Big returns for Rock

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 6:52 AM ET

On the eve of Kim Squire\'s much-anticipated return to lacrosse, the Toronto Rock pulled off a blockbuster deal for another offensive machine.

As first forecast in The Toronto Sun, the Rock yesterday made a rare mid-season trade to acquire Chris Driscoll, the second-leading scorer in the National Lacrosse League this season, from the bottom-feeding New York Saints.

The Rock sent backup forward/defender Scott Stapleford, its first-round pick from this year\'s NLL entry draft, a previously acquired second-round pick (originally owned by New York) and the Vancouver Ravens\' first-round pick from next year\'s draft to land Driscoll, an 11-season NLL veteran.

Squire, who had three surgeries after being diagnosed with flesh-eating disease Nov. 3, 2002, and Driscoll, 31, both will be in the lineup tonight when the Rock (10-3) travels to Rochester to face the Knighthawks (7-4). The Rock now has the top two scorers in the NLL in Colin Doyle and Driscoll.

\"I\'m really excited,\" said Driscoll, who requested a trade to Toronto to be closer to wife Kim and their two young children in Guelph. \"I\'ve seen Toronto win (the NLL title) three of the past four years and I\'ve been at those games and that makes you hungry to win. New York was struggling (on the floor) and with fans, so this will be a great experience.\"

Driscoll, a free-agent at the end of the season, has plenty of ties to the Greater Toronto Area. He works in Toronto as the technical director for the Ontario Lacrosse Association and played for the Mann Cup champion Brampton Excelsiors last season. Rock goalie Bob Watson is one of Driscoll\'s best friends. Each was the best man at the other\'s wedding.

\"We\'re getting a guy who can do it all,\" Rock general manager/coach Les Bartley said of Driscoll, the NLL\'s player of the month in February. \"He has a great shot, he\'s strong, he\'s fast and one thing a lot of people don\'t give him credit for is he\'s one of the best defenders in the summer league.\"

Rock players insist team chemistry, one of team\'s strong points, won\'t go down the drain with the roster shuffling.

\"When you get an opportunity to pick up a guy like (Driscoll), you do it,\" Doyle said.

Meanwhile, Squire, 23, who didn\'t return calls yesterday, is being welcomed back with open arms.

\"Who wouldn\'t want to fill a spot with Kim Squire?\" Rock captain Jim Veltman said. \"It\'s going to hit us emotionally during the game. It\'s going to be great seeing him doing what he loves.\"


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