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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Blazers to face The HEAT?

The Boston Blazers of the National Lacrosse League inked their top three offensive stars with two-year contracts to secure the best offensive threat in the indoor lacrosse league for, at least, the next two seasons. The signings are vaguely reminiscent of the moves made this past summer by basketball's Miami HEAT when the HEAT re-signed their best player, Dwyane Wade and inked two others (Lebron James and Chris Bosh) via free agency and trades.

The Blazers offense will now include the top three vote getters in last season's NLL MVP race with Dan Dawson, Casey Powell and Josh Sanderson.  Dawson and top-flight goal-keeper Anthony Cosmo, acquired two years ago via the dispersal draft of the defunct Chicago Shamrocks, led the Blazers to the playoffs in each of the past two years.

The moves most certainly placed all preseason predictions for the 2011 NLL championship straight towards the TD Garden, home of the Blazers.  Even the Blazers' club president didn't hesitate to apply the pressure, although somewhat short of the 82-0-type premonitions conjured up by followers and fans of the NBA's HEAT.  

"Dan is one of the most electrifying players in our league," said Blazers President and GM Doug Reffue. "With his leadership and offensive presence as well as the addition of all-stars like Casey and Josh, we will be a major challenge for every team this year. Anything short of a Champions Cup would be a major disappointment."

As the Blazers release points out:  "In 2009, Dawson earned his first MVP title along with the league's annual Sportsmanship Award for his 104 point season including a league record of 74 assists, a title which he shared that year with Sanderson. The definitive leader of the Blazers, Dawson has 768 career points (326 goals, 442 assists) and has been featured on ESPN SportsCenter's "Top Ten" for his distinctive between the legs goals.

Powell, the 2010 MVP and the first US-born player to win the award joins the Blazers after recording a career-highs of 44 goals and 36 assists. A seven-time All-Star, Powell is one of the most acclaimed and recognizable names in the sport.  He has accumulated 567 points (246 goals and 321 assists) in his NLL career.

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