Last Week around the Leagues
by Fran Stuchbury
March 2, 2021 - National Lacrosse League (NLL)
This past week the National Lacrosse League's New England Black Wolves were sold and relocated to Albany, New York; the Sacramento MLS expansion team went on indefinite hold after the lead investor pulled out of the deal; the West Virginia Power joined the Atlantic League; and suspended NFL wide receiver Josh Gordon signed with the Fan Controlled Football Zappers team. Highlights from this week are from the National Lacrosse League, Premier Lacrosse League, Major League Soccer, Major Arena Soccer League, Women's National Basketball Association, NBA G League, American Hockey League, ECHL, Southern Professional Hockey League, Western Hockey League, North American Hockey League, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, Futures Collegiate Baseball League, and Fan Controlled Football.
The National Lacrosse League the largest and most successful professional lacrosse property in the world, announced the sale of the New England Black Wolves to a group headed by Oliver Marti. Oliver Marti is a former standout Division 1 men's lacrosse All-American, Canadian field lacrosse national player, and NLL standout before focusing on a career as a hedge fund manager and developing the box lacrosse game at the youth level. The new owners will relocate the franchise immediately to the fast-growing lacrosse and economic hotbed of Albany, New York, where the team will play in the downtown, recently renovated Times Union Center. It marks the return of box lacrosse to the Capital Region for the first time since 2002.
Commissioner Nick Sakiewicz and newly announced Albany NLL owner, Oliver Marti join Devan Kaney to share exclusive insights into the sale and relocation of the New England Black Wolves.
Premier Lacrosse League
Three-time All-Pro attackman Matt Danowski (Chrome LC) has announced his retirement from professional lacrosse. A seven-time All-Star, Danowski retires eighth all-time in points (434), 10th all-time in goals (240), 10th all-time in assists (161), and tied for third all-time in two-point goals (33).
Whipsnakes long stick midfield Ehrhardt Ratliff 2020 Highlights
Major League Soccer
Mayor Darrell Steinberg said Sacramento's efforts to bring an MLS expansion team to the city will continue after a lead investor backed out of the deal, putting the plan in jeopardy.
First look: A look inside the near-complete FC Cincinnati stadium
'Shocked and disappointed': Are Charlotte FC tickets too expensive? Charlotte FC's PSLs range from $350 to $900 and averages $626. The club did a survey about one year ago to try and gain insight on what fans would be willing to spend.
CF Montréal announced that Thierry Henry is stepping down as head coach for family reasons. Thierry Henry was appointed head coach on November 14, 2019. In 2020, he led the team to the MLS playoffs for the first time since the 2016 season after a record of eight wins, 13 losses and two draws in a regular season marked by the pandemic including only three games at Stade Saputo. Under his leadership, the team had also reached the quarterfinals of the Concacaf Champions League.
Major Arena Soccer League
The San Diego Sockers and Tacoma Stars met on Day 3 of the Sunshine Series and it was a defensive battle. The teams combined for just 23 shots in the Sockers 4-2 win over Tacoma.
Women's National Basketball Association
The WNBA and NBA Boards of Governors have unanimously approved the sale of the Atlanta Dream to Larry Gottesdiener, Chairman of Northland, an industry-leading national real estate firm. The three-member investor group is comprised of former Dream star Renee Montgomery, Northland President and Chief Operating Officer Suzanne Abair, and Gottesdiener.
Renee Montgomery has gone from the WNBA court to the owner's box -- she's part of an ownership group that just bought the Atlanta Dream from Sen. Kelly Loeffler.
New and old faces in Seattle. The Seattle Storm made moves this free agency period. The team acquired Katie Lou Samuelson, Mikiah "Kiki" Herbert Harrigan, Stephanie Talbot and WNBA Vet Candice Dupree. These new additions join WNBA stars Sue Bird, Breanna Stewart and Jewell Loyd.
The Los Angeles Sparks announced the re-signing of forward/center Chiney Ogwumike. The two-time WNBA All-Star has career averages of 13.0 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 1.1 steals per game, while shooting 55.5% from the field, the fourth-best career field goal percentage in WNBA history.
NBA G League
Top Plays of the Week
Top Dunks of February
Jeremy Lin NBA G League Highlights: February 2021
Canadian Elite Basketball League
The CEBL unveiled its 2021 regular season schedule, a 14-game slate reduced from the standard 20 games per team and pushed back from a mid-May start to June 5 to accommodate the possibility of fans being able to attend games in person this summer in the league's seven cities. The league cannot push its season beyond a late-August playoff finish because most of its players must report to their international pro teams by September.
American Hockey League
Cleveland Monster forward Carson Meyer scored his first AHL goal.
