Driscoll does it all

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:20 AM ET

Chris Driscoll is an excellent multi-tasker.

Playing a sport where specialization has become a buzz word, the Toronto Rock defender/forward continues to excel at both ends of the lacrosse floor.

The ninth-leading scorer in National Lacrosse League history has transformed himself into one of the Rock's top defenders heading into a game tonight against the Arizona Sting at the Air Canada Centre.

"Chris Driscoll has been one of our most valuable guys this year," Rock general manager/coach Terry Sanderson said of the 13-year NLL veteran. "We're playing him a lot of minutes and they're all quality minutes.

The six-foot, 190-pound Driscoll was given a defensive role by Sanderson when he took over midway through last season. Sanderson also has used Driscoll, 33, on defence in the summer with the Brampton Excelsiors. This season, Sanderson has singled out Driscoll for his fine play several times, including one game where he spent much of his time guarding Rochester Knighthawks star John Grant.

"Wherever (Sanderson) wants me to play is fine," Driscoll said. "You get more glory playing offence and there is no glory on defence, but I take pride in stopping some of the top guys in the league.

In his day job as technical director of the Ontario Lacrosse Association, Driscoll encourages coaches to not put kids into specific offensive or defensive roles.

"We deter them from coaching that way," Driscoll said. "It's much better to teach young kids all aspects of the game."

PASSING ON SKILLS

For evidence, look at Driscoll, who has a hard shot, good speed and solid defensive skills. Ex-Rock GM/coach Les Bartley was bang on when he said, "(Driscoll) can do it all," on the day he acquired the Fergus native from the New York Saints in 2003. Because of his unique skill set, Sanderson gives Driscoll the green light to stay out on offence a few times a game and he has cashed in with 14 points.

"He's such a great athlete and you can put him out there anywhere," said Sting GM/coach Bob Hamley, who played with Driscoll in Brampton and Fergus in the mid-1990s. " He's one of those guys you love to have on your team."


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