Howard goes home

TY PILSON -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:16 AM ET

The Calgary Roughnecks said goodbye to a pair of players in the National Lacrosse League's expansion draft yesterday but the bad news didn't end there.

The Edmonton Rush selected forward Kevin Howard, while the Portland Lumberjax took forward Ryan Sharp in the draft, and later in the day, Riggers president and GM Brad Banister said veteran defender Andy Ogilvie, who suffered a season-ending knee injury last year, won't be returning to the club.

Ogilvie, 39, acquired as a free agent last year, required major surgery on his knee -- his third such operation -- and has decided to retire from the NLL, said Banister.

"He's not going to play, he won't be back," said Banister. "He'll never play on the turf again, he said."

"We never really even got to see how good he could have been on our team. That's too bad."

The loss of Howard came as no surprise. The Edmonton native had played sparingly in Calgary and was highly coveted by the Rush for his talent and hometown connections.

Howard became a victim of the Roughnecks depth, unable to crack the lineup after being acquired by Calgary in the Ottawa Rebel dispersal draft two years ago.

Slotted on offence behind fellow righties Tracey Kelusky, Kaleb Toth and Jason Wulder, Howard played in only seven games the last two seasons with the Riggers, racking up four goals and four assists.

"He was always so obliging to us," said Banister. "He never complained. He was a real team player. Now, he gets the chance to play a lot more, like he did in Ottawa. I'm glad for him."

Howard, who has 35 goals and 32 assists in 28 career games, is excited to go to a team where he will play a much larger role.

"I am really excited," said Howard, who resides in Edmonton. