Compiled and written by “Muffler” Mike Kostiuk
2019-2020 Record: 1-12, 4th place East Division
F Callum Crawford, F Jeff Teat, D Damon Edwards, D Leo Stouros, D Jon Harnett, D Scott Dominey, G Steven Orleman
F Connor Kelly, D John Ranagan, D Tyson Bomberry, D Andrew Suitor, D John Wagner, D Alex Woodall, G Alex Buque
Warning Issued! Normally you would not expect such a bold proclamation from a team that managed just one win in their inaugural season, nor would you expect said team to be able to live up to that proclamation the following year. But after two Entry Drafts, one Expansion Draft, and two free agency periods, the New York Riptide have rebuilt their front office, their coaching staff, and two-thirds of their active roster (only 8 players who appeared with the team in 2019-2020 are still on the team). And believe it or not, looking at this team on paper, the rest of the league should take that warning seriously. Let’s review the new look on Long Island as the New York Riptide prepare for the 2021-2022 season.
Why not issue a warning when you not only sign a future Hall of Famer in Callum Crawford but also draft a generational talent in Jeff Teat? These two players alone should vastly improve an offense that ranked next to last in goals scored, and last in both goals and assists scored in Transition. Also returning to the Riptide offense are 2020 Rookie of the Year Tyson Gibson, lefty sniper Kieran McArdle, and young right-handers Jake Fox and Travis Longboat. Connor Kelly was taken by Panther City in the Expansion Draft. Lefty Dan Lomas, who led the team in scoring during the inaugural season, is expected to return to the team mid-season after suffering an injury during this past summer’s MSL season.
While ranking at or near the bottom of the league in goals allowed and goal differential, the Riptide surprisingly ranked 3rd in faceoff wins, 5th in faceoff win percentage, 4th in Caused Turnovers, and 5th in Loose Balls during the 2019-2020 season. However, a number of important cogs in that defense have since departed: John Ranagan (signed with Philadelphia), John Wagner (traded to Rochester), Alex Woodall (signed with San Diego), Tyson Bomberry (traded to San Diego), Andrew Suitor (retired), Alex Buque (signed with Vancouver after being traded to Albany). Only captain Dan MacRae, transition player Ryan Fournier, and goaltender Gowah Abrams remain from the 2019-2020 defensive unit.
In response, the Riptide signed veteran defensemen Damon Edwards (Toronto) and Jon Harnett (Buffalo) in free agency, along with goaltender Steven Orleman (Georgia). They also made a number of trades to acquire Leo Stouros (Georgia), Scott Dominey (Panther City, post-expansion Draft), Matt Marinier (Philadelphia), and all-time faceoff wins leader Jay Thorimbert (Rochester). Under new defensive-minded coach Dan Ladouceur, new GM Jim Veltman, and new Executive Vice President Rich Lisk, it’s safe to say (despite the warning) that the New York Riptide may be poised to achieve one of the greatest single-season turnarounds in league history.