TORONTO – The Toronto Rock re-acquired Darryl Gibson from the Minnesota Swarm today to solidify their defense heading into the final few weeks of the regular season. The deal is pending league approval.
Along with Gibson, the Rock pick up Minnesota’s second-round pick in the 2007 NLL Entry Draft. In exchange, the Swarm receives Toronto’s first-round pick in the 2008 Entry Draft and Toronto’s second-round selection in the 2006 Entry Draft.
Gibson, 29, played in Toronto from 2002-2004 and won two Champion’s Cup trophies in 2002 and 2003 under former coach Les Bartley. In 46 games with the Rock, the journeyman defenseman has 13 goals 29 assists for 42 points.
He has played 98 career games with Toronto, San Jose, Arizona, Albany and Minnesota and has tallied 84 points (27 G, 57 A) while scooping up 469 loose balls. These figures include four assists in 9 games with the Swarm this season, along with 41 loose balls.
Rock head coach and general manager Terry Sanderson said Gibson is a cagey veteran who will bring added depth to the Rock.
“We’re excited to have him back, because it gives us more depth on the defensive side of the ball and an added veteran presence,” he said. “It allows us more flexibility to move around with our roster… now we can easily have a guy like Chris Driscoll on our offensive side of the floor.”
Gibson, a native of Toronto, stands at 6’1″ and weights 205 lbs. The left-handed defender was originally acquired by the Swarm in a trade last June with the Arizona Sting along with forward Kasey Beirnes in exchange for a first-round draft pick in the 2006 and 2007 NLL Entry Draft. Gibson plays in the summer league for the OLA Major Series’ Six Nations Chiefs.
Rock make several roster moves signing Leigh and placing Shearer on IR
Toronto also made some other roster moves to solidify their lineup leading up to the playoff run.
Former Anaheim and New Jersey Storm right-hander Cory Leigh was signed to the practice roster through free agency. He fills a vacant spot created by the release of forward Jason Henhawk and can play either forward or defense. In 34 career professional games, Leigh has 11 goals and 14 assists for 25 points, along with 150 loose balls. He plays summer ball for the Peterborough KC Lakers in the Ontario Lacrosse Association.
Forward Matt Shearer moves to the Injured Reserve after suffering a broken arm on Feb. 24 against the Philadelphia Wings.
With just four regular season games remaining, Toronto is in a good position to clinch a home playoff game, entering a bye week in second place in the NLL East Division. Three of their four remaining games are against division opponents.
The final four regular season games for the Rock are: at home to Calgary on Saturday March 25 (2 p.m.), in Minnesota on April 1 (7:30 p.m.), at home to Philadelphia on April 8 (7 p.m.) and in Rochester to close the season on April 15 (7:35 p.m.).
Around the National Lacrosse League:
Other news from Trade Deadline Tuesday:
– The Arizona Sting sent forward Jason Crosbie to the Buffalo Bandits in exchange for a fourth-round pick at the 2007 NLL Entry Draft and forward Lindsay Plunkett.
– The Rochester Knighthawks sent forward Andrew Burkholder to the Colorado Mammoth in exchange for a third-round selection in the 2006 NLL Entry Draft.
– The Calgary Roughnecks sent Andrew Biers to the Minnesota Swarm in exchange for Minnesota’s second- and third-round picks in the 2006 NLL Entry Draft.
– The Minnesota Swarm signed F Dean Hill and re-signed D Shawn Summerfield to 2006 contract, signed D Kyle Ross to the Practice Squad and released F D’Arcy Berthiaume and F Tony Henderson.