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Rock Acquire Mark Matthews From Saskatchewan In Blockbuster Trade

Rock Send First-Round Pick and Players to Rush

Oakville, ON – Toronto Rock Owner, President, and GM Jamie Dawick made a major summer splash today, acquiring superstar forward Mark Matthews from the Saskatchewan Rush.  On their way to the Rush in the trade are forward Zach Manns, defender Adam Jay and the Rock’s first round pick (12th overall) in the 2023 NLL Draft.

“We’ve been looking for that premier lefty for a long time,” said Dawick. “We believe Mark is one of those premier lefties in this league and when you get the chance to add a player like that, considering the roster and where we are at, we feel this is a huge addition.”

Matthews, a veteran of ten NLL seasons, has topped the 100-point mark five times and almost made it six as he put up 98 points with the Rush last season.  The 33-year-old from Oshawa, ON is showing no signs of slowing down.

Originally selected first overall in the 2012 NLL Draft by the Rush, Matthews has played 170 games, scored 343 goals, added 606 assists for 949 points.  He will most certainly score his 1,000th career-point in the near future, and he’ll do it in a Rock uniform.

He’s also incredibly well decorated in his NLL career.  He’s a three-time NLL champion (2015, 2016, 2018), a regular season MVP (2018) and a Champion’s Cup Finals MVP (2015).

“I’m very excited and it hasn’t fully sunk in quite yet,” expressed Matthews.  “I couldn’t be happier to be playing for a franchise with such a rich tradition.”

Make no mistake, this is a significant shakeup to the Rock family, however it was clear to Rock coaches and management that the roster required some changes to get over that hump in hopes of capturing the club’s seventh NLL title.

“We couldn’t run it back with the same group, and at the same time no one is putting the blame on any individuals.  You always have to give up something of significance to get something in this league,” explained Dawick.  “We needed to get better up front, and we needed that strong ball carrier.  Mark is that guy now and for the foreseeable future.  The opportunity to get a premier lefty in this league couldn’t be passed up.”

Going to the Rush in the trade are two key pieces of the Rock roster.  Both Manns and Jay were regular contributors to the Rock in recent seasons and have shown well to the point of being the key assets included in a blockbuster trade of this magnitude.

“Zach has only ever known the Toronto Rock as a pro, we drafted him, he moved here and he’s been a good soldier for the Toronto Rock,” said Dawick.  “It will be tough to see him go, but I think moving home will be good for him.  He’s going to be a player in this league, and we wish him the best.

“Adam has had a heavy involvement at the TRAC, and we’re happy to say he will continue to be involved here as he’s an important part of the group.  This is a good opportunity with the Rush at this point in his career, and we hope he has a lot of success. It’s tough because both of these people have been with us for a while and are loved by everyone around our organization.  That’s the tough part of the business, but these are the difficult decisions that have to be made to improve our chances of winning another championship.”

Dawick also had another message for Rock City.

“We weren’t good enough last year, and we were exposed in the playoffs.  We will do what we can to get better and be as aggressive as we can be in making those moves that will put us in the best position to win another championship.”

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