October 6, 2010
For the second time in franchise history, the Calgary Roughnecks captured the Champion's Cup with a 12-10 win over the New York Titans at Pengrowth Saddledome. Josh Sanderson scored twice and added three assists, while goalie Matt King stopped 32 of 42 shots he faced as the Roughnecks won the 2009 National Lacrosse League title in front of 13,042 hometown fans. © Cory Shannon
For the second time in franchise history, the Calgary Roughnecks captured the Champion's Cup with a 12-10 win over the New York Titans at Pengrowth Saddledome. Josh Sanderson scored twice and added three assists, while goalie Matt King stopped 32 of 42 shots he faced as the Roughnecks won the 2009 National Lacrosse League title in front of 13,042 hometown fans. © Cory Shannon

Calgary Trades Kelusky to Buffalo

from staff reports

CALGARY - The Calgary Roughnecks traded captain Tracey Kelusky to the Buffalo Bandits on Wednesday to the Buffalo Bandits, parting ways with one of the top and most beloved players in franchise history.

Calgary sent Kelusky and the Roughnecks' third-round draft pick in the 2011 NLL Entry Draft in exchange for Buffalo’s first-round pick in 2011.

“It’s a very sad day for the Calgary Roughnecks and fans when I have to announce the trade of the captain of the Calgary Roughnecks, Tracey Kelusky who has been with this team for eight seasons,” said Brad Banister, the team's president and general manager.

Kelusky has been the Roughnecks' captain since arriving in Calgary as the first overall pick in the Montreal Express dispersal draft in 2002. He led the Roughnecks to NLL titles in 2004 and 2009.

After taking a head shot last season from former Orlando Titans player Rory Smith, Kelusky was sidelined for three games with a concussion. He still notched 64 points (30g, 34a) and 56 loose balls. In his eight seasons with the Roughnecks, he has 539 points (256g, 283a).

In 10 NLL seasons, Kelusky has been a part of the All-Star team five times and won MVP in 2005. In 2007, he won the Sportsmanship Award, collecting zero penalty minutes that year. He has won a silver and gold medal for Team Canada in world lacrosse championships.

“All the players in our dressing room, people like me and my kids, he has affected us all,” Banister said in a press conference Wednesday. He wore both championship rings to honor Kelusky's leadership.

Kelusky moved to Calgary after being drafted by the Roughnecks, but last year moved back to Peterborough, Ontario, to be with his wife and young son.

“There comes a time for all professional teams when tough decisions have to be made. We are closing the book at the end of a great story and are flipping the page to a new beginning," Bannister said. "This is the best thing for Tracey Kelusky and the best thing for the Calgary Roughnecks.”

Calgary's home opener is Jan. 8 against Kelusky and the Bandits.

Riggers Also Deal Dawson, Wray

The Philadelphia Wings have acquired defenseman Paul Dawson in a trade with the Calgary Roughnecks. In return, the Wings give up their conditional second round selection in the 2011 NLL Entry Draft. Dawson has established himself as a premier defenseman in the NLL after initially being drafted as a goalie in 2006 by San Jose.

"Paul adds sandpaper to our lineup, individual toughness and our overall team toughness that is necessary to compete in every game," said Wings General Manager Johnny Mouradian. "Our roster is taking shape as we prepare for training camp."

Dawson played the past two NLL seasons for the Boston Blazers with his brother and 2009 NLL MVP, Dan Dawson. He has made a name for himself separate from Dan as a dominant, physical force on the defensive line. The six foot five defender scooped up 75 loose balls, totaled six points and tallied 65 penalty minutes in 2010.

"Paul Dawson brings a winning tradition and a 'team first' attitude to the Wings," said Wings Owner Mike French. "Character and Grit will strengthen our focus both on the floor and in the locker room. Our ownership group is extremely enthused to have him on board."

The Wings will open their 25th Anniversary Season when they host the Boston Blazers at the newly renamed Wells Fargo Center (formerly Wachovia Center) on Saturday, January 8 at 7 p.m. Season tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling 215-289-WING (9464) or visiting WingsLAX.com for more information.

The Philadelphia Wings are owned and operated by Philadelphia Wings L.P., whose principal owners are Russ Cline, Chris Fritz and Michael French. Comcast-Spectacor serves as the marketing, promotional, advertising, sponsorship and publicity arm of the Wings.