Check out this goalie fight at center ice between Francois Brassard (Wheeling Nailers) and Kevin Carr (Utah Grizzlies)
ECHL Plays of the Week
Southern Professional Hockey League
Hockey Fight in Macon Mayhem - Knoxville Ice Bears game
Western Hockey League
Hat Trick for Medicine Hat Tigers forward Corson Hopwo
North American Hockey League
NAHL Plays of the Week
Quebec Major Junior Hockey League
QMJHL Plays of the Week
Triple-A West League
The Albuquerque Isotopes and Colorado Rockies have announced Warren Schaeffer will be the club's manager for the 2021 season. Originally scheduled to lead the Isotopes in 2020, Schaeffer instead lead the Rockies' alternate training site after the Minor League Baseball season was cancelled due to the pandemic. The upcoming campaign will mark Schaeffer's first as Triple-A manager after serving as Double-A Hartford's skipper from 2018-19.
Double-A Central League
The Amarillo Sod Poodles in conjunction with the Arizona Diamondbacks announced that two-time Minor League Manager of the Year Shawn Roof will lead Amarillo on the field for the 2021 season and become the second manager in Sod Poodles franchise history. Roof, 36, returns for his fourth season in the D-backs organization as team manager and first season managing at the Double-A level.
High-A East League
The Bowling Green Hot Rods, in conjunction with the Tampa Bay Rays, are excited to announce the club's 2021 coaching staff. Jeff Smith, 46, becomes the seventh manager in Hot Rods history and third in three seasons (Reinaldo Ruiz, 2019, and Craig Albernaz, 2018). Smith led the Charlotte Stone Crabs (the Rays former High-A affiliate in the Florida State League) to the league's best record while earning Baseball America's title of Best Managerial Prospect in the FSL for the 2019 season, the second time in his career he won the award.
High-A West League
The Colorado Rockies have announced the 2021 Field Staff for the Spokane Indians in the inaugural year of their PDL license partnership. Former Boise Hawks and Lancaster JetHawks Manager Scott Little has been named Indians Manager for the upcoming season.
Low-A East League
The Charleston RiverDogs new manager, Blake Butera, will have plenty of organizational experience on his coaching staff to lead the 2021 squad. Butera, 28, enters his seventh season in professional baseball, fourth in a coaching capacity and third as a manager. He spent the 2018-19 seasons managing Short-A Hudson Valley, leading the Renegades to a combined 88-62 record and a playoff berth in both seasons.
Low-A West League
The Colorado Rockies announced the Fresno Grizzlies' Minor League Staff for the upcoming season. Steve Soliz will act as Supervisor of Development while Robinson Cancel will be the Manager with the assistance of Hitting Coach Nic Wilson, Pitching Coach Mark Brewer, and Trainer Coy Coker. Steve Soliz joined the Rockies organization in 2019 while managing the short-season Boise Hawks.
The Atlantic League of Professional Baseball announced it has welcomed the West Virginia Power to the Atlantic League. The addition of the Charleston, West Virginia, club brings the league's membership to eight teams for the 2021 Championship Season. The West Virginia Power began in 1987 as the Charleston Wheelers and served as an affiliate of seven MLB teams while in the South Atlantic League. They played under the monikers of the Wheelers and AlleyCats before adopting the name West Virginia Power in 2005 with the opening of Appalachian Power Park, located in the east end of Charleston.
The Kane County Cougars have named George Tsamis the Field Manager for the 2021 season. Tsamis, who spent the last 18 seasons as the Field Manager for the St. Paul Saints in Minnesota, will become the 21st manager in Cougars franchise history.
The Rochester Honkers named 27-year-old Paul Weidner as the 18th field manager in franchise history, marking a substantial step in preparation for the 2021 Northwoods League season. Weidner currently serves as a volunteer assistant coach at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb. where he acts as the team's first base coach, but also works as an assistant hitting coach and leads the development of Blue Jays outfielders.
Futures Collegiate Baseball League
Vermont Lake Monsters to be sold, join new league Futures Collegiate Baseball League
Major League Rugby
Los Angeles is to welcome its newest professional sports franchise, the LA Giltinis, to Major League Rugby (MLR*) at one of the city's most storied stadiums. In a watershed moment for Rugby Union in the United States, the Giltinis have announced their commitment to the city by signing a long-term deal with the iconic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
Fan Controlled Football
Former NFL wide receiver Josh Gordon will return to the sport in the startup Fan Controlled Football league as a member of the Zappers, team owner Bob Menery told ESPN's Adam Schefter. Gordon, 29, will be reuniting with former NFL quarterback Johnny Manziel, who signed with the FCF in December. Gordon and Manziel played on the Cleveland Browns together in 2014.
The Zappers converted on a Hail Mary with no time left to defeat the Wild Aces 34-30.
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National Lacrosse League Stories from March 2, 2021
- Last Week around the Leagues - OSC Original by Fran Stuchbury
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