseys, which will be unveiled at a later date.
Overseeing the Knighthawks operations will be Dan Carey, who was appointed the team’s first general manager and vice president of lacrosse operations this past December. In his new role, Carey will manage and oversee all aspects of lacrosse operations of the Knighthawks expansion franchise, including team services, player acquisitions and contracts, and personnel development.
“Today is a monumental day for our organization as we enter a new era of Rochester Knighthawks lacrosse,” said Carey. “I’m excited for the opportunity that lies ahead as we begin to shape our organization over the next several months through both the NLL Expansion Draft and Entry Draft. The city of Rochester has a deep-rooted history of lacrosse with a strong, passionate fan base, and I look forward to building a franchise that the city and fans alike can be proud of.”
Joining Carey on his staff is Craig Rybczynski, who will transition into the role of lacrosse operations manager after serving as director of communications for the former Knighthawks franchise for the past 20 years.
Rochester will have the first overall pick in the upcoming NLL Expansion Draft in July as determined by a coin toss held earlier this month between the Knighthawks and New York Riptide during halftime of Game 1 of the NLL Finals. The Riptide will select first overall in the 2019 NLL Entry Draft to be held in September.
As part of the Expansion Draft, NLL teams can protect up to 11 players with a maximum of one goalie and five forwards from their current roster while all remaining unprotected players will be eligible for selection. Each existing NLL franchise will lose no more than two players and teams will not be allowed to protect additional players after losing a player in the Draft. Additionally, expansion teams are not required to select one player from each of the other 12 teams, allowing the opportunity to draft multiple players from the same team, and will also receive additional draft picks to solidify the active roster. A full list of eligible players will be available beginning on Tuesday, June 25 leading up to the NLL Expansion Draft.
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About the National Lacrosse League
The National Lacrosse League (NLL) is North America’s premier professional lacrosse league. Founded in 1986, the NLL ranks third in average attendance for pro indoor sports worldwide, behind only the NHL and NBA. The League is comprised of 13 franchises across the United States and Canada: Buffalo Bandits, Calgary Roughnecks, Colorado Mammoth, Georgia Swarm, Halifax Thunderbirds, New England Black Wolves, New York Riptide, Philadelphia Wings, Rochester Knighthawks, San Diego Seals, Saskatchewan Rush, Toronto Rock, and Vancouver Warriors. For more information, visit NLL.com and find the NLL on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.