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Bandits’ Wiles hints at imminent return

blog by Ben Tsujimoto  • 

According to a Twitter response to one of his followers, Buffalo Bandits forward and NLL All-Star Luke Wiles could be back in training camp as soon as this weekend.

The news would be heartwarming for Bandits fans, as the recent acquisitions of Aaron Wilson and Derek Hopcroft led many to believe that Wiles was as good as gone. Buffalo’s second-leading scorer last year—with 39 goals and 31 assists—would not only have been dearly missed, but he’d also be a formidable foe for a divisional opponent (in all probability).

If what Wiles tweeted is true, then his return will force a logjam—a heated training camp battle—on the right side, with Hopcroft, Wilson, Mat Giles, Tracey Kelusky and a few rookies joining Wiles in a battle for four spots. Even though GM Steve Dietrich said last Saturday that he was reluctant to do much wheeling and dealing during training camp—amusing as that was before Hopcroft fell into his lap—it wouldn’t surprise us if there was further roster tweaking before the Jan. 11 opener against Philadelphia.

It’s a little early to project a 23-man roster, but here goes my attempt:

Goalies (2): Anthony Cosmo, Angus Goodleaf
Lefty D (4): Derek Suddons, Mike McNamara, Glen Bryan, Billy Dee Smith
Righty D (4): Scott Self, Travis Irving, Joe Smith, Kyle Schmelzle
Transition (4): Mark Steenhuis, Dhane Smith, David Brock, Jay Thorimbert
Lefty Attack (5): John Tavares, Shawn Williams, Chad Culp, Mike Hominuck, Nick Cotter
Righty Attack (4): Luke Wiles, Aaron Wilson, Derek Hopcroft, Mat Giles

Cuts: Jon Harasym, Tracey Kelusky, Brandon Francis, Brendan Doran, Craig England.

Practice Squad
: Bender, Critch, Hayden Smith, Brownell, Matthews

(Header photo courtesy of David Marino from last year’s Stealth vs. Bandits game—full gallery here).

TAGGED: buffalo bandits, darris kilgour, holdout, luke wiles, nll, steve dietrich

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