Shawn Slaght, All Lacrosse All The Time – A Division of the Edge of Philly Sports Network
Vancouver Warriors 2021-2022 season: A record of 6-12, finished sixth in the West Division. Missed the playoffs.
For a team that finished last in the West Division last season, the Warriors had a difficult time winning in free agency off the field as well.
Vancouver could have made big splashes in free agency when Kevin Crowley and Curtis Dickson hit the free markets. Especially with Crowley, who is from the area. Both those players decided to go elsewhere.
It begs the question, why can’t the Warriors attract big-name talent, especially those from Vancouver that you’d think would want to play closer to home like Kevin Crowley who is closing out his career? They also saw players like Alexis Buque opting to sign with another team versus playing another season in Vancouver.
The Warriors didn’t lose a lot of players in the offseason but they were some very key players. In particular, Tyson Roe was a big presence out the back door that they lost in the Las Vegas expansion draft.
Add the loss of Buque and there are question marks in goal. Your most experienced netminder is now Steve Fryer, a career backup goaltender. Newly signed Ethan Woods could challenge for the top spot, so it’ll be something to watch coming into training camp unless more moves are on the way.
Getting a healthy Mitch Jones will be a huge boost for this Vancouver offence. The Warriors did make one big splash in free agency with the signing of Shawn Evans, who returned back to form this summer with Peterborough.
It showed last year, however, that offence will be strong as long as Jones stays healthy.
Add in the re-signing of Keegan Bal along with returning guys like Logan Schuss, Kyle Killen and Adam Charalambides and the offence looks pretty good. The signing of Chase Scanlan boosts the offence. He had a standout summer in Langley but comes with baggage off the field with legal trouble from his time at Syracuse University over a year ago.
Vancouver had one key loss on offence as arguably one the most underrated players in the league, Marty Dinsdale, made the decision to return to the Saskatchewan Rush.
The Warriors’ defence is shaping up to be just fine.
For the most part it was kept in tact with the likes of Brett Mydske, Reid Bowering, Brandon Goodwin, Justin Salt, Owen Barker and Tyrell Hamer-Jackson just to name a few.
This was a defence that was fifth in the league last year with 175 caused turnovers. They were down near the bottom for loose balls with 1,261, but you can’t read into that too much with someone like Bowering heading into his second year, who was a vacuum on loose balls in his rookie season.
They will be missing some size with Tyson Roe, standing 6-10, going to Las Vegas in the expansion draft. Veteran Garrett McIntosh also went to the Dessert Dogs.
As mentioned above the biggest question mark for the Vancouver Warriors will be goaltending. Will they go with Fryer, who has been in the league a long time but has been limited as a starter, or do they go with someone younger with less experience such as Ethan Woods, Brody Harris or Aden Walsh? Or are there still deals in the works?
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Shawn Slaght has been a sports reporter across the Canadian prairies for over 10 years and has experience covering everything from junior hockey to World Cup skiing to all levels of lacrosse. He is the Saskatchewan correspondent for All Lacrosse All The Time.