The Roughnecks previously traded transition player and faceoff man Devan Wray to the Edmonton Rush for a sixth round draft pick in 2011 NLL Entry Draft.

Wray was originally acquired by the Roughnecks from the Vancouver Ravens in exchange for a first round pick in the 2003 NLL Entry Draft. Since then, Wray has spent his entire NLL career with the Riggers, playing 83 games.

“It came to the point where he wasn’t going to get a whole bunch of playing time with us, due to the addition of Geoff Snider and still having Nolan Heavenor in the line-up. We really wanted Devan to stay within the organization, but he still wishes to continue his playing career,” Banister said.

Gage Rejoins Knighthawks

Lewis Staats, president of the Rochester Knighthawks, announced that Jody Gage has officially rejoined the Knighthawks management team as vice president of player personnel.

In this position, he will work closely with GM Curt Styres and assistant GM Landon Miller. He will be actively involved in, and have input into the day-to-day decision making for the Knighthawks team.

"Gage was the GM of the Knighthawks for many years and we are confident that his experience and the lacrosse knowledge that he brings back with him will be of great value to the team as we continue to build for the future," said Staats.

Gage will also take on the responsibility of being the key point of contact for the Knighthawks on all team business matters in Rochester.

The Knighthawks open training camp Nov. 20-21.

Swarm Inks Cinosky for Three Years

The National Lacrosse League’s Minnesota Swarm signed a three-year contract extension with defenseman Joe Cinosky.

Cinosky, 24, recorded six points (6a), four penalty minutes and 33 loose balls in 10 games with Minnesota last season. As a rookie in 2009, Cinosky appeared in five games and dished out two assists while also collecting 21 loose balls. The native of Boonton Township, N.J. was selected 13th overall by the Swarm in the 2008 NLL Draft after a stellar career at the University of Maryland.

“We are excited to have Joe in a Swarm jersey for the next three seasons,” General Manager Marty O’Neill said. “He had a successful summer and we are looking forward to building off that in 2011.”

The 6-foot-3, 220-pound defenseman won a gold medal this past July with the U.S. Men’s National Lacrosse team at the 2010 FIL World Lacrosse Championships in Manchester, England. He also won his second consecutive  Major League Lacrosse (MLL) championship this past August as a member of the Chesapeake Bayhawks.

During the next three seasons, Cinosky will live in Minnesota and play an active role in the lacrosse community. He currently is the Head Coach for the Men’s Lacrosse team at the University of Minnesota and holds the same position for the Boy’s Lacrosse team at Mounds View High School.

Cinosky is also the co-founder of Lakeshore Lax, a local lacrosse program that is dedicated to providing camps and clinics to kids around the Twin Cities.

“To be able to continue my career with the Swarm is a great feeling,” Cinosky said. “At the same time, I’m excited to continue to work in the lacrosse community and help teach the sport."

Mammoth's Gill Retires

The Colorado Mammoth announced that veteran forward Chris Gill has retired from the National Lacrosse League. Gill, who won three NLL championships (1999 and 2000 with Toronto, 2006 with Colorado) in his 14-year career, played with the Mammoth for four seasons, including the 2010 campaign.

"It's been a long career," said Gill. "I played on some really good teams and was fortunate to raise the (Champion's) Cup three times. Lacrosse has been good to me over the years and I feel lucky to have made a lot of good friends along the way."

The Vancouver, BC native was originally drafted by the Baltimore Thunder (now the Colorado Mammoth). Nearly a decade-and-a-half later, Gill finished his career with the same franchise he began with.

"Chris is the consummate professional," said Mammoth President and General Manager Steve Govett. "He played his role over the course of his entire career as well as any of the best to ever play the game. I'm quite certain he's destined for the hall of fame."

In 2006, Gill played a pivotal role in leading the Mammoth to the championship, scoring a league-leading 17 power-play goals and registering 45 total points.

"I don't think we were a favored team starting the season," explained Gill. "But, we just grew week-in and week-out. When it finally came to that championship day in that hostile environment in Buffalo, no one gave us a chance. We won a championship game on the road, which doesn't happen very often."

The 5'11'', 188-pound lefty recorded 557 points in 173 career games for the Baltimore Thunder, Ontario Raiders, Toronto Rock, Vancouver Ravens, Calgary Roughnecks, Edmonton Rush and Colorado Mammoth.

The Mammoth's 2011 season opener is Saturday, Jan. 8 against the defending NLL champion Washington Stealth.

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