Since beginning the season 2-1 on the road, the Philadelphia Wings lost two consecutive games on their home floor. Losses to the Toronto Rock and Panther City Lacrosse Club exploited weaknesses, making room for acquisitions via trades.
Paul Day made his first trade of the season ten days ago. The Wings sent their 2024 third-round pick in the NLL Draft to the Albany Firewolves for Taite Cattoni. Cattoni had two points (1G, 1A) in the fourth quarter, bringing some life to an otherwise dead offense with Joe Resetarits and Matt Rambo.
Yesterday, Philadelphia acquired Marcus Minichiello and swapped sixth-round picks with the Buffalo Bandits.
“Marcus is a young defender with a good amount of experience playing box in Canadian junior and senior A. He is a fast and athletic right-handed defenseman, and with some injuries on the defensive side of the floor we wanted to bring in some additional youth.”Paul Day; 1/25/2023
Tomorrow, the Wings square off against the Bandits. Against the exact opponent they made a deal with, they’ll test their mettle. Both teams are as good defensively. Without Ian Llord for another three-to-five weeks, Day acquired defensive depth.
When Minichiello joined Buffalo, he engaged as a defenseman who could also help in the transition. He’s the type of player required by the Wings in 2022-2023.
On the home floor, Philadelphia fell victim to fast-changing transitions. Lately, turnovers are becoming a nightmare when searching for a victory. Alleviating the pressure on Zach Higgins and Angus Goodleaf via defensive transition addresses critical weaknesses exploited in the last two weeks.
Playing in three NLL seasons, Minichiello started a total of nine games. He recorded his only point, an assist, with the Bandits in 2022. On paper, the vital information lies in the defensive statistics. He hustles to ground balls and forces more turnovers than he commits. A depth signing, Minichiello trends appropriately where the Wings need him most.
Additionally, the Vancouver Warriors were interested in Minichiello. In 2019, Minichiello almost signed a one-year contract with the franchise. Similar to Day, Dan Richardson commented on the speed, agility, and athleticism Minichiello possesses as a transition defenseman. Minichiello didn’t play a game in the NLL for the Warriors.
Day noted the experience Minichiello had with the Ontario Junior A Lacrosse League. His six seasons on the Toronto Beaches show that he can join in on the transition on offense, spreading the ball around as a playmaker. Another mid-season acquisition by Philadelphia will require a little time to find his footing at a more consistent NLL pace.
At the 2025 NLL Draft, Buffalo will choose the best pick between them and the Wings in the sixth round due to the swap required to acquire Minichiello.
(Photo Credit/Alex McIntyre)