Toronto – Toronto Rock General Manager Terry Sanderson pulled off a major deal today as the NLL held a dispersal draft of the Boston Blazers roster after they suspended operations last week.
Forward Josh Sanderson and Defender Nick Inch were acquired from Minnesota in exchange for Defender Jeff Gilbert, the 9th pick in the Blazers dispersal draft, the 12th pick in the 2011 Entry Draft and a 2012 Conditional First Round Pick.
“It’s been in the works since the dispersal draft was announced,” said Sanderson. “Minnesota called to see if there was some interest in Josh if they acquired him in the dispersal draft and we were looking for some insurance and depth on the left side of our offence.”
This will be Josh Sanderson’s second go around in Toronto as he scored 335 points in just 59 games as a member of the Rock between 2005 and 2008. He was also a part of the 2005 championship team in Toronto. Sanderson has previously played for Rochester, Albany, San Jose and Calgary before landing with the Blazers.
“I’m really excited to be back in Toronto,” said Josh Sanderson, the newest Rock and son of GM Terry Sanderson. “Troy Cordingley is one of my favourite coaches, I’ve always been comfortable playing for my dad and I’m also looking forward to being back with John Lovell. We’ve had a lot of success in the past and I just want to fit in and win a lot of games.”
The success Josh Sanderson speaks of extends past the NLL as earlier this year he along with Colin Doyle and Stephan Leblanc all suited up for Canada’s gold-medal winning team at the World Indoor Championships.
“Having a past in Toronto coupled with the chemistry that Colin Doyle and Stephan Leblanc had with Josh playing for Team Canada at the recent World Indoor Championships and we just couldn’t pass up this deal,” said Rock GM Sanderson. “He also brings a lot to the organization away from the floor making this a perfect fit for our club.”
In Jeff Gilbert the Rock give up a defender that had played every one of his 47 NLL career games with Toronto.
“The hardest part of making a deal like this was trading Gilbert, as the picks are just picks,” said Sanderson. “Gilbert was a big part of our run to the Champion’s Cup. Minnesota was adamant that Jeff was in the deal or else it doesn’t get done.”
Toronto Head Coach Troy Cordingley echoed the sentiments of the Rock GM when it came to losing Jeff Gilbert.
“You have to give to get in this league,” said Cordingley. “He’s been a huge part of this team since I’ve been here as Head Coach. He’s one of the better defenders in the league and he’s an even better person away from the game.”
The Swarm selected the 34 year-old Sanderson with the 4th pick in the dispersal draft before dealing him to the Rock.
“It’s a huge move for us,” Cordingley said of the acquisition of Josh Sanderson. “His leadership is unbelievable, especially in the dressing room. He’s one of the smartest players I’ve ever been around as a player or a coach. He gives us the kind of depth I’ve never had the opportunity to work with as a Head Coach in the NLL.”
Josh Sanderson has won the Champion’s Cup with Toronto in 2005, but was also a member of the 2009 Calgary Roughnecks that were coached by Troy Cordingley and Terry Sanderson. “Shooter” was named Champion’s Cup MVP after scoring twice and adding 3 assists in the Roughnecks win.
In the second round of the dispersal draft, the Rock grabbed Defender Jon Durno. Toronto then passed on their 3rd round selection, which ended their day at the table.
With today’s trade, the Rock’s first pick in the 2011 NLL Entry Draft is still in the 2nd round but now falls to 17th overall. The 2011 NLL Entry Draft will take place on Wednesday, September 21 at 7pm at the Don Valley Hotel in Toronto.