Toronto – The Toronto Rock have traded defenceman Kyle Ross to the Washington Stealth for goaltender Matt Roik. This trade comes less than two weeks after the Rock shipped Mat MacLeod, Creighton Reid and a pair of draft picks to Colorado for Dan Carey and two draft picks.
With the retirement of future hall of fame goaltender Bob Watson at the end of the 2011 season, it left a cavernous void in the Rock cage.
“You’re not going to replace Bob Watson,” stated Rock GM Terry Sanderson after finalizing the deal with Washington. “We moved a player from an area of depth on our roster. We lost a proven starter and we now have another proven starter in the fold. That’s the reason for the move.”
Roik has played for four NLL franchises since his career began in 2002. He started with the New Jersey Storm playing for two seasons, and then played another two years with the Storm in Anaheim. Following that tour of duty, he went 12-12 over two seasons in Philadelphia. In 2008, he went 5-3 and appeared in 9 games with the Chicago Shamrox. From there, he moved on to the Stealth where he has paired with Tyler Richards in net for the past three seasons.
In 2010, Roik won the Champion’s Cup with the Stealth as they defeated the Rock in the NLL Championship Game.
The 6’5″ goaltender will be 32 years old by the time the 2012 NLL season rolls around and will continue to play summer ball for the Western Lacrosse Association’s New Westminster Salmonbellies over the next couple of months. Interestingly enough, he shares time in the New West net with now former Stealth teammate Richards.
When it comes to success in the summer, Roik has had his fare share. In 2000, he won the Minto Cup with Burnaby and in 2003 captured the Mann Cup with Victoria.
“Matt is a proven starter in our league,” adds Sanderson. “His championship experience in the WLA is something we hold in high regard.”
The Rock have a pair of goaltenders eligible to return from last season with veterans Pat Campbell and Gee Nash still in the mix. Each of them saw time on the active roster in 2011.
“We’re not anointing Matt as the starter, and we’ll have other goalies in camp,” said Sanderson. “He will be given every opportunity to win the starting job just like the other goalies in camp. He certainly gives us the quality depth we need at the goaltending position.”
With a pair of significant moves under his belt already this off-season, is the Rock GM content with what he has on his roster heading into September’s NLL draft?
“I don’t think you’re ever done improving your team,” said Sanderson. “I thought both deals improved our club significantly and if something else presents itself that improves the Toronto Rock, we’ll seriously look at it.”
Ross played just one season in Toronto and won the first Champion’s Cup of his career with the Rock in May. Washington will be the fourth stop of his NLL career after having played for Minnesota and Boston before coming to Toronto in 2011.
“It was very similar to the Dan Carey deal, you have to give something to get something,” remarked Sanderson. “Washington had inquired about Kyle more than once, and we felt it was a good fit for both teams. Kyle Ross was a valuable and very important piece of the Toronto Rock championship puzzle. He came in and played his role to perfection with us and we wish him the best of luck.”
2012 Toronto Rock season tickets are on sale and it’s never been more affordable to get closer to the Cup. Call the Rock office at 416-596-3075 or log on to www.torontorock.com for more information.