Archive for the ‘WLA’ 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 »


Lack of a foundation is hurting Timbermen in Nanaimo, and sadly, they’re not alone

The recent news of the possible end of the Nanaimo Timbermen is not a surprise in this era of Senior A Canadian lacrosse. In recent years, teams that have come to pass range from 1-year deals like that in Windsor or the hopeful Barrie Lakeshore organization that decided the unmonitored rules, spending and regulations of Major Lacrosse Series were more competition than they could endure. Movement from Ajax to Oakville signaled the end of a 4-year run for the start-up Ajax Rock team, the newest Canadian Senior A team in the loop. Movement is nothing new. READ MORE »


Abassi talks about Timbermen sponsorship: ‘It’s time for me to go in a new direction’

The news that the Nanaimo Timbermen lost their primary sponsorship heading into the 2014 Western Lacrosse Association season didn’t exactly spread the cheer. The Timbermen insist they’re on solid footing for this season and that the split with Coastal Windows was a friendly one. And Hadi Abassi confirmed as much when he spoke with the Nanaimo Daily News about his decision. “The way it’s been on the Island it’s not busy for me in construction,” Abassi said. “You need excess income to support sports … I was the main person who wrote all the cheques, and it’s just been a long time, and it’s time for me to go in a new direction, for them to find a new person.” The Timbermen say they’ll be moving forward at the senior and junior levels while searching for a new primary sponsor. “To have someone named as our sponsor and our flag-bearer, we need that person to be the right person, someone whose character and reputation reflects that of the clubs,” said Farren Ferguson, the teams’ director of operations.


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 »


Jensen returns to coach Langley Thunder

Rod Jensen is back as coach of the Langley Thunder but has new faces helping on the bench. (Photo: Dan Brodie)
Rod Jensen is back as coach of the Langley Thunder but has new faces helping on the bench. (Photo: Dan Brodie)

The Langley Thunder of the Western Lacrosse Association (WLA) are pleased to announce the addition of Bob Johnston to their coaching staff for the 2014 season. Johnston will take over the offensive coaching duties from Darcy Rhodes, who will move to the back end of the bench as the defensive coach. Rod Jensen returns as the head coach. The Thunder wish to thank Fred Klomp, who stepped down as the defensive coach due to family commitments, and also Ryan Williams who has taken a role with the Jr Thunder. Johnston brings a wealth of experience and success in the WLA where he starred as a player with the New Westminster Salmonbellies and Coquitlam Adanacs. READ MORE »


Victoria Shamrocks announce first signings for 2014: Duch, Ranger, Leung and Small

A knee injury relegated Corey Small to the role of cheerleader in 2013, but he'll be playing this summer. (Photo: Kevin Light)
A knee injury relegated Corey Small to the role of cheerleader in 2013, but he'll be playing this summer. (Photo: Kevin Light)

The Victoria Shamrocks are pleased to announce their first player signings of 2014, welcoming back 4 high-profile players from the 2013 Western Lacrosse Association championship roster. The first wave of retuning players to the ‘Rocks in 2014 roster are local a group of local snipers and veterans — Rhys Duch, Scott Ranger, Karsen Leung, and Corey Small. The Shamrocks expect several more announcements over the coming weeks as some player contracts have to complete the transfer process. “This group of four players has demonstrated outstanding commitment to our club and is a key component of our foundation going forward,” said Chris Welch, GM, the man on the front line of player acquisition. READ MORE »


New Westminster Salmonbellies set to host Cops for Cancer III on March 14 at QPA

It’s become an annual event, and the New Westminster Salmonbellies have unveiled details for this year’s Cops for Cancer III Charity Hockey Game. Scheduled for March 14 at Queens Park Arena at 7 p.m., this year’s game features the Vancouver Canucks alumni against a combined squad of New Westminster police and Salmonbellies. The combined squad will have a guest coach in Ernie “Punch” McLean, former coach of the New Westminser Bruins. Some of the Canucks alumni scheduled to skate for the Vancouver team include Kirk McLean, Cliff Roning, Dave Babych, Garth Butcher, Gary Val and Orland Kurtenbach. Tickets for the March 14 game are $10 for adults, $5 for seniors and students, and $15 for a family 4. Tickets can be purchased at QPA, and 100% of the proceeds go toward the Canucks Foundation, Cops for Cancer and the Salmonbellies Scholarship Program. In addition to the game, a silent auction, a 50/50 raffle and beer gardens will help raise funds. To see the official poster for the event, click on the Read More tag. READ MORE »


WLA: Langley Thunder thrilled with late-round draft picks in Quinn Smith, Adam Will

Quinn Smith
Quinn Smith

Just because the Langley Thunder sat silent for the first 3 rounds of the recent Western Lacrosse Association doesn’t mean they settled for anything. GM Rob Buchan was quite surprised, and pleased, to land some solid picks in Quinn Smith (No. 22 overall from New Westminster) and Adam Will (Langley), a couple of players Buchan believes will be able to contribute right away. “I had him pegged as a 14 or 15 (pick overall) so to get him at 22, so we were real happy with that,” Buchan told the Langley Times of Smith. “Same with Adam Will — we got him at 29 (fifth round) — and he is a good two-way player and we thought he could have gone much earlier.” The Thunder, who have won the last 2 WLA regular-season titles, will begin defense of that title when they open their season on the road against Coquitlam on Saturday, May 17.


WLA: Maple Ridge addresses defensive needs by drafting Scigliano, McDermott

Frankie Scigliano
Frankie Scigliano

A 5-2 start to last summer’s Western Lacrosse Association season had the Maple Ridge Burrards flying high. But a 3-8 stumble down the stretch brought them back down to earth, and out of the playoffs. And since defense appears to be the culprit of that slide, the Burrards were more than thrilled when goalie Frankie Scigliano was still available when the draft got to the No. 3 overall pick, which belonged to Maple Ridge. “Frankie was left for us, and that’s one position you want to have security at, for 10 or 15 years,” new Maple Ridge coach Chris Gill told the Maple Ridge News. The Burrards also added to their defensive depth with the selection of Delta Islanders defenseman Danny McDermott, who Gill said was a strong stay-at-home defender who adds size to the back end. Maple Ridge opens its 2014 WLA season at home against Nanaimo on Sunday, May 18.


Dirty Dozen: Defense getting offensive in the NLL, it’s an ‘alumni game’ in Langley, and WLA teams are loading up on big boys

Buffalo's Steve Priolo, left, is one of the many NLL defenders contributing more offense. (Photo: Ward Laforme Jr.)
Buffalo's Steve Priolo, left, is one of the many NLL defenders contributing more offense. (Photo: Ward Laforme Jr.)

One of the biggest changes for this 2014 National Lacrosse League season was the smaller rosters for each game. Instead of 23 dressed players for each game, teams can only dress 20, one of the agreements reached in the league’s new Collective Bargaining Agreement with the Professional Lacrosse Players Association announced back in October. The immediate impact of 3 fewer sets of wheels is that it forces coaches to put even more thought into their lineups. The long-term impact is one we’ll see unfold as the season progresses because it’s put a premium emphasis on player fitness. But there’s another area of impact, and that is production. How will teams get more of it from fewer players? That means some defensive shifts for front door players and yes, some offensive runs for defenders. So, as we head into Week 8, how are the offensive numbers shaping up for guys we normally see in the back end? READ MORE »