Welcome to the 2009 Pre Season News Series. The Pro Paintball pre-season update will begin with the East Coast franchises and gradually move out West. Throughout the series we will post a “free agents” listing at the end of each update which should help contextualize the ever growing list of free agents. Feel free to send in your team updates (Pro/Divisional, tryouts, and Free Agents) so we can add you in. Email firstname.lastname@example.org !
Aside from joining the PSP’s exclusive Pro division, Jeff Stein’s New England Hurricanes wont be seeing any major adjustments in 2009. The Hurricanes are said to be fielding a PSP exclusive team and planning on keeping the squad as is. There was talk during the latter part of 2008 season that the Hurricanes would be picking up a divisional farm team but as of writing, nothing is set in stone.
Tampa Bay Damage is currently reworking the Damage D1 roster and taking the team into the Semi-Pro PSP division. A few divisional cuts are in the works but at this point we are not sure of any names. The Semi Pro team list of talent will be augmented by several members of the the Tampa Bay 2008 NXL squad. In talking with members of Damage, we learned that the PSP’s 2009 changes were having a major impact on the player who was set to fill Matt Richards spot. Apparently the team had secured another Pro for next year but due to roster cap’s the player is now a alternate on the Semi Pro squad. The Tampa Bay franchise will continue into 2009 as a DYE team and will hold the first pre-season practice the second weekend in January.
Russian Legion. Sergei, the team owner, has been unavailable for comment on anything paintball (rumor has it not even Lane Wright [PSP] can reach him). As a power broker in the financial sector (real world, real impact), hes definitely got bigger worries than what league his players will be competing in. With that being said, the team is rumored to be cutting costs (read: players), starting with several members of the American line. A little over two weeks ago, Bart Blonski, JP, and Robbie P were officially let go from the legion. Rumor has it that the second line of cuts will include Rabackoff, Baines, and Chapman.
Tom Fore’s DC ARSENAL is waiting in the wings as Tom & Chuck Hendsch work to recreate a national 7-man paintball league. Tom Fore has said that he would be more interested in playing in Europe than the PSP and he may just get his wish.
Jersey Authority and MOD are said to be in a holding pattern with the players waiting in the wings to hear the word for 2009.
- Chris Lasoya won’t be able to make the first event and you can bet that his “value” is diminished accordingly. Apparently he is still in talks with Aftermath but only time will tell.
- Bart Blonski was recently let go by the Russian Legion. Where will he turn up next? Your guess is as good as ours.
- JP is in the same boat. Had it been any other season we would have guessed he would end up playing with Ironmen or Infamous or one of the Southern California power teams but with the roster caps?
- Dave Fason (Trauma) is looking to play Pro or Semi Pro in 2009.
- Rumored to be joining the list: Dave Baines, Haman Chapman, Justin Rabackoff