NXL star player, Raney Stanczak, has signed with his former team Tampa Bay Damage for the 2023. Raney will depart San Antonio XFactor after a four year stint with San Antonio that saw Raney help bring two event wins and five finals visits over his tenure with the franchise.
The move comes as a bit of a surprise after Damage had their best season in a decade behind star players Jason and Jacob Edwards. Raney will immediately be a starting player and fill the final starting spot that Tampa Bay has struggled to find a consistent player in. The projected starting lineup for Damage for 2023 will be Jason Edwards, Jacob Edwards, Raney Stanczak, Chad Busiere, and Keith Brown as of now.
The addition also brings up the conversation that Tampa Bay very well may be the best defensive unit in the NXL after the addition of Stanczak. One of the most reactionary and poised players in the pro NXL division, Stanczak will bring closing ability that was sorely needed during the 2022 campaign, and his emotional leadership will be a critical add to a Tampa roster that can struggle to make comebacks.
Damage may now very well be the best defensive unit in the NXL with only Dynasty able to match their backline star power. Of course, the depth of Damage will still be on full display after a 2022 campaign saw Head Coach Joey Blute utilize the depth of his roster more than any other pro NXL coach. It will be interesting to see exactly how Coach Blute uses Raney on the field with an already talented anchor player in Jason Edwards; he may potentially become more of a center attack player akin to his early usage with XFactor in 2019. This would allow Damage to move Chad Busiere back into more of a dorito attack role and balance out Tampa Bay's spacing pretty effectively.