Is John Thorrington back already?
Yesterday, Major League Soccer released the final list of players eligible for Monday's Re-Entry Draft. Notably missing from the list are Vancouver Whitecaps goalkeepers Joe Cannon and Jay Nolly as well as midfielder John Thorrington.
The list of draft-eligible players had to be finalized by 2 PM Pacific Friday. Until then players could be re-signed by their original team, they could be traded, or they could simply opt out of the draft on their own.
The Whitecaps haven't made any announcement regarding the fate of the mysterious three. If all three opted out, that would make sense; there might just not be anything to announce. But it would be unusual for the three to opt out of the draft unless they had something lined up in the near future.
There's a lot of speculation that Cannon and Thorrington have re-signed with the Whitecaps. You'll recall that I nominated them as the players most likely to return, provided they were willing to take a pay cut. There have been rumours that Cannon is already signed, although obviously the Whitecaps haven't made anything official.
Certainly, the most likely possibility is that Cannon and Thorrington have either already re-signed for 2012 or are close to it. Neither is a tempting trade target with the re-entry draft so close and their salaries being what they are. It's also difficult to imagine them opting out and letting their contracts quietly expire rather than at least hoping another MLS team will draft them. At this stage, we can almost pencil Cannon and Thorrington onto the 2012 team; the question will be their salary. I'm fine with that.
So where does that leave Jay Nolly? I don't think anybody was expecting him to come back, yet he's not on the list.
If you want to go really deep into reading the tea leaves then Jay Nolly wife Alicia has recently started following the Chicago Fire on Twitter. A Fire public relations representative and a beat writer have started following Jay Nolly. For those of a certain mindset, that would suggest Nolly has been traded to Chicago and we're just waiting for the details to come out.
Then again, maybe Cannon's been traded to Chicago and Nolly leaked the story? Maybe the Nolly family ran into a Chicago PR guy and a had a few beers? Who the heck knows? In the coming days, I'm sure we'll find out.