The Canadian Lacrosse Association hasn’t released its roster for the Canada vs Iroquois game to be played at the Bell Centre in Montreal on November 17, but it has let it be known that Brodie and Patrick Merrill will be playing in the game in their home town. The Merrills will be playing in the city where they and their father, Peter, were born. The roots go further than that, though. Peter was an assistant coach with the Montreal Express in its lone season in the National Lacrosse League. He tells the CLA in a story on the association’s web site that he’s hopeful a team can return to Montreal and is confident that, under the right circumstances, it can be successful.
“I know that in 2002 there was a sincere interest to keep the NLL in Montreal. I’ve talked to a number of groups, including ex-Canadiens who had a lacrosse background, about putting [an ownership] group together,” Peter says. “Montreal and Quebec have really strong lacrosse roots. There is a Quebec senior league, which both Pat and Brodie have played in, and a strong First Nations presence in area. With the right ownership, it could be looked at again.’’
For the time being, the game in Montreal is a great start that has the younger Merrills, who dreamed of playing for the Montreal Canadiens when they were younger but instead gravitated towards lacrosse, excited. “We all wanted to be a Hab when we got older,’’ says Patrick. “Luckily for Brodie and I, we landed in Orangeville where lacrosse is so big. Going back to Montreal to play lacrosse kind of feels like going full circle for us. Our parents and Brodie and I were into sports when we lived there and to play at the pro level in the Bell Centre is pretty cool.’’Stamp is a TV sports announcer and lacrosse lover whose skill set made him a defender but who always dreamed of being a goal-scorer. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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