It was an icy day in March and the first player draft in the history of the newly formed National Lacrosse League was going on at the traditional old Ritz Carlton Hotel in Montreal.
Philadelphia Wings had just drafted premier defenceman Carm Collins as their number one pick, which was no surprise because the word out was that Philly wanted to build their team around him.
Then an unusual thing happened. Philadelphia drafted one of Jim Bishop’s favorites in the second round. His name was Larry Lloyd and soon there was plenty of buzzing at the meetings.
Who was Larry Lloyd? And what prompted the Philly brain trust of coach Bobby Allan, general manager Jack Bionda and player personnel director Ken Wood to select someone that not too many people knew about.
Well, some people do their homework. And evidently Allan, Bionda and Wood had done theirs.
They all knew about Larry Lloyd. They knew that he had sat out a year after being regarded earlier as one of the most promising players in the Ontario Lacrosse Association.
Bishop also had lots of data on Lloyd because several years previous the 26-year old redhead from Oshawa, had been a member of the Green Gaels junior champion Minto Cup teams.
“I guess Bishop felt Larry Lloyd was going to be around for a while,” said Allan. “We fooled him, didn’t we?”
Right now, Bishop probably wishes the six foot, four-inch Lloyd was a member of his Toronto Tomahawks. In the Wings’ first eight games, Lloyd, the schoolteacher with the handlebar mustache, has been the chief offensive thread in the well-rounded Philadelphia attack.
He has collected 39 points on 17 goals and 22 assists in eight games and whenever the Wings have been in trouble, it’s usually been Larry Lloyd whose played a major role in bailing them out.
Yes, on that icy day in March, the Wings surprised a lot of people by making Larry Lloyd their number two draft choice. But now it appears as if Allan, Bionda and Wood had things figured out well in advance. It’s for certain they’re surprised by Larry Lloyd’s play to date.