The New York Lizards of Major League Lacrosse (MLL) have executed a trade with the Boston Cannons that will bring Paul Rabil, widely-regarded as the best player in lacrosse, to the Lizards along with All-Star midfielder Mike Stone.
In exchange for Rabil and Stone the Cannons will receive midfielder Max Seibald, defenseman Brian Karalunas, the Lizards’ 2016 first and second round MLL Collegiate Draft picks, and their 2017 first round MLL Collegiate Draft Pick.
With the addition of Paul Rabil, a seven-time MLL All-Star and holder of the MLL single season all-time points record, the Lizards hope to add a third MLL championship and raise the Steinfeld Trophy in 2015.
“We are elated,” said Lizards CEO Jeffrey Rudnick. “Paul Rabil has won everywhere he has been and now he is finally on our side. Teaming Rabil and Mike Stone with Rob Pannell, Ned Crotty and the rest of the Lizards will certainly put us in the hunt for the Steinfeld Trophy for years to come.”
“Paul is a proven winner, having won titles at the NCAA, NLL [National Lacrosse League], FIL [Federation of International Lacrosse], and MLL levels,” said Lizards’ Head Coach Joe Spallina. “To acquire him in the prime of his playing career is an opportunity the organization could not pass up. Having coached against Paul, I consider him arguably the best player in the world.”
“We absolutely love what Mike brings to the table,” said Spallina. “He is an incredibly underrated player that is a proven 20-goal midfielder in the MLL. He is someone we have targeted and look forward to him being a key cog in the Lizards offense.”
Max Seibald, one of two players New York is trading to Boston, is a six year MLL veteran having played three seasons with the Denver Outlaws before being traded to New York in 2012. Seibald scored a career high 39 points (24 goals, 4 2-pt. goals, 11 assists) during his first season with the Lizards in 2012 and served as a team captain in 2013. As a member of the US Men’s National Team at the FIL World Championship, Max won a gold medal in 2010 and a silver medal in 2014.
Brian Karalunas, the second New York player involved with the trade, has played all four of his seasons in the League with the Lizards. The three-time MLL All-Star was named to the Team USA 30-man training roster for the FIL World Championship and picked up a career-high 35 ground balls in 2014.
“Trading Brian and Max was such a difficult thing to do,” said Spallina. “Both players have been with me in New York since I became the head coach, and having personal relationships with both of them made it tougher. They gave the coaching staff and the organization all they had day in and day out and it was an honor to coach both men. I wish them the best in Boston.”
Lizards CEO Jeffrey Rudnick added, “Max and Brian did so much for the organization both on and off the field. Their professionalism and leadership will certainly be missed.”
Paul Rabil was selected by the Boston Cannons with the first overall draft pick in 2008. As an MLL player his accolades include: three-time Offensive Player of the Year, two-time Most Valuable Player, seven-time All-Star, six-time first-team All-Pro, and in 2012 he set he MLL Single Season all-time points record with 72 points. Outside of MLL competition, Rabil also played for the US Men’s National Team in 2010 and 2014 and was named the World’s Most Valuable Player by the FIL in 2010 while leading Team USA to a gold medal and was named the FIL World’s Top Midfielder in both 2010 and 2014.
Midfielder Mike Stone, also acquired from the Boston Cannons, was a member of the MLL All-Star Team in 2012 and 2013 when he scored a career-high 34 points (25 goals and 9 assists) and added 15 ground balls.
Off the field, Paul Rabil’s dedication to spreading the sport of lacrosse to new and current audiences includes The Paul Rabil Foundation whose mission is to help children with learning differences through sports and scholarship, The Paul Rabil Experience which provides athletes video instruction, strength and conditioning information, and nutritional advice, Endurance Companies (EnCo), a holding company that builds and operates business, specifically in the fitness category, and Project Nine, which brings top lacrosse coaches to train youth players. Dubbed “Lacrosse’s Million-Dollar Man” by Business Week, Rabil has his own line of equipment and numerous commercial endorsements.
Rabil and Stone will have their first opportunity to join the rest of the Lizards’ roster on March 27 when training camp kicks off. The Lizards will play their first game of the 2015 season at home at Hofstra’s Shuart Stadium on Sunday, April 12 against the Ohio Machine at 5:00 PM. Season tickets are available now by calling the Lizards at 1-855-NYLizards. Single game tickets will go on sale March 1. For more information about the New York Lizards, be sure to check out NYLizards.com.