(photo credit: Knighthawks.net)
The Knighthawks may be one of the most improved teams in the NLL this season. But they also may have helped other teams improve. They traded their star player John Grant to Colorado with Mac Allen for Matt Vinc, Matt Zash and Brad Self. The case with Vinc has always been; What do you do with Pat O'Toole?
O'Toole is a very good goaltender in his own right. He was one of the best back in the 1990's and still is today. But with the K'Hawks likely committed to Vinc (they signed him to a three year deal) it seems O'Toole will soon be on the move. What teams are out there willing to take on O'Toole?
First off, the Knighthawks offense may take a hit with the loss of Grant and Allen. They did add on some good scoring players this offseason with Cody Jaimeson, Jordon Hall, Matt Zash and Brad Self. But Allen was one of the better transition players in the league and Grant a scorer. If O'Toole is to be moved, I imagine the price for a scorer would be high. Don't get me wrong, Rochester has scoring potential. But I just think they could probably add a big name if O'Toole is moved.
What teams may be interested? The Calgary Roughnecks may be, after trading Matt King their projected starting goaltender is Mike Poulin. They may be interested in O'Toole, but with a depleted roster from so many moves, they may not be a trade fit.
The Swarm a certainly a team Rochester could fish from. Minnesota's starting goaltender, Nick Patterson, ranked near the bottom of the league in all goaltender stats. They still do have Kevin Croswell, but with a pretty good offensive team they might be willing to trade a player for O'Toole.
An unlikely trade partner my be Buffalo, as they already have Mike Thompson and are going to compete with Rochester, but it might turn out to be a possibility. Another team in this category may be Philadelphia. But after a season in which Brandon Miller was awful, I can see the Wings willing to deal for O'Toole.
This will be a fascinating season of Knighthawks lacrosse, in a vastly improved east division. Now with Vinc to lead them, O'Toole may have a new home outside of Rochester, for the first time in 13 years.