August 24, 2011

MLL Commish Explains Expansion Draft Details

by Corey McLaughlin | | Twitter

MLL Commissioner David Gross said Wednesday that the existing six MLL teams can protect between 10-12 players in December's expansion draft for the Charlotte Hounds and Ohio Machine.

© John Strohsacker\

The expansion Charlotte Hounds and Ohio Machine are both technically on the clock right now, but a coin flip scheduled for Friday afternoon at Major League Lacrosse owners' meetings will put an end to that.

MLL Commissioner David Gross explained that and more with respect to the league's expansion plans on a conference call Wednesday. He went into detail about how the Hounds and Machine will fill their first rosters, and laid out the parameters for the number of players the existing six MLL teams can keep this offseason.

Traditionally expansion teams have had the first picks in several drafts, so whoever wins the coin flip Friday between the Hounds and Machine will have a choice of first pick in – their choice – the expansion draft, collegiate draft, supplemental draft or first claim in the waiver wire. Whoever loses the flip, will have their choice of the next two items leftover, and the final item would go to the team that wins the flip.

(For those familiar with fantasy football drafts, think of it as a snake draft of four items. For example, if the Hounds win the coin toss, and choose to have the first pick in the expansion draft, the Machine would then pick decide what they want to pick first in – the collegiate draft, supplemental or waiver wire. If they pick the collegiate and supplemental, then the Hounds would be at the top of the waiver wire order at the start of the 2012 season.)

The existing six MLL teams will be able to protect between 10-12 players from being taken in the Dec. 7 expansion draft.

On Sept. 23, teams must submit their 23-man protected lists to the league. Three days after that, the player pool registration opens. On Oct. 12, teams will submit their protected lists for the expansion draft. This is where there are some variables. The league clearly wants to create some balance with respect to goaltending while not destroying existing teams completely.

  • If a team chooses to protect two goalies, then the team can keep no more than 10 players, including those two goalies.
  • If a team protects one goalie or no goalie, that the team can keep up to but no more than 12 players, including the one goalie.
  • After a team loses three players, that team is allowed to pull a player back. Every subsequent time a team loses a player, that team is allowed to pull another player back.
  • The most players that each of the six existing MLL teams can lose is six.
  • Players in the Player Pool, and not on a current team, can be selected by a team during the expansion draft
  • The Hounds and Machine are allowed to trade expansion picks to existing teams.

With eight teams next year, the league will still have one division. The top four teams will make the playoffs.

This is the final year of the MLL's three-year contract to hold championship weekend at Navy-Marine Corps Stadium in Annapolis. Gross said the championships will be held Aug. 25-26 at a site to be determined.

Next year, the league will play a 14-game regular season, up two games from this year. Opening weekend is the weekend of April 28, 2012. The All-Star game will be June 30, 2012, at a site to be determined.

In summary, some dates:

Sept. 23: 23-man protected lists due
Sept. 26: Player Pool registration opens
Oct. 12: Lists of players protected from Expansion Draft are due
Dec. 2: Player Pool registration closes
Dec. 7: Expansion Draft
Dec. 14: Supplemental Draft
Jan. 13, 2012: Collegiate Draft (in Philadelphia)

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