MIN inks Grimes, MacDonald, Tao, Alexander, Casimir, Cotter & Holman
The Minnesota Swarm have announced the signings of seven players in preparation for the 2015 NLL season. Minnesota agreed to deals with two offseason acquisitions in D Mike Grimes (one-year contract) and GBrodie MacDonald (two-year contract), and also signed F Corbyn Tao, D Dominique Alexander, D Andrew Casimir, F Nick Cotter, and F Marcus Holman to one-year agreements. The contracts are currently pending league approval.
“We wanted to improve our defensive unit heading into 2015, and Mike and Brodie are two talented players who will help us out right away,” Swarm Owner and Governor John Arlotta said. “In addition, the players we have re-signed and have added through free agency this offseason put us in great shape to have strong competition at all of our roster spots during training camp.”
Grimes, 28, has earned the reputation for being one of the league’s toughest defenders during his eight-year career. The Peterborough, Ontario native collected NLL All-Pro Second Team honors in ‘13 and was named an All-Star starter in ‘11. Grimes is also no stranger to postseason success, having appeared in 11 career playoff contests, which includes three Champion’s Cup appearances. Grimes helped lead the Stealth to a title in ‘10 against Toronto, and to runner-up finishes in ‘11 and ‘13. This past season as an assistant captain, the 6-foot-3, 210-pound lefty led all Vancouver defensemen with 22 points (5g, 17a), and also notched 96 loose balls along with 25 forced turnovers.
MacDonald, 25, is regarded as one of the game’s rising young talents at the goalie position with his 6-foot-7 and 245-pound frame. As a backup to G Aaron Bold in Edmonton the past four seasons, MacDonald posted solid numbers in net, notching a 9.44 GAA and a .774 SV% in eight career appearances. The Vernon, British Columbia native appeared in 74 minutes in 2014, and recorded a .825 SV% and 8.03 GAA.
Tao, 26, has totaled 63 points (24g, 39a), 113 loose balls and 12 forced turnovers in three seasons with the Swarm. During his rookie season in ‘12, the Robert Morris University graduate finished his first campaign in the NLL with 39 points (18g, 21a) and 63 loose balls in 16 games played. Minnesota drafted the Coquitlam, British Columbia native in the second-round (No. 12 overall) of the 2011 NLL Entry Draft.
Alexander, 23, spent a majority of the ‘14 season on the Swarm’s practice squad, and was called up to the team’s 20-man roster for several games at the end of the year. The 6-foot-2, 215-pound defenseman appeared in 62 games during his four-year career at Ohio State University, and totaled 95 points (47g, 48a) along with 77 ground balls. Minnesota selected Alexander in the fifth-round (No. 39 overall) of the 2013 NLL Entry Draft.
Casimir, 27, was a two-time All American defenseman during his collegiate career at Dowling College from 2007-11. The East Patchogue, N.Y. native was also Dowling’s team captain and earned ECC Defensive Player of the Year honors in ‘11. Since graduating from Dowling College, the 6-foot-3, 220-pound defenseman has spent the past four years on the LXM Pro Tour.
Cotter, 28, has appeared in 47 NLL contests including his most recent stint with the Buffalo Bandits in 2013. In 2010, the 5-foot-11, 190-pound lefty forward recorded career-highs in points (36) and goals (24). The Dowling College product has notched 90 career points (47g, 43a) and 133 loose balls in the NLL.
Holman, 23, was a standout attackman at the University of North Carolina from 2010-13, where he finished his career with 133 points (84g, 49a). The Baltimore, Md. helped lead the Tar Heels to the NCAA Quarterfinals in 2013.