The Ringer founder Bill Simmons has argued that title windows close sooner than you think. He had plenty of fuel for this fire after the Celtics reached the NBA title game last year, perhaps should have won and returned a talented youthful core for this season. Their head coach’s infidelity combined with Kyrie playing a full season for the Nets, a stronger roster in Philadelphia, and Khris Middleton being healthy for the Bucks suggests the Celtics may be the fourth best team entering the playoffs next Spring.
Given the number of teams in the PLL and what has transpired in the last four seasons, Whipsnakes and Chaos both reaching three title games and only three clubs winning said title, perhaps the PLL windows are a little larger than in the NBA.
For the sake of this post, we’ll assume that each roster returns intact and no one lands a splash rookie. We don’t know what will happen in free agency although there really isn’t cause to believe multiple star players would leave their current situation. The benefit of the touring model is that it prevents free agents from departing “small market teams” for a Los Angeles or a New York. The 2023 class will not feature the instant impact players of this past spring.
Why is their title window closed? Roster age
Elder statesmen Will Manny, Marcus Holman, Adam Ghitelman are on the back nine of their careers. Manny discussed this during our June interview on The PLL Narrative pod. Can you believe that Manny and Holman are 31? Ghitelman is 33. Throw in, captain Scott Ratliff checking in at 31, defensive middie Dominique Alexander at 31, shut down defender Graeme Hossack at 30, and some guy named Tom Schreiber is 30.
Tack on Schreiber playing in the NLL again plus his World Games usage. Presumably Ament makes the US roster as well even though we don’t have on our wish list roster.
Why is their title window closed? The NLL season
We keyed on this with a few posts in March and then brought it up over and over again as the Chaos lost nearly every regular season game. The overwhelming majority of the Chaos roster competes in the NLL. Those offensive stars struggled throughout the PLL season. The Chaos only scored 10+ goals once in their final six games of the year and that was an eleven goal performance.
The roster will once again have to overcome NLL fatigue and play in the World Games in San Diego. As many as seven could suit up for Canada. Blaze Riorden is absolutely the starter for the US.
Why is their title window closed? Roster age
Perhaps it was easy to overlook the Snakes roster age because all they’ve done in since the league began is reach the title game. This year they failed to play in the last game of the season. Matt Dunn is 28. Matt Rambo is 28 and plays in the NLL. Joe Nardella is 29 and also plays in the NLL. Kyle Bernlohr is 30. Michael Ehrhardt is 30. Mike Chanenchuk is 32. Jake Bernhardt is 33.
Ty Warner is only 26 but how much longer does he give up vacation days away from medical residency to play lacrosse?
Why is their title window closed? Maybe twenty eight year old Zach Currier slows down
If you took the money ball approach, you could easily find replacements for everything that Currier does but then you’d have to find replacement production for the replacement production. Watering down your roster does not help the Waterdogs.
Obviously, they aren’t looking to trade Currier who is signed through 2023. But, what would happen if Currier doesn’t replicate his 2022 campaign? How much pressure does he take off his teammates? How much pressure does he put on the opposition? He scooped up 53 groundballs during the regular season and 16 ground balls in the playoffs. Currier’s wing play allowed the Waterdogs to make up for less than stellar face off play although one could argue that wing play is a part of the face off.
He chipped in 5 points during the playoffs. Although he didn’t register a point in the finals, he did score once in the semifinals, a one goal victory over the Whipsnakes. He tallied 11 goals during the season, scoring at least once in every game but two to go along with 8 helpers. He assisted at least once in the final four games of the year.
Currier is absolutely one of one. What does their end of season result look like if any of these numbers drop? It is asking a lot for him to do it again especially after an NLL season and presumably the World Championships in San Diego even if he isn’t on the training camp list.
Update: He will be at Dillon Ward’s wedding. Both are obviously not at camp this weekend.
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