On Wednesday, all eight PLL clubs announced roster moves following several days of training camp and scrimmages. By rule, teams are allowed to bring 30 active players to training camp. Rosters must be cut down to 25 active players. On game day, teams can have 21 players on the active roster, 19 of which are able to play in the game. The other two form the reserve roster; essentially emergency players. Additionally, a player who does not make the 21 man roster for his club for three consecutive weeks can be claimed by another club. Being named on the 21 man roster, not just the 19 for the game, resets this clock.
Beyond just cutting and signing players, clubs have a number of designations that can be used to open a roster spot. Any number of them make the player not count against the 25 player cap. The Holdout List is for, in simplest terms, players who have an obligation or something to attend to outside of the PLL and can’t report to a game weekend. A player who’s day job won’t let them play, is getting married, non-PLL life events would all qualify. There is a military exemption, which is exactly what it sounds like. A player who has service obligations doesn’t count on the 25 man. The PUP list is for players who sustain an injury outside of PLL play and can’t participate. An NLL player who gets hurt in an NLL game and can’t play in the PLL as a result goes on on the PUP List. The same for a player who was hurt during the college season and won't be ready for PLL play. Unavailable to Travel is what it sounds like. Often times, this is for players who can’t report to the team because of either NLL obligations or visa issues. Canadian players need to obtain a P1 visa to travel into and work in the US, and while waiting for one, they can be placed on unable to travel. This scenario is common for rookies from Canada who's visa is not yet ready. Players who are wrapping up the NLL season an overlapping with the PLL also go on the Unavailable to Travel list.
With those designations, and roster moves, teams had to get down from 30 to 25 this week, and on Wednesday, everyone did. Here’s how each club did it:
Released: Brandon Galloway, Ryan Sharkey, and Frankie Labetti
Personal Leave: Challen Rogers
Unavailable to Travel: Cam Wyers
Wyers joins Tim Edwards and Warren Jeffrey on Unavailable to Travel. Edwards and Jeffrey are finishing up the NLL Finals with Colorado, while Wyers likely needs to get his visa sorted out. A Personal Leave Designation hasn’t been used before that I can recall but sounds basically like short term holdout. Rogers hopefully is back to the field soon.
Wyers absence, along with Jeffrey, creates opportunity for post draft adds Andrew Darby and Chris Campbell. Both had excellent college seasons, with Darby anchoring the Michigan defense well into the NCAA tournament. A lineup with Jared Conners, Jon Robbins, Graeme Hossack, and Matt McMahon needs some depth behind it. Darby and Campbell can help short term, and potentially long term.
Galloway was always a long shot to crack a midfield roster this stacked, but he’s still a PLL caliber athlete. Should the Archers need midfield help this season, he’s the type of guy who could come right back into the locker room. Ryan Sharkey is the odd pole out, and faceoff specialist Frankie Labetti was likely facing an uphill battle to make the roster once Mike Sisselberger was drafted.
The Archers have no shortage of two way midfielders who can create on offense, so Rogers absence is easier to absorb. Connor Maher has a chance to make a very strong rookie impression early in the year in Rogers place.
Released: Zak Lanoue, Quinn McCahon, Kyle Long, JD Colarusso
The Atlas took themselves down to 24 active players, signaling that one of Dox Aitken, Payton Rezanka, or Danny Logan may be ready to come off the PUP list soon.
SSDM was never going to be an easy spot to crack on the Bulls. Danny Logan, Peter Dearth, and Payton Rezanka form a seriously beefy defensive midfield, with Jake Richard balancing them well. Half that group is on PUP but again, Atlas left a spot open, so they can activate one of their PUP List players without cutting anyone.
Quinn McCahon may still catch on somewhere. He was winning a championship on Monday afternoon, so it’s likely he never got to show what he can do at camp, and that unfortunately makes him easier to cut. He’s a player who went from highly touted offensive midfield recruit to legit two way threat, those guys will always be on someone’s radar in the PLL. Kyle Long was a draft pick, so more surprising to see him get cut. For most of the last year, only one drafted player was cut from the team that drafted him. Long is a gifted passer and sees the game incredibly well, but is a step below PLL shooters. Atlas felt like a decent fit for him, but it’s just too stacked an offensive roster.
