The Uncertain Summer

As summer unwinds and NLL (National Lacrosse League) teams are gearing up for the draft and next season one team is neutral. Holding the top pick in the said draft, the New York Riptide is trying to find pieces to improve.

A debut season that was less than stellar, saw the Riptide coming away with only one victory and many more questions than answers. The entire front office was discharged, now, they are in search of a building to play in. Will they go to the Barclay’s Center? Albany? Stay where they are? Who will come in to run the team?

New York is a team that, despite the losses, has talent and potential. Tyson Gibson, Rookie of the Year candidate, is a franchise builder.

Travis Longboat is a talent. Throw in Alex Woodall and his face off ability and possession is all but guaranteed.

Kieran McArdle is solid and brings a scoring punch. Jean-Luc Chetner has become very solid. A young squad with a few veterans should make for success. Holes will need to be filled.

Starting with goaltending which was their downfall last season. Alex Buque posted a goals-against-average of 13.67… certainly not very good. Gowah Abrams, the other goaltender, was only slightly better and posted an 11.98 average. In box lacrosse, your aim should be around 10.00.

If you are at or under that number, you have a better than even chance of winning a game. Which makes me ask… with the first overall pick… who do the Riptide opt for? The landscape has changed and teams will be getting creative.

5th-year collegiate players will be eligible for the draft. The caveat? The draftee cannot play pro so his rights will be held by the team that drafts him.

That, to me, put Jeff Teat right back in the picture. Teat is a “generational” player. He is a leader and a Wizard with the ball. New York is not a team that is a championship contender. They are a few seasons away from that. Or, are they?

With the uncertainty of the coaching staff and a building to play in, the Riptide is in search of stability and needs to improve to groom their fan base, wherever it may be.

Would New York draft Teat then trade him to Toronto for Tom Schreiber? Not as far fetched as it appears at first glance.

Let’s assume that someone ponies up and buys the Nassau Coliseum to keep the Riptide in place… or, they move to the Barclay’s Center. The deal would make sense. Teat is from Brampton which is in close proximity to Toronto. Schrieber is a Long Island native and one of the most dynamic players in the game.

The downside to Schrieber is injury. He has suffered two severe injuries and one question how he will hold up. One of the upsides is he is a local guy that in and of itself would cultivate the fan base. Reunite Schrieber with Kieran McArdle, throw in Dan Lomas and the Riptide suddenly have a very strong offensive unit.

Teat finishes school, Toronto is a strong unit and have managed well with Schrieber out. Will Jamie Dawick be persuaded to do such a deal? The Rock do not figure to have a huge drop off in production and figure to be in the upper echelon so, get the season over, start fresh with Teat the following season. New York may decide to package more picks for a goaltender.

The question would be, who?

Kevin Neibauer
Kevin Neibauer

Kevin has followed and promoted the game of lacrosse since May 19, 1974.
The same day the Philadelphia Flyers won the Cup, the Philadelphia Wings were introduced to Neibauer and Philadelphia.

Kevin has covered many sports, including baseball, football, basketball, and.. lacrosse. A former licensed football referee and baseball umpire, Kevin brings a unique insight to his game coverage.

A published writer in JustHockey Magazine, Kevin covered the American Hockey League as well as a monthly story on a pugilist where Kevin used the pen name, The Rink Rat. Neibauer turned his attentions to lacrosse for a few years and does his part, whether podcasting or writing to grow the game. Kevin branched out to his roots and currently provides insight for all Philadelphia teams for Edge of Philly as well as his full-time duties with LaxPhilly.