Mike Miron has heard all the theories.
Some say the 5-foot-10, 265-pound Arizona Sting goalie stops shots simply because he is a big man. Others claim he becomes tired late in games because of his size. And then there is the rumour that Miron is a regular cigarette smoker.
All of this goes in one of Miron's ears and out the other. After all, the man with the ironic nickname of Tiny will be the Sting's starter Saturday when Arizona faces the Toronto Rock in the National Lacrosse League final at the Air Canada Centre.
"Everybody has their opinions and that's fine," said Miron, 24, who quit smoking last year. "The way they see it is the way they see it. That's why we have freedom of speech.
"(People) probably think they can get under my skin easier. Guys like (Rock goalie Bob) Watson, (Rochester's Pat) O'Toole and (Philadelphia's Dallas) Eliuk, they've been around longer. They see a bigger guy and it's easier for him to become a target. It's kind of like in elementary school."
A native of Capreol (a small town 30 minutes north of Sudbury), Miron moved to Phoenix this season along with nine of his teammates. While Miron finished a mediocre eighth in the NLL goalie rankings, he must have caught the eye of Philadelphia Wings coach Lindsay Sanderson, also the coach of the Barrie Lakeshores summer team. Sanderson acquired Miron's rights for Barrie from Peterborough this year.
"He's not what you'd consider a typical professional athlete by any stretch of the imagination, but he's a very good goalie," Sanderson said of Miron, who didn't start playing lacrosse until he was 17. "He handles his weight real well. (Saying he only stops shots because he's big) is not fair to Mike. He's playing in the same net as everybody else. You've got to use a style that (caters) to your size and he does that."
The style is straight-forward.
"I'm an angle guy," Miron said. "I know where I am in the net all the time rather than jumping around."
Because of that, shooters face a unique challenge.
"You have to hit the corners," Sanderson said. "Mike's biggest asset is that he squares himself up for shots very well."
Just 500 tickets remain for the NLL final ... The NLL MVP will be announced today. Yesterday, Rock forward Colin Doyle was named to the first all-star team. Teammates Blaine Manning, Josh Sanderson, Jim Veltman and Bob Watson received second-team honours.