NLL Outlook 2023-2024 – Philadelphia Wings

2022-2023 Record:

9-9, 5th place in the East Division.  The Wings did not qualify for the playoffs.

New Faces:

Holden Cattoni, Scott Dominey, Anthony Courcelle, Taggart Clark, Deacan Knott, Mike McCannell

Key Losses:

Trevor Baptiste, Kiel Matisz, Hunter Lemieux, Matt Rambo (Hold Out List), Kyle Jackson.

Paul Day made a big effort to get faster over the off season. Gone are veterans Kiel Matisz, Kyle Jackson, Hunter Lemieux and Trevor Baptiste. In are transition guys Scott Dominey and Mike McCannell, as well as snipers Holden Cattoni and Taggart Clark.

Offense:

Although the Wings had a slow start last season, the acquisition of Mitch Jones paid huge dividends for them. Jones, along with Blaze Riorden, Joe Resetarits, Ben McIntosh, Taite Cattoni and Sam LeClair scored the majority of the Wings’ 200 goals last season. 

The offense sports a lot of firepower with Mitch Jones, Joe Resetarits, Taite Cattoni, Blaze Riorden, Ben McIntosh, as well as the additions of Holden Cattoni and Taggart Clark. This team should be a very exciting team that will be able to run and gun with the best of them.

Defense:

Losing Kiel Matisz was a big blow, but with a core of Isaiah Davis-Allen, Ian Llord,  Chad Tutton, Eric Shewell, Marcus Minichiello and Alex Pace, defense should be a strong suit as well.

Transition:

There wasn’t much in the way of transition last year, which is one reason why they didn’t make the playoffs. Enter two bona-fide game changers in Mike McCannell and Scott Dominey. Dominey has electrified crowds since his start in Toronto earning him the name “The Flash”.

Faceoffs:

With the departure of Trevor Baptiste, this leaves a huge hole in their game. Baptiste is a premier faceoff man in the league, and more so, also a playmaker. Anthony Courcelle has shown he will do anything the team asks him to do. Faceoffs, defence, transition, etc. Courcelle will give it his all. Although not a Trevor Baptiste, his heart will make Wings fans believers.

Goaltending:

While Zach Higgins has been steady for the most part, times when he is struggling gave coach Paul Day very few options. Angus Goodleaf, while a great team guy, is well past his prime as an NLL goalie. 

Enter Deacan Knott. Knott has a long list of accomplishments which include a Canadian Team Gold medal, and a Minto Cup this past summer with Burlington. He was a standout for the Oshawa Outlaws last season in the Arena Lacrosse League, and is ready to take the next step.

In conclusion:

This team may not be quite ready for a championship run yet, but is much closer than any of the years since it’s re-creation. Day has addressed many of the areas that let him down last season. A younger, speedier team is now the M.O. of the Wings.

Gary Groob
Gary Groob

Gary Groob has been involved with Lacrosse for the majority of his life, whether playing, coaching, or covering the sport for the media.

An avid fan, with a real drive about helping to “grow the game”, Gary became part of podcasts about the game in 2010. Through the podcasts, Mr. Groob was given an opportunity to write about lacrosse, and the rest as they say, is history.

Through many miles (flying and driving) Gary has made inroads with the National Lacrosse League, Major Series Lacrosse League, the Ontario Lacrosse Association, as well as the Arena Lacrosse League, covering the leagues, their teams, and players, working for, and in concert with all of them.

In the year 2020, Mr. Groob was made the media person for the Arena Lacrosse League, voted onto the board of directors of the Brampton Excelsiors Lacrosse Club, as well as being made administrator of the Lacrosse page “Global Lacrosse” with a membership of 9000 members in over 90 Countries. Gary was also made an administrator of Lacrosse History Past Present and Future in 2022.

Mr. Groob co-hosts a weekly Lacrosse show on Spanglish Sports World, and ZingoTV channel 250, as well as writes a weekly lacrosse column for La Portada Canada News (both in print, and online).

Gary also hosts a Lacrosse talk show and podcast for The Edge of Philly Sports Network, seen live Sunday nights at 9pm (ET), and archived on the Edge of Philly YouTube page, as well as Spotify.

Mr. Groob’s other sports interests include Hockey, Football, Boxing, Wrestling, and Baseball, competing competitively in Boxing and Wrestling for many years.

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