TORONTO – The Toronto Rock re-signed defenceman Derek Suddons to a two-year deal yesterday, while inking forward Matt Shearer and transition player and faceoff specialist Patrick Merrill to one-year contracts. As per club policy, other terms of the deals were not disclosed.
“Another few key parts of our team are back, so we’re happy with the progress we’ve made with signing guys back from last year’s team,” said team president Brad Watters.
Thirteen of the Rock’s 18 starting players are now returning from last year’s championship team, with more re-signings expected in the coming weeks.
Shearer finished last season with 38 points (17 goals and 21 assists) and was recently married this past summer. When he’s not playing lacrosse, Shearer, 31, is a sales rep for Under Armour Canada. He chose not to play in the summer league and is anxious to return to playing, beginning with training camp in November.
After battling a mid-season ailment, Merrill returned to top form and contributed down the stretch as the Rock’s top faceoff man and one of the team’s defensive specialists. He contributed with one goal and seven assists, along with 39 penalty minutes in 12 regular season games. The 26-year-old native of Montreal works as a sales rep for Xerox in Toronto. He played this summer with the OLA Major Series Lacrosse finalist Brampton Excelsiors.
Suddons, a gritty defender with good hands, played in the summer league with the Brooklin Redmen. An investment broker by day, Suddons, 27, finished last season with seven assists in 15 games. He was often assigned to the opposition’s top player to keep them in check and away from the front of the net. When necessary, Suddons can also play a physical and intimidating brand of lacrosse.