The Rochester Knighthawks acquired all-star transition Paul Rabil this week from the Edmonton Rush as the summer trade and free agent season heats up in the NLL.
In a move between the East and West finalists in this year's Champion's Cup, Edmonton sent the rights to Paul Rabil to Rochester for forward Jarrett Davis.
The Rush acquired Rabil in a midseason trade that saw them send hold-out forward Athan Ianucci to the Washington Stealth. Rabil, who had wished to be moved closer to his home in the eastern United States, decided not to report to Edmonton and sat out the remainder of the season.
In spite of Rabil's refusal to report, the Rush got hot at the right time and took an unexpected playoff journey all the way to the league finals.
Meanwhile, Davis finished his third year in the NLL with a solid 28 points before blossoming in the postseason and leading the team in playoff assists with nine.
This should be a good move for both clubs.
In Edmonton's case, they essentially get something for nothing. Rabil was not going to suit up for them, so acquiring a solid young playmaker in Davis should help boost what was the lowest scoring offense in the NLL last year.
According to this article by NLL.com, Edmonton Head Coach and General Manager Derek Keenan said, "Jarrett is a talented, skilled, and athletic young right-handed offensive player and we need help on the right side."
The departure of future Hall of Famer Shawn Williams by way of a trade leaves plenty of room for Davis to step up and develop into a front-line contributor for the Rush.
Rochester gets the better of the deal by virtue of bringing in someone many consider to be one of the top lacrosse players on Earth.
"He has the heart and passion that we're looking for," said Rochester Owner and General Manager Curt Styres in the NLL.com article.
A perennial all-star in the NLL as well as the MLL in the summer, Rabil averaged almost 31 points and 81 loose balls per season over his four seasons with the Stealth.
While his abilities certainly would have given the Rush a huge boost had he chosen to play out the season in Edmonton, a move east should get him back in uniform for the 2013 season, and that will pay huge dividends for the Knighthawks on both ends of the floor.
Mixing Rabil's transition skills in with the scoring of Cody Jamieson, Johnny Powless and Mike Accursi should give Rochester a very strong foundation for years to come.
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