Archive for the ‘Off the Rug’ Category


OTCB Podcast- Victoria Shamrocks HC Bob Heyes: throwbacks, hip surgeries and how he never wanted to coach

Bob Heyes in his heyday.
Bob Heyes in his heyday.

It’s been a while since the Off the Crossebar Podcasts have graced this page and that’s totally Rob Ford’s fault (everything is these days, right?) but we’re back and kicking things off with a bit of a throwback. For those that are social media savvy and even more so on Facebook, I suggest you become friends with Victoria Shamrocks Head Coach, Bob Heyes. He’s not giving anything away, trying to gain likes to cure cancer or raising a million dollars to try and convince the Gait brothers for one last tour of duty with the Rocks.  What he is doing, though, is giving an incredible trip down memory lane with some outstanding pictures and video footage from his playing days as a member of the Esquimalt Legion (BC JrA), the Victoria Payless, the Victoria Shamrocks and even his cup of coffee with the Pittsburgh Bulls. READ MORE »


Hadi Abassi steps down as financial backer for Nanaimo Timbermen, teams plan to continue moving forward for 2014 season

At a press conference today in Nanaimo, the Nanaimo Timbermen announced that majority financial backer Hadi Abassi was stepping way from the WLA and BCJALL franchise. It’s obvious to anyone that running a WLA team isn’t easy, especially when you struggle to draw fans at the gate and fail to gain any significant community support. Since returning to the Senior A circuit, the Timbermen have never been able to gain the embrace of the local sports fan within the hub-city community. At this point, nobody has stepped up to take over control but the franchise did make note that neither the Jr. or Sr. teams were in jeopardy. Surplus cash flow from home games will help fund the senior team on a game to game basis. Safe to say there won’t be much money to pay players. READ MORE »


OTCB Podcast: The National Indoor Field Lacrosse League is coming

Forever and a day, the 49th parallel had been the great divide between the two great forms of this game we love. Canadians focusing on the indoor version while the Americans have continued to grow the outdoor game respectively. But over the years, the games have migrated and we’ve seen many many many indoor leagues kick off in the US showing that the game has some serious legs down south. Sure many of those league’s have come and gone but it hasn’t been for a lack of trying. READ MORE »


OTCB Podcast- Brad MacArthur trying to wear as many hats as possible

Brad MacArthur behind the bench of the Clarington Green Gaels.
Brad MacArthur behind the bench of the Clarington Green Gaels.

We’ve spoken lately to a few lacrosse people who aren’t happy with just one job and they try to fill their lives with as much stress and duties as possible. There was Dane Stevens who’s a forward for the Minnesota Swarm and Burnaby Lakers, a rock star and jeweller. Then there was Quint Kessenich who’s not only a mainstay broadcaster for NCAA/MLL lacrosse but also an NCAA college football/basketball analyst and an avid horse racing enthusiast. Just goes to show that lacrosse people aren’t one trick ponies.

Well, Brad MacArthur may not know how to slap the bass or report from the paddocks at the Kentucky Derby but the man can sure coach lacrosse and he’s starting to get this just due. Earlier this week he was named as the latest head coach of the Barrie Blizzard, stemming off the his recent naming as head coach of the Clarington Green Gales but maybe most surprisingly, taking on the role with Team Israel for the upcoming 2015 World Indoor Championships.

A seven year NLL veteran, MacArthur has been coached by some of the sport’s best and learned many of their trick of the trade, now he’s taking his passion for playing the game and translating it to the coaching realm. This week on the Off the Crossebar Podcast we go one on one with the man of man hats, Brad MacArthur READ MORE »


OTCB Podcast: Wings great Jake Bergey finally gets his time in the spotlight

Jake Bergey ranks as the third-highest American scorer in NLL history. (Photo: Len Redkoles)
Jake Bergey ranks as the third-highest American scorer in NLL history. (Photo: Len Redkoles)

I’ve told this story a few times so bare with me; a while back I posted a tweet where I said that Casey Powell was one of the greatest Americans to ever play indoors. In retrospect, I should have said he IS the greatest American to ever play indoors but it was Phil Sanderson’s tweet that made it even more impactful. Powell is absolutely one of the best players to ever step foot on the merciless turf of the National Lacrosse League. With that being said, Jake Bergey needs to start being put in that conversation as the Philadelphia Wings get set to retire his No. 66 to the rafters of the Wells Fargo Arena on Saturday night. READ MORE »


WLA Draft preview: Talent is deep on both sides of ball, so who goes with No. 1 pick?

