Elite Veteran Defender Coming Home
Oakville, ON – Toronto Rock Owner, President, and GM Jamie Dawick announced today that the club has signed unrestricted free agent defender Chris Corbeil to a three-year agreement through the 2024-25 season.
The signing is pending league approval.
“Chris was a main target of ours in free agency,” said Dawick. “I’ve been in constant contact with him since the free agency period opened, but still giving him enough space to make what amounts to a pretty important decision. He’s chosen to make Toronto his next, and hopefully final, destination to play in the NLL. I’m extremely excited that we got our guy.”
Originally selected in the second round, 15th overall in the 2009 NLL Draft by Buffalo, the 34-year-old from Oakville, ON has only played for the Bandits and the Rush (both in Edmonton and Saskatchewan) and will now come home after 12 seasons of professional lacrosse in the NLL.
“It’s a difficult decision when you spend ten seasons with one organization, one where I had a lot of success, made some incredible friendships and memories,” said Corbeil of the decision to leave the Rush where he won three championships. “The opportunity to come to Toronto and play for my hometown team, the team I grew up watching and idolizing, I just couldn’t pass that up. I couldn’t be more excited, and I hope to make my hometown proud and bring a championship back to the Rock.
“I want this to be the last stop for me in the NLL but don’t think that three years is all I have left. I definitely envision playing the rest of my career in Toronto and retiring here. I’ve got a lot of gas left in the tank and hope to follow in Dan Dawson’s shoes and keep playing to his age.”
The super athletic, physical, speedy defender can also make an impact at the offensive end and will add another weapon to the Rock’s already dangerous transition game. Corbeil scored a career-high 17 goals and 27 points in 2014 while with the Rush.
The presence of Corbeil gives the Rock an embarrassment of riches on the back end with the addition of one of the best defenders in NLL history to a team that allowed the fewest goals-against last season. Their 166 goals-against were 17 better than the San Diego Seals who were second best at 183, almost a full goal less per game over the 18-game NLL regular season.
“We’re always trying to get better,” explained Dawick. “While we’re expecting almost everyone back from last season, when the opportunity comes along to add an elite player like Chris you have to do everything you can to make that happen. This is just going to make the team better. We were very good defensively last season, but we didn’t achieve the ultimate goal. So, we need to get better as a team and we’re doing that by adding quality pieces.”
Corbeil has identified a lot of parallels in the Rock defence to those championship teams he played on with the Rush. It’s something that also made Toronto an attractive destination.
“Through this free agency process you speak with a lot of teams and when I was asked what I was looking for, my first response was always that I want to win and play for a championship,” explained Corbeil. “I’ve been fortunate to win with the Rush, so with that in mind, when I was looking at Toronto being so close to making it to the finals, knocking at the door, it made coming home even more appealing. I love the blend of youth and experience on the roster. There’s so much talent on the back end, and that’s what I can attribute a lot of my team success to in Saskatchewan. I see a lot of similarities on the back end with the Rock.”
2022-23 Toronto Rock Season Memberships are on sale now! For more information on tickets and the Early Bird Bonus, please visit torontorock.com, call the Rock Ticket Office at 416-596-3075 or email us at [email protected]