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Bandits make changes for their 2012 roster

The Buffalo Bandits' roster for 2012 has been announced, and the list of those who didn't make the team is almost as interesting as those who did.

Among the players who won't be back for the coming season are veterans Brett Bucktooth, Travis Irving, Brenden Thenhaus and Jay Thorimbert.

Bucktooth played for the Bandits for the past five seasons, and participated in the league's All-Star Game in 2011. Irving is a former first-round draft choice of the team. Thenhaus and Thorimbert both joined the Bandits for the 2011 season.

The Bandits also released Connor Daly, Damon Edwards, Ben McCullough, Gary Muzzin and Jeff Powless.

Defenseman Clay Hill, another veteran from last season's team, is said to be living in Edmonton. He did not respond to the Bandits' calls in the offseason, and is an unrestricted free agent.

One of the biggest reasons for the changes is that the Boston Blazers folded over the summer, cutting the number of teams in the National Lacrosse League from 10 to nine. The contraction meant it would be that much more difficult for players to stay on an NLL roster.

Six new faces are on the team: forwards Kevin Buchanan, Mat Giles and Luke Wiles, transition players Kyle Sweeney and Jeremy Thompson, and defenseman Jeff Cornwall.

Darryl Gibson was placed on injured reserve, while Dwight Bero and Kyle Clancy are on the Physically Unable to Perform List. Three more players will be placed on the team's practice squad at a later date.

The biggest addition probably is Wiles, who had 29 goals and 31 assists for Washington last season. The Bandits gave up a second- and third-round draft pick for him.

The complete roster:

Forwards: Buchanan, Chad Culp, Brandon Francis, Giles, Tracey Kelusky, Frank Resetarits, John Tavares, Roger Vyse and Wiles.

Transition: Jon Harasym, Tom Montour, Jimmy Purves, Mark Steenhuis, Kyle Sweeney and Jeremy Thompson.

Defensemen: Cornwall, Ian Llord, Steve Priolo, Scott Self, Billy Dee Smith and Chris White.

Goalies: Mike Thompson and Angus Goodleaf.

The Bandits open their season Jan. 14 at home against Toronto.

email: bbailey@buffnews.com