Toronto – Goaltender Pat Campbell has officially announced his retirement from the National Lacrosse League after 14 seasons and 4 NLL Championships. While Campbell played with several NLL teams throughout his career, he retires today as a member of the Toronto Rock.
The 35-year old Campbell started his career with the Ontario Raiders in 1998 and moved along with the franchise to Toronto where he captured his first two NLL titles in 1999 and 2000. He also had stops along the way with Columbus, Rochester, Edmonton and Calgary before returning to Toronto to win his 4th Champion’s Cup in 2011 with the Rock. Campbell’s other NLL Championship came in 2009 as a member of the Calgary Roughnecks.
“I didn’t think my play was helping the team anymore,” said Campbell. “I just felt that I wasn’t getting it done this past season and it’s time to let someone else get it done.”
In 2012, Campbell served as the backup goaltender to both Matt Roik and then Nick Rose upon his acquisition midway through the season. Campbell often referred to the backup role as the “relief goaltender” and it was a job he embraced and perhaps defined.
“After the trade deadline I still had a job and that’s when I realized the importance of my role as the backup,” explained Campbell. “I was the best backup and it was a big milestone for me. I take a lot of pride in the role of the backup and added some responsibilities along the way.”
Campbell was always viewed as the ultimate teammate and a valuable piece of the dressing room.
“It’s the ultimate compliment,” Campbell said in response to being referred to as a great teammate. “As a backup goalie, you’re limited to what you can achieve. Being a great team guy is not a stat you read about. If that’s my team’s interpretation of me, I think that’s a big accomplishment. Perhaps being a team guy is an over used analogy, but I take a lot of pride in that tag and enjoyed it throughout my career.”
Both Rock assistant coach Terry Sanderson and Rock head coach Troy Cordingley manned the bench while Campbell won championships with Calgary in 2009 and of course in Toronto in 2011.
“I spent the majority of my career playing for Terry and trying to win his respect,” said Campbell. “At the conclusion of my career I think I accomplished that and it was a big feat knowing his standards of accountability.
“I played with and against Troy during my career. I had the opportunity to see him develop from star player to assistant coach to the best head coach in the game.”
Now stepping away from the game, Campbell will continue to assist with Toronto Rock Summer Camps throughout July with an aim to step behind the bench and get into coaching down the line.
“The locker room, without question,” Campbell said without hesitation when asked what he would miss most upon his retirement. “The feeling of winning will also be tough to replace. Happiness is the product of achieving a goal. This game provided me with a lot of happiness every week. It will be a big void in my life, but making the decision in the off-season to step away, I don’t feel it right now.”
“Paddy is just a special guy and a great teammate,” said Rock Owner and President Jamie Dawick. “I am extremely proud that he retires as a member of the Toronto Rock. He always represented the Rock with the class and professionalism we expect of our players and I know the example he set representing the franchise will be something the next generation of Rock player carries forward.”
With Campbell vacating the crease, the Rock will search for a backup goaltender to starter Nick Rose. Zak Boychuk was on the practice roster in 2012 and will come to Rock camp in the fall to compete for the now vacant goalie position on the active roster.