JD Colarusso has gone from EBUG, to backup, to starter, back to back up in teh PLL. He’s a resilient, quality goalkeeper. It’s the toughest position in the league to catch on. His release means Team Canada netminder Drake Porter won the job behind Jack Concannon.
Released: Brent Adams, Grant Ammann, Mark Cockerton, Tate Gallagher, Patrick Skalniak
Adams was added as a veteran presence in the midfield following the news that Lyle Thompson would be on sabbatical. Cockerton is another veteran who sees his Cannons era come to an end, as the additions of Marcus Holman and Matt Kavanagh make attack spots, on either side of the field, hard to come by. Tate Gallagher was a younger option at SSDM, but that’s another spot where the roster feels hard to crack. Zach Goodrich is still among the best in the world, Bubba Fairman had a number of impact moments last year, and players like the Aslanians or Jeff Trainor can easily play both ends.
The two rookies being cut were surprises. Skalniak less so, as he was a post draft add who is also coming off a back injury that caused him to miss most of the year. Couple that with the potential to have limited availability due to military commitments, and you can see how a club might be ready to go in another direction. Grant Ammann was a draft pick, the second one to be cut. The Cannons only had two picks in the 2023 draft; using one on a player who didn’t make it out of camp is (barring other circumstances) not a great sign. Particularly with players like BJ Farrare, Chris Campbell, Andrew Darby, and others not only being added after the draft, but making the 25 man. Ammann is a player who hunts CTs, and the Cannons have others who do that well like Jake Pulver. Kielty can still be their top cover man, Ammann as a tertiary option felt like the right place for him. Instead, the Cannons will have to look for other ways to get younger on the defensive end, as it seems likely they only get one year of Kyle Hartzell, and Brodie Merrill has to retire at some point.
Released: Ashton Wood, Brendan Kavanagh
Unavailable to Travel: Tye Kurtz
Holdout List: TJ Malone
PUP List: Alex Simmons
Every year, Chaos has to do serious shuffling. Maybe one day the Bandits won’t be so good, but until then, Chaos made their bed, time to sleep in(doors) it. There was no shortage of faceoff talent on the Chaos roster. Max Adler is with the Bandits, but Nick Rowlett was drafted, Demitri George was added after the draft, Jerry Ragonese returns, and Ashton Wood is the odd man out. The Chaos carried a stable of faceoff men last year, so Adler’s return likely means maybe one of these players hits the pool, but no guarantees. Wood should get a look from some other spots as well, he’s a solid specialist, but faceoff is brutal to try and crack in the PLL.
Tye Kurtz is a Canadian rookie waiting on a visa, no surprise to see him where he is. TJ Malone hits the holdout and probably needs a few weeks off after emptying the tank against Duke in the Final Four. Malone is a pro for sure, stashing him on Holdout is the right move, because he wouldn’t last long in the player pool. Alex Simmons hits the PUP list which usually means he was banged up to end the season and is still working through it.
The Chaos roster moves to watch are the ones that happen in another week or so. Once the NLL Finals end, a half dozen legit star players return to this group, and that’s the moment fans find out who showed out at camp enough to really stick around a while.
Released: Joe Post, Ryan McNulty, Gibson Smith
PUP List: Jesse King
Joe Post never got to really take draws for the Chrome. The tricky part of his release is, Chrome now have one active faceoff player. Kyle Gallagher has been stashed on holdout for over a season, barring his sudden return, it’s just Connor Farrell for now. Being an injury away from desperation facing off is not a good place to be, expect to see another faceoff move made for Chrome in short order.
Gibson Smith played well in Sixes, and had an excellent college career. PLL coaches had questions about his ability cover PLL level dodgers, and it appears they still haven’t been answered. Smith also is a guy who likely would have to play down low and not be comfortable at LSM, and versatility is more valuable every day. McNulty, despite being incredibly good off the ground and in transition, faced similar questions to Smith when it came to coverage ability. After being drafted a year ago, he hits the player pool. The Cannons may be served to take a look at them both as they are young defenders to see if they can find something the Chrome couldn’t.
Finally, Jesse King, comes off Holdout and heads to the PUP List. King is an impact offensive weapon, and Chrome will be looking to multiple player to fill in for the missing Brendan Nichtern. King certainly will have to do his part.
