Real sense of renewal for NLL newcomers

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 1:44 PM ET

Edmonton and Portland both joined the NLL in 2006.

Although the Rush and LumberJax went in opposite directions in finding early success -- Portland won its division that year, while the Rush have yet to make a playoff appearance -- only one team is still standing.

Portland folded from economic pressures after last season while the Rush remains to play another day.

"The positive thing is that even though the on-floor product hasn't been what was initially expected, the fans have still stuck around to support the team, so that's very encouraging," said new Rush acquisition Brodie Merrill, who came over from Portland in the dispersal draft.

"We really want to win -- not only for ourselves and the organization, but for the market here and the loyal fans."

"As a player, you want to see your opponent fall during a game, not fall out of the league," added Gavin Prout, who has joined Edmonton after four seasons with the Colorado Mammoth.

"You try to get some strong markets and make some smart business decisions with everything you do, but there's times people put together a good business plan and it just doesn't work out the way they expect it to.

"It's tough on the league, ,but at the same time it strengthens the teams out there. It really makes the teams close in talent.

"Pretty much everyone is on an even keel right now; there are no favourites versus teams in a doghouse right now.

"It comes down to getting a better product on the floor.

"All the new guys are coming in, young guys are coming in and are making it difficult for guys to make a name for themselves on the team."


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