Bandits choose youth at deadline; Dietrich trades for himself
blog by Ben Tsujimoto • March 14, 2013 @ 11:36am
Considering the Buffalo Bandits’ 12-6 debacle at home to the Colorado Mammoth, it was fair to wonder if GM Steve Dietrich and head coach Darris Kilgour would blow-up the Bandits’ roster.
It wasn’t just being doubled-up by a previously 2-7 foe that infuriated Bandits fans, it was the brawl of frustration at the game’s conclusion that left supporters with a sour taste in their mouths—it’s tough to back a sore loser.
Wednesday’s 5 p.m. trading deadline has now passed, and the Bandits made three moves—including trading assistant captain and top defender Scott Self to the rival Rochester Knighthawks in return for young forward Alex Kedoh-Hill.
Dietrich also traded young transition player Jimmy Purves to the Knighthawks for a second-round pick in a separate deal, then swung the negotiating rights to retired goalie Mike Thompson to Philadelphia for a conditional third round pick.
The Bandits’ David Brock didn’t sound too thrilled by Buffalo’s roster moves at the deadline, as he tweeted:
Here’s our look at the fallout:
1) We considered Self as one of the bedrocks of the Bandits’ franchise. Humble and quiet, but a leader by example, Self quickly became a fan-favorite after he was traded with Jay Thorimbert from Minnesota to the Queen City in Aug. 2010. While the veteran defender does turn 34 in August and struggled with injuries this off-season, his influence was invaluable on a young, impressionable defense adjusting to a new system.
Self’s departure leaves the Bandits thin on righty defenders: Steve Priolo, Jay Thorimbert, Mike McNamara, Jon Harasym and David Brock are righty sticks that can contribute, but only three of those are inspiring options. Perhaps recently-acquired Drew Petkoff is closer to joining the lineup than we thought.
2) Up the Hill: Winning seems to follow Alex “Kedoh” Hill around like the plague. He won an NLL title last year with Rochester and back-to-back Nations Cups in Junior A lacrosse. He’s a bit of a beanpole at 5’11, 160 pounds and has yet to truly break-out at the professional indoor level.
The Six Nations-native scored against Buffalo at Blue Cross Arena last year, cutting into space, snagging a pass from Jordan Hall and snapping a shot past Mike Thompson.
He’s actually been traded for current Bandit Shawn Williams before, as a multiplayer deal sent Williams to Edmonton and Hill to Rochester.
The newest Bandit was released by the Knighthawks on Feb. 1—largely due to a disgustingly stacked group of righty attackers (Dawson, Keogh, Accursi, Point and previously Powell)—and then re-signed to the practice squad 10 days later.
Did the Bandits really trade for a fringe roster player by giving up their top-two defenseman?
In the meantime, Kedoh-Hill has been tearing up the Canadian Lacrosse League with the Iroquois Ironmen, registering nine points (four goals, five assists) against the Tom Montour, Roger Vyse-led Ohsweken Demons. He’s scored 23 points in five CLL contests, and he won Major Series Lacrosse Rookie of the Year honors under current Bandits’ assistant coach Rich Kilgour this past summer. “Kedoh” Hill is the first Native American on the Bandits’ player roster for 2013.
3) Purves out the door: An above-average athlete with the tendency to run around like a decapitated chicken, Purves struggled this year with careless penalties and didn’t make any noise in transition. With plenty of other options in transition—maybe rookie Kevin Brownell gets another look or Craig England joins the active roster—Purves was certainly expendable, and a second-round pick marked quite the coup.
You could say that Purves wasn’t too ecstatic when hearing the news:
Miss one practice and you get traded I guess I’m looking for a new twitter handle any suggestions? #knighthawks98— Jim Purves (@Banditball98) March 13, 2013
4) Philly insurance: Retired goalie Mike Thompson retired due to health concerns—he’d suffered a knee injury late in the 2012 season—and he didn’t want to leave the game like Bandit goalie Ken Montour, who sustained a concussion when he was hit by the Rock’s Petkoff and was essentially forced to retire for his health. It seems unlikely that he’ll be needed in Philly as Brandon Miller has sparkled and Kevin Croswell provides decent insurance as a backup, but it’s hard to tell the Wings’ thought process.
5) Dietrich acquires himself: This may be one of the more amusing trades in the NLL’s history—Bandits’ GM Steve Dietrich, whose rights as a player were still held by the Toronto Rock, traded a sixth-round pick in 2015 for his own rights. I’m assuming that this move was completed so “Chugger” could officially retire as property of the Buffalo Bandits—unless he’s planning a riveting player-GM comeback. Touching, but still weird.
6) Hopcroft activated: According to In Lacrosse We Trust’s Jack Goods, Bandits practice squad player Derek Hopcroft has been added to Buffalo’s active roster. We wrote a feature before the season on what Hopcroft brings to the table, and he’ll finally get a chance to unleash his howitzer of a shot on opposing goalies. Unsubstantiated rumors have been circulating about the coming release of struggling Bandits forward Luke Wiles, but we cannot confirm.
Video of an Alex “Kedoh” Hill goal from the NLL’s YouTube channel: