2013 Preview: Rochester Knighthawks

KnighthawksThe Knighthawks won the NLL Championship in 2012, so obviously they don’t need major changes to their team in 2013, right? Well, what if they add two of the last four NLL MVPs? Have they just made a very good team better, or have they messed too much with the chemistry of a team that was already successful?

Rochester did win the title in 2012, but that doesn’t mean they were the best team. Remember that the Knighthawks finished the regular season 3rd in the East with a 7-9 record, and only won two games in a row once during the regular season. I suppose they did win three in a row when it counted – in the playoffs – but they were not nearly as dominant a team as, say, the Knighthawks team that won the 2007 championship.

Roster changes

Similar to my Philadelphia report, I had this section all done, saying that other than Powell and Rabil, the Knighthawks haven’t made all that many changes. Then they made the Rabil deal and that all changed. On offense, they’re adding Casey Powell and Dan Dawson and losing… nobody. On transition, they added Joel McCready, but lost Jarrett Davis in the first Rabil trade and Jordan Hall, Joel White, and Robbie Campbell in the second. On the defense, Pat McCready retired but Paul Dawson replaces him. Goaltending, Vinc and Henhawk, is unchanged from last year.

Burning question

Take a decent team and add Casey Powell or Dan Dawson and they’ll be better. That’s almost a given. But what happens when you add both? In addition, the Knighthawks were better than decent, and already had a legitimate number one scorer in Cody Jamieson.

By taking a good team and adding (or attempting to add) two superstars, Curt Styres may have been trying to re-create the “Shaq-Kobe” Lakers or “LeBron-Wade-Bosh” Heat. But the Boston Blazers had “the Big Three”, including both Powell and Dawson, and did not bring a championship to Boston. In fact, they never even won a playoff game. My burning question for the Knighthawks is whether Cody Jamieson is still the offensive leader of the team, or does he step back for Dawson?

Prediction

Not sure how I can predict anything other than first in the East for the Hawks.

Haiku

Few changes, but big
With Powell and the Dawsons
The champs have improved

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