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Cry Into Your Dallas Eliuk Jersey All Winter Long

The National Lacrosse League, home to many a Syracuse lacrosse alum, has cancelled the 2008 season. In a savvy move out of the NHL playbook, the players rejected the latest proposal from the league over salary and other issues.

League Commish Jim Jennings is less than pleased:

"I would like to apologize to our fans, first and foremost. We are deeply disappointed that the PLPA's executive committee rejected our proposal without permitting all of the players to vote on the league's final offer. The offer included annual raises for all players in each year of the contract. Our owners made the best offer they could make while maintaining a sound business model."

Many of the players, however, are getting used to all of this:

"There have been literally hundreds of e-mails between the players. One of them said the owners do this every year, saying that the season might get cancelled and to stay strong," said Philadelphia Wings defenseman John Christmas. "I guess this year the players didn't bite - that's usually what happens."

So for those of you who just bought a brand new Portland Lumberjax jersey (I'm literally just talking to you, Bob Smeedley of Eugene, OR), put it away in your closet and move on to other things, like some other sport broadcast on Versus. The only consolation for the Rochester Knighthawks is that their reign as league champions will continue longer than expected...possibly indefinitely.

Lacrosse Magazine breaks down the numbers:

The NLL offered a 3-percent pay increase and wanted a five-year deal. The PLPA countered with a one-year offer and proposed a luxury tax in lieu of the existing salary cap structure. There were also disparities on the issue of revenue sharing.


According to the Canadian Press, the maximum for a veteran was $21,294 in the last agreement. Franchise players - up to two men on each team - got $25,552. The fixed rookie salary was $6,880, the second-year minimum was $9,282 and the veteran minimum was $10,221. The average worked out to about $14,500.

Makes you wonder how most of these guys were even able to play as much as they do. Some of the many Orange laxers without a job now include Scott Ditzell (Rochester), Marshall Abrams (Rochester), Brett Bucktooth (Buffalo), Casey Powell (New York) and Ryan Powell (Portland) amongst others.

It's a double-edged sword here. The league is probably already skating on thin ice and any gain in salary for the players isn't going to be so major that it will change their lives. I can certainly see why they'd fight for their piece of the pie but hopefully it doesn't cost them the league altogether. Besides, I was looking forward to doing my yearly "I'm going to an NLL game for real this time. Honest. Get me my checkbook....oh forget it, Survivorman is on" routine.

Most importantly of all...what is Dallas Eliuk gonna do with himself? The guy's got no place else to go!