Roughnecks select ... Roberts?!

TY PILSON -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:22 AM ET

The Calgary Roughnecks may be able to help out if Gary Roberts is hurting for a few bucks during the ongoing NHL lockout.

The defending National Lacrosse League champions selected the Toronto Maple Leafs forward and former Calgary Flame with the second-last pick in the NLL's entry draft last night.

The Riggers chose Roberts 65th overall in the sixth round. Roberts played junior A lacrosse with another former Flame, Joe Nieuwendyk, winning the national championship Minto Cup in 1985.

"Hey, the guy's in great shape. You never know," said Roughnecks GM Dave Bremner. "Think of the PR we'd get if we could convince him to play a game. That would be worth it."

When asked why they didn't draft Nieuwendyk instead, Bremner quipped: "He's a righty, we have lots of those."

Roberts aside, the biggest news out of the Roughnecks camp yesterday wasn't who was coming to the team but rather who was leaving it.

In a surprising move, the Riggers dealt 25-year-old all-star defender Rob Kirkby and the team's third-round pick in 2006 to the Arizona Sting for defenders Travis Gillespie, Kyle Neufeld and the 15th pick in last night's draft.

"To get value from other teams, you have to give up value and Rob Kirkby is a very desired player to have on any team," said Calgary Roughnecks GM Dave Bremner.

When asked to expand on why his team would deal a player of Kirkby's talent in the first place, Bremner only would say the deal was in the best interest of both Calgary and Kirkby.

"It was a combination of things but it was nothing personal," said Bremner. "Was it the right thing to do for the Calgary Roughnecks? We felt it was."

Gillespie was drafted in the first round, fourth overall, in 2002 and played 13 games last year. Neufeld was drafted in the first round, 11th overall in 2003 but didn't play last season because of a knee injury.

To no one's surprise, the Buffalo Bandits selected offensive standout Delby Powless with the first overall pick last night. Calgary had the ninth pick and chose goalie Matt Morehouse.

Calgary needed another goalie after losing Matt King in the Minnesota Swarm expansion draft last week.

"This is exactly where I wanted to come," said Morehouse, who plays junior A on the West Coast with the Surrey Stickmen. "I'm so happy they picked me. This is awesome. They're the champs and I love the city of Calgary. It's great."

With the pick acquired in the Kirkby deal, Calgary selected forward Ryan Sharp of the junior A Whitby Warriors. With their original second-round pick (19th), the Riggers selected a teammate of Morehouse's, left-handed forward Jeff Callard. They had no third or fourth round picks and chose defender Josh Broderick of the Calgary junior A Raiders in the fifth round (54th).

The top Calgarian drafted yesterday was Russell Der, taken in the second round (18th) by the Anahiem Storm. Der played collegiate lacrosse at Whittier College in California.

QUICK STICKS: The Roughnecks announced they have signed F Kevin Dostie to a one-year deal ... Former Riggers goalie Matt King was on the move again last night, traded to Anaheim as part of a six-player deal with expansion Minnesota.

DRAFT NIGHT

*THE NEW FACES

9th: Matt Morehouse, Surrey (BCLA)

15th: Ryan Sharp, Peterborough (OLA)

19th: Jeff Callard, Surrey (BCLA)

54th: Josh Broderick, Calgary (ALA)

*ARE YOU SERIOUS?

The Calgary Roughnecks selected Toronto Maple Leafs forward Gary Roberts in the sixth round last night. Hey Gary, you're not busy, are you?

*TRADING PLACES

Calgary dealt all-star defender Rob Kirkby and a 2006 pick to Arizona for Travis Gillespie, Kyle Neufeld and the 15th pick.


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