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NLL Free Agency Opens

Toronto – As of midnight on Monday, August 1st, NLL teams were able to begin making offers to restricted and unrestricted free agents who were signed to NLL rosters other than their own in 2011.  Previous to August 1st, teams were permitted to sign their own restricted and unrestricted free agents that were under contract to them in 2011.

Teams also had until July 31st to place a “Franchise Player” tag on two players.  The franchise tagging removes the player from potentially hitting the open market as an unrestricted free agent if they are not already under contract. 

Colin Doyle, who is entering the third year of a three-year agreement with the Rock, and newly acquired goaltender Matt Roik were designated as franchise players.  Roik, however, is yet to sign a new contract with the Rock.  It’s something Rock GM Terry Sanderson says is just a formality.

“We fully expect to have Matt signed to a contract this week,” said Sanderson when talking about the franchise player tag and the Roik’s contract status. 

The two players who receive the franchise player tag are paid 25 percent more than the maximum veteran player salary as per the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

The Rock have already signed four of their restricted free agents.  Sandy Chapman, Stephen Hoar, Ryan Sharp and Dan Carey have all signed new deals with the Rock.  Terms of the deals have not yet been released and are pending league approval.

The lone Rock unsigned restricted free agent is Kasey Beirnes.  Sanderson said he expects Beirnes will re-sign with the Rock upon returning from vacation.

Sanderson is also currently in negotiation with a number of key members of the 2011 Rock that became unrestricted free agents today.

The next big events on the NLL calendar are the NLL Entry Draft and the NLL Hall of Fame induction ceremony honouring Rock legend Bob Watson.  The league plans to announce details surrounding those two events very soon.