In the words of the great Jeff Probst, “everybody drop your buffs. We have a merge!” We called it on the Outside the Box Podcast months ago and today the news was dropped on our heads. THE PREMIER LACROSSE LEAGUE AND MAJOR LEAGUE LACROSSE HAVE MERGED TO CREATE ONE LEAGUE, AND I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH MY HANDS. This momentous business decision opens the door for nothing but good things for the sport we all love.
First of all, the merger means that the likes of Lyle Thompson, Randy Staats, Kyle Jackson, and Mikie Schlosser, and more, are headed to the PLL. We could see the Thompson brothers playing on one team while the Staats brothers are reunited on another. If that doesn’t get you excited for the upcoming expansion draft and season, absolutely nothing will.
Another huge benefit of the merger is the confirmation of the eighth PLL team, as the Boston Cannons will become Cannons Lacrosse Club. Boston’s current roster will be broken up and those players will be selected by the eight teams in the next expansion draft. Boston’s owner, Rob Hale, played a big part in the MLL staying afloat and with the Cannons being the reigning MLL champs, this seems like a perfect way to introduce the league’s newest club. This doesn’t mean that the door is slammed shut on all the other MLL teams.
As part of the merger is setting up the league for the future, the PLL acquired the rights to the other five active franchises from the MLL, so we could see the remaining clubs make returns under rebranded PLL monikers over the next four to five years. The PLL could jump from the seven teams it had in the 2020 Bubble to 13 or maybe even 14 clubs if the rights to the Charlotte Hounds are included in the merger. This could genuinely be a turning point in the history of pro lacrosse.
So what now? It’s still a bit murky for all of us not in the boardroom making this happen, but we do know there will be an expansion draft and more details about the transition team coming out within the next few months. Every time it seems that we’re living in the best time to be a fan of lacrosse, something new happens that keeps upping the ante. There’s nothing but bright spots ahead for the medicine game and we should all be excited to be along for the ride.