Archive for the ‘The Ballers’ Category


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 »


Roughnecks move Scott Ranger to practice roster, activate goalie Peter Dubenski

Scott Ranger
Scott Ranger

The Calgary Roughnecks have moved veteran forward Scott Ranger to the practice roster today in a move that surprised many outside the organization. Posted late this afternoon, the Roughnecks announced that the 10-year National Lacrosse League sniper would be taken off the active roster due to a work commitments back in his hometown of Nanaimo, B.C. Working as a teacher between NLL games, Ranger would be unable to make a full commitment to the Roughnecks in the month of February, which caused GM Mike Board to make the roster shuffle. Ranger missed the opening game of the year as well as training camp due to injuries suffered while playing for the Victoria Shamrocks during the Western Lacrosse Association season. 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 with Swarm captain and Team 22 member Andrew Suitor


After a devastating knee injury during a week eight game last year versus the Edmonton Rush, a whole myriad of words and thoughts ran through the young Minnesota Swarm captain’s head. Most were unsafe for young ears while others immediately started to focus on getting back to full health and helping his team.

That’s how unselfish Andrew Suitor is. There he was, sitting in the trainers room with a torn ACL and MCL, learning his fate. That he would be out the reset of the year, that he’d have to face a very common surgery among athletes, then have a long road to recovery, but the most prevalent thought running through his mind was when he could be back on the turf  leading his team.

It wasn’t an easy road to recovery, but it was filled with support from his lacrosse brethren–a very tight inner circle of family–and a drive to be even better than he was before the injury. That’s just how Suits rolls. Always full speed ahead and never alone. This week on the OTCB Podcast we go one-on-one with one of the best two-way players in lacrosse and a very driven young man, Andrew Suitor.

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 »


Are Americans opting out of NLL season to protect health for 2014 world games?

are-americans-opting-out-of-nll-season-to-protect-health-for-2014-world-games

In the past, the Philadelphia Wings have been labeled by some as “Team America” with their heavy rotation of U.S.-born players week in and week out. However this year may be a bit different with the 2014 FIL World Field Lacrosse Championships set to take place this summer in Denver. It’s been widely speculated that a few top end American players for the Wings will take the 2014 NLL season off in order to ensure they’re at their best to represent their country. So how does that sit with Wings GM Johnny Mouradian, who has been a key architect for the club over the past few seasons? “We are sticking with our U.S. player base procurement plan and feel there are a number of great U.S. players who are very capable of making the transition to indoor like Brett Manney, Joel White, Mike Manley, Kyle Sweeney and Chad Wiedmaier.” READ MORE »


UFA Ryan Ward signs in Philadelphia

Ryan Ward's accurate shot will be part of the offense in Philadelphia this winter. (Photo: Perry Nelson)
Ryan Ward's accurate shot will be part of the offense in Philadelphia this winter. (Photo: Perry Nelson)

IL Indoor has confirmed through multiple sources that the Philadelphia Wings have agreed to terms with unrestricted free agent Ryan Ward. It had been speculated over the past few weeks that the Edmonton Rush were not going to sign the 10th-year forward out of Victoria, B.C., leading him to test the free agent waters. Spending the past four years in Edmonton, many felt that with the retirement of Jimmy Quinlan, Ward would be the easy choice to replace Quinlan as captain. However, Ward didn’t attend Rush camp this past week and with Chris Corbeil being named captain, the writing was on the wall. Rush GM Derek Keenan confirmed with IL that Ward had been offered a contract but the sides couldn’t reach an agreement. Wings GM Johnny Mouradian told IL Indoor about the acquisition exclusively today and it was then confirmed by Ward’s agent Rich Furlong, who said Tuesday night that once it was made clear a deal wasn’t going to be reached with the Rush “a number of other teams stepped up.”  Terms were not announced at the time but Furlong adds that they are very good terms for Ward. READ MORE »


BREAKING: Bandits acquire Ryan Benesch and Andrew Watt in exchange for firsts in 2015/2016 and a third in 2017

Andrew Watt will no longer be wearing the hive jersey. He and Ryan Benesch have been traded from the Minnesota Swarm to the Buffalo Bandits (Photo: Dale McMillen)
Andrew Watt will no longer be wearing the hive jersey. He and Ryan Benesch have been traded from the Minnesota Swarm to the Buffalo Bandits (Photo: Dale McMillen)

IL Indoor has learned that the Buffalo Bandits have completed a National Lacrosse League trade with the Minnesota Swarm that sees Buffalo get some much needed left-handed youth on offence as well as adding one of the top transition players in the game. Buffalo picks up Ryan Benesch and Andrew Watt in exchange for first round picks in 2015 and 2016 as well a third round pick in 2017.

Benesch has long been tagged as one of the best young players in lacrosse with plenty of years ahead of him. He will instantly add a fresh look to an offence that was starting to get long in the tooth. This will be the fourth team in the first seven years of Benesch’s career. It’s rare to see a player of his calibre move so frequently. Drafted first overall by San Jose in 2006, Benesch was then shipped to Toronto in a blockbuster deal that saw him traded for Colin Doyle. READ MORE »


Shamrocks add more local fire power with addition of Rhys Duch


The Victoria Shamrocks are very pleased to announce the return of Rhys Duch for the 2013 Western Lacrosse Association season. The 26 year-old Victoria native is coming off a career year in the National Lacrosse League in which he earned All-Pro First Team honours after scoring in every game to lead the NLL with 45 goals, finishing third in leagues scoring with 96 points and leading his Washington Stealth team to the championship final. In his previous four seasons with the Shamrocks between 2008 and 2011, Duch appeared in 76 regular season and playoff games in which he scored 152 goals and added 171 assists for 323 points. He is a three-time WLA all-star including two First Team honours in 2010 and 2011. Last summer he played for the Six Nations Chiefs in Ontario. READ MORE »