Hall health update: “The tumor is gone,” Hall said. “I’m in good shape. I’m gaining weight and I feel healthy. We just hope it stays that way. I’m cleared to continue coaching, and I’m excited about that. I’ll continue to be monitored, but things are good right now.’’
Offseason: Forward Cam Sedgwick and transition man Jason Bloom, the team’s captain, retired. Defenseman Kyle Hartzell was traded to the Wings for a draft pick. Transition man Chet Koneczny went to Colorado as a free agent.
Entry draft: The Stealth need to get younger and faster on defense. Veterans will be pushed by No. 11 pick Tyler Garrison, a 6-foot-2 and 200-pound defenseman who was captain of the Coquitlam Junior A club in British Columbia, No. 12 pick Bill Hostrawser, an aggressive checker who helped the Orangeville (Ontario) juniors win the 2012 Canadian title, and No. 19 pick Justin Pychel, a 6-foot-1, 210-pound defender from the Six Nations senior side.
“We’re pretty excited about getting Garrison and Hostrawser,” Hall said. “I see both those guys having a good shot at stepping into the lineup and playing right away. They lack some experience, but Minnesota proved last year that’s not a bad thing. We got two real good righties and a good leftie in Pychel, too. We were looking for one. There are going to be some battles for jobs on the back end. Our intention in the draft was to ensure we’d have some people coming to camp to push some of the veterans.”
Coaching change: Dan Perreault is in and Dan Stroup is out as coach of the offense, and Bloom becomes an additional assistant coach.
Goals: The only players with more than 20 goals last season were Lewis Ratcliff (36), Rhys Duch (33) and Athan Iannucci (21). If Jeff Zywicki isn’t hampered by injuries like last winter, and if Iannuccci thrives during a full season with this team, the offense should be much better.
New captain: Defenseman Kyle Sorensen takes over from Bloom.
Get back: Washington can only go up in 2013. “We won the championship in 2010, lost by one goal in the 2011 final and finished last in 2012, so we were proof in the pudding that it’s not very far from first to last,” Hall said. “We have no intention of proving it again. I know you’ve got to be ready to play game one. You’ve got to be in midseason form when the season starts, because it’s only 16 games. All the teams are strong and well-coached, so it really becomes a game-by-game performance issue. We have to get back to where we should be. I think we’ll be back battling for top spot, rather than where we finished last year.”
Schedule: The Stealth opens Jan. 5 at home against defending NLL champ Rochester.