Released: Matt Kilkeary, Corey Kale, Joe Robertson, Justin Joseph
Unable to Travel: Owen Grant
Owen Grant hitting the Unavailable to Travel list is unfortunate but it felt like the writing was on the wall. The Woods are more than willing to handle a few weeks of his absence, which is a testament to just how good their defense already is. Epple, Cohen, and Glazener all will still take the field, and that’s enough to give the team a chance to win. Post draft waiver add BJ Farrare also makes the 25 man, an obvious add in Grant's absence to spend time at LSM with John Sexton.
Kilkeary had the tall task of trying to take a job from either Tim Troutner or Jack Kelly. Goalies and coaching staffs develop a trust and rapport, and bringing in someone new means starting that from scratch. Troutner and Kelly are likely the goalies there until they decide to hang up or fall off a cliff somehow. Corey Kale and Justin Joseph were late adds after the draft. Joseph is a solid faceoff specialist, but not many teams carry three. That means he has to take a job from TD Ierlan or the newly drafted Zach Cole. Similar to Kilkeary, Joseph had a tall task in front of him. Impress enough to take a job from a world class specialist, and do it in about 5 days. He hits the pool, but faceoff specialist is a position where guys can move in and out of the pool often.
Corey Kale was someone I wanted to learn more about and I thought might have a 25 man shot. Jack Near’s retirement means Isaiah Davis Allen becomes the lead dog at SSDM. After that, there really aren’t any pure defensive midfielders. They drafted Brian Tevlin, who will be coming in off a national championship and missing most of camp, all but certainly dinged up. Nakeie Montgomery can play both ends, Sergio Perkovic can in a pinch as well. But opponents will see those matchups and attack them consistently. The Woods will either have to establish early that their second SSDM isn’t a big weakness, or they’ll need to bring in another shorty soon.
Released: Wilson Stephenson
Unable to Travel: Thomas McConvey
PUP List: Eli Gobrecht, Jack Traynor
Stephenson played in the title game on Monday, so he all but certainly never saw a minute of action in camp. A post draft add anyway, the Waterdogs had a lot of poles to take a look at, and clearly liked what they saw. Eli Gobrecht joining Chris Sabia on the PUP List means Chris Fake (if he’s ready after the title game), Alex Mazzone, and Nick Cardile will all get a chance to claim a permanent spot on the roster. Fake is a nice stand in for either Sabia or Gobrecht. A thumper who wants to guard the big bodied matchup, Fake doesn’t need to be the lead defender, he can just be the guy you play to his strength. Mazzone can float between LSM and close to spell Sabia’s role as well. Despite the defensive injury issues, that Waterdogs look solid.
McConvey was also at the final four, but he’ll be out a few weeks while the visa issues get fixed. His return coming alongside, or slightly after, Mikie Schlosser’s can lead to a depth of midfield weapons and versatility unparalleled in the PLL. Jack Traynor can be part of that equation too if the injury he is getting over from the college season isn’t serious.
Released: Max Waldbaum, Sean Goldsmith, Luke Frankeny
PUP List: Elijah Gash
The notable part of the Whips moves isn’t who was released, it’s who wasn’t. Waldbaum, Frankeny, and Goldsmith were solid options to look at in camp, but Coach Stagnitta has been looking for guys who can consistently win off the dodge to take pressure of Rambo, Zed, and Smith to create offense. If you can’t do that, it seemed like making the Whips was a long shot.
The names still on the roster are a bit surprising. There are three goalies in Bernlohr, Phipps, and Krebs, with no other team rostering three goalies at this point. Sam Cambere and Grayson Sallade, a post draft LSM and SSDM add respectively, got a spot on the 25 man roster. Stagnitta has said recently the defense isn’t getting any younger, and SSDM is a spot that could thin quickly. Sean Lulley, a dynamic dodger and creator from Penn who Stagnitta already knew a bit, also got a spot on the 25 man roster, meaning he was able to do enough in camp on offense to warrant being kept around.
There are some exciting young pieces on this Whips roster to blend with excellent veterans. It looks like they have once again found just what they need in the draft and on the post draft waiver wire.
All players on a current PLL club roster can be seen via the navigation bar, including players on holdout, PUP, military, and other designations.