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Calgary Roughnecks enter NLL season with revamped leadership group

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The Calgary Roughnecks leadership group has a royal ring.

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It also has young blood and veteran quality.

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Forward Jesse King was named captain of the Calgary Roughnecks, becoming the ninth captain in franchise history. Defenseman Eli Salama was named assistant captain, along with longtime Roughnecks defender Curtis Manning.

They led the Roughnecks into the 2022-23 National Lacrosse League season, playing Saturday night (0-1) against the Vancouver Warriors at West Jet Field in the Scotiabank Saddledome.

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“As an organization, we are proud to announce Jesse King as team captain,” said Roughnecks manager Kurt Marowski. , playing the game the right way, with the passion, competitiveness and selflessness needed to lead this group.”

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In his fifth season with the Calgary club and eighth season with the NLL, King follows in the footsteps of Roughnecks greats such as Andrew McBride (2011-15) and Tracy Kelski (2003-10) as captain of the team. Originally from Victoria, Columbia, the 30-year-old has made 88 goals and 177 assists in his 59 appearances during his NLL career.

“It’s always an honor to have you on your coaching staff and everyone at the same time,” King said. “And teammates who really embody what you want to be as a player. It’s an honor to have you around and support your coach’s decisions.

“The coach said they have a team full of guys who can all wear letters if they have permission. I’m excited to be a part of it.” I see them as competitors, I play with passion, sometimes a little too much passion, sometimes a little too much emotion There is also… so trying to lead by example is always the biggest key and you do that by continuing to do that.. come out on the floor and hard.. just like they rely on me Also, I’m going to rely on everyone on this team, and I think we’ll do well as a unit.”

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Draft in the first round and third overall in the 2015 NLL Entry Draft behind Georgia Swarm, King posted 22 goals and 55 assists in 17 games, following a breakout first season in 2016. Named to the All-Rookie Team. In his most recent season with the Riggers, he led the team in points (95) and assists (66).

Manning is a 12-year veteran of the Roughnecks defense. The Vancouver native has scored 22 goals, 53 assists and 679 loose balls in a career of over 150 games.

“Curtis is the ultimate professional on and off the floor and truly embodies what it means to play for the person next to him,” said Malawski. “He will continue to provide the leadership qualities he showed wearing the A’s last season.”

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The Hamilton, Ontario native is entering his fifth season with the NLL after being drafted 12th overall by Riggers in the first round of the 2018 NLL Entry Draft. In his 42 career games, he has scooped his ball loose 206 times and contributed 38 caused turnovers.

“In our opinion, Eli is an elite defender in the National Lacrosse League,” said Malawski. “He has a blue-collar work ethic, a will to win, and an unstoppable motor. He’s a role model that lifts the energy of the entire team.”

Last year’s captain, Curtis Dixon, left the team via free agency in the offseason to join the San Diego Seals.

“This is a group that sets an example on and off the turf,” added Roughnecks GM Mike Boad. “All three are hardworking players who are unselfish and have the will to win. They are respected not only in the locker room, but within the league.”

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quick stick

As expected, Christian del Bianco was called upon to start at the net of host Roughnecks on Saturday night. The Warriors fought back with Steve Fryer whose only win of 2021-22 was over Riggers. The Roughnecks’ first goal of the season was scored by local talent Harrison, courtesy of his Matsuoka. It was also the home team’s first shot, with Matsuoka scoring in transition between the legs of the Flyers… Saturday’s wounds for the Roughnecks were F Kyle Waters and F Seth Van Sheppen… The two teams will head out next Friday in Vancouver We will have a rematch (8 p.m., TSN). Saelhof PM

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