When the calendar flipped to August 1, it meant that the time for potential signings of free agents in the National Lacrosse League. The League has published its list of "available" players for the coming season.
From the Bandits' standpoint, there are a few names on the list. This list of unrestricted free agents includes David Brock, Chad Culp, Jamie Rooney, Billy Dee Smith, Jay Thorimburt and Andrew Watt. Mitch Jones and Joe Smith are called restricted free agents, meaning - I think - that the Bandits have the right to match offers.
My guess is that Buffalo will at least try to get the players who were part of last year's team back. Rooney missed the whole season with injuries, and it sounded like there was a chance his career might be over. Smith's inclusions may be a matter of paperwork, since he hasn't played in the NLL for a while. It would be difficult to think that any of the others would welcome a move elsewhere, especially coming off a trip to the finals. But you can never rule such matters out.
There's already been one good-sized signing. Mike Poulin jumps from Calgary to Georgia, and he's expected to be the No. 1 goalie there. It's a change of direction for the Swarm, who generally have traded veterans rather than keeping them around. Calgary still has Frankie Scigliano, who played a little less than half the time, but you'd have to think that the Roughnecks are now officially on the lookout for another goalie.
A few other ex-Bandits are unrestricted free agents: Kevin Buchanan and Brett Bucktooth of New England, and Scott Self of Rochester. Cory Vitarelli, who has scored some big goals against Buffalo over the years, is also available. Self will be 37 on Sunday, and it's tough to see him wanting to leave the Knighthawks and brother Brad.
-- Budd Bailey