If Jesse King's Junior numbers weren't impressive enough, his Mann Cup performance was. (Photo: Victoria Shamrocks)
If Jesse King's Junior numbers weren't impressive enough, his Mann Cup performance was. (Photo: Victoria Shamrocks)

After last weekend’s B.C. Jr. A Lacrosse League draft, the eight junior teams stacked up their rosters for the 2014 season and started the process of moving on without their graduating players. Now it’s time to see where many of those 1992 born players will end up for the upcoming Western Lacrosse Association season as the WLA draft will take place at Langley Events Centre on Thursday, February 6. The Coquitlam Adanacs hold the first overall pick in this years draft and they have numerous options moving forward into 2014. The A’s also hold the fourth overall pick so they will be adding two top level rookies to the roster. The talent pool is very top heavy with this year’s draft class but with 2014 being an eastern Mann Cup year, it could very well be a year for some of these top prospects to make a real impact. READ MORE »


National Lacrosse League (NLL) still Stealth Launching Franchises

The LEC was filled to just 56% capacity for the franchise's second home NLL game in Langley. (Photo: Dan Brodie)
The LEC was filled to just 56% capacity for the franchise's second home NLL game in Langley. (Photo: Dan Brodie)

Editor’s note: Steve is a marketing professional in the Vancouver area who applied to work for the Stealth last summer. He worked with the Vancouver Ravens in the past and played minor lacrosse with some Vancouver players.

He has promoted sporting events in Abbotsford, at the Richmond Olympic Oval, Rogers Arena and BC Place, and also worked with the NHL Vancouver Canucks, Sport BC, Canada Basketball and Canadian Interuniversity Sport. The last major sporting event he helped to promote drew 25,000 fans into BC Place.

When the New York Titans moved to Orlando and the San Jose Stealth relocated to Washington for the 2010 National Lacrosse League (NLL) season, I was skeptical either franchise would last. Neither did. In fact, the Orlando experiment lasted just one season and – despite making it to the finale in three of four years – Washington’s attendance was always weak in the city of Everett, averaging just 4,038 fans per home game before deciding to pull the plug and move to ‘Vancouver’.

READ MORE »


OTCB Podcast: A cavalier both on and off floor, Dane Stevens a man of many talents

Dane Stevens
Dane Stevens

Ever since the early days of the Eagle Pro Box league and professional lacrosse became an actual thing, it’s always labeled itself as the league of weekend warriors who play for the love of the game while holding down a steady 9-5 job Monday through Friday. National Lacrosse League players today have a wide range of professions that allow them continue to play the game they love, while at the same time making sure the bills don’t pile up like John Grant Jr highlight real goals (don’t ever stop Jr.). Well Dane Stevens, who was recently acquired by the Minnesota Swarm from the Edmonton Rush, may just take the cake as one of the most interesting men away from the turf. He may not have his own line of Memes quite yet but moonlighting as the bassist for the Vancouver indie rock group, Tough Lovers has allowed him to grow some underground groupie love status but that’s not the coolest job description on his resume. READ MORE »


OTCB Podcast: Rush owner Bruce Urban has seen lots of downs, is 2014 the year of ups?

The Rush have plenty to celebrate early in this 2014 National Lacrosse League season. (Photo: Dale MacMillan)
The Rush have plenty to celebrate early in this 2014 National Lacrosse League season. (Photo: Dale MacMillan)

When Bruce Urban brought professional lacrosse to the City of Champions, he never thought it would be 9 years until his team would be able to sting 3 wins together to start a season. Even moreso, he never thought it would take this long for the city of Edmonton to jump on the Rush wagon. Rome wasn’t built in a day and through all the trials and tribulations, including an 1-15 freshman season, the Edmonton Rush are finally starting to see their dedication pay off and the results will hopefully be the team’s first ever home playoff game and a National Lacrosse League Champion’s Cup title. Urban continues to try to bring in new fans that may not be aware of what professional lacrosse is with celebrites such as Georges St. Pierre, Brooke Burke, The Trailer Park Boys and Dennis Rodman (who oddly enough likes to party into the wee hours), in hopes that those fans will see something they like in the NLL. Well, finally, the Rush are a wining team and with signs finally pointing up, Urban is excited for 2014. Owner and international man of fashion Urban joins this week’s Off the Crossebar Podcast. READ MORE »


WLA: Bellies trade Richards to Lakers for 2 first round picks

Tyler Richards went to three Mann Cups with New Westminster, including 2010 in Peterborough. (Photo: Tim Prothero)
Tyler Richards went to three Mann Cups with New Westminster, including 2010 in Peterborough. (Photo: Tim Prothero)

While the National Lacrosse League is a few weeks away from kicking off, other teams and leagues continue to make waves and late Wednesday night was no different. After sitting out most of the 2013 season to weigh his lacrosse options, Tyler Richards now finds himself with a new home for the 2014 Western Lacrosse Association season and beyond. The 27-year-old Coquitlam, BC native has spent his entire WLA career with the New Westminster Salmonbellies but will now head on over the bog and join the Burnaby Lakers.

WLA Commissioner Casey Cook confirmed on twitter tonight that the long-time rivals had completed a trade for the two-time WLA goalie of the year and all-star in exchange for two first round picks coming in 2014 and 2015. Richards, who was getting in a workout with the Vancouver Stealth, was very appreciative of the opportunity afforded to him by the Salmonbellies upon hearing of the trade. READ MORE »