So I just found out that the Manchester Millrats have signed one of the best guards in minor league basketball. This, combined with the recent reports of the success of the Vermont try out camps had me sort of worried that Halifax was falling a bit behind. And then I read the online version of the Metro. The article includes tons of news.
It looks like Eric might be back for another year with the Rainmen. Crookshank seems to have run into more problems with a minor league team, this time in Finland. Basically, just like in Edmonton, contractual promises weren’t met and Eric decided to leave rather than get ripped off. Some brief internet detective works suggests that Componenta, the Finnish team he signed with, have often arrived to away games with only 7 or 8 players and aren’t considered to be real contenders in Finland. Crookshank says that he has other offers on the table but is leaning towards Halifax due to it feeling like a second home and his relationship with Levingston, whom Crookshanks calls a “father figure.” On the one hand I am bummed that things didn’t work out in Europe for Eric, and I also sort of hope that he chooses to go over seas, on the other hand I am excited by the prospect of having him come back. He’s a great player, he’s exciting, and I won’t have to buy a new jersey.
It is also revealed in the article that league rules allow each team to identify four of its players that other PBL teams are not allowed to negotiate with. Halifax has identified Crookshank, Richard, Silverhorn and Twyman as their players and will be trying to bring them back. That’s a decent looking core if you ask me. Twyman was the best non-Anderson PG that they team tried out last year, and Silverhorn and Crookshank were the best non-Anderson players on the roster. Richard was a great defensive player and showed some real offense late in the season, he and Eric were also great players to be the faces of the franchise. Having returning players that fans can identify is crucial to making this team work at the gate.
They’re also looking to pick up two players in the PBL draft and then round out the line up with free agents. No word in the article about when try out camps will occur but I hope that it will be soon. I’d like to see the try out camps happen outside of Halifax this year, perhaps with one in Toronto to pick up Canadian talent and another one in the eastern US. Some decent first division players who have proven the ability to work in serious programs and play roles would be ideal, but we’ll see how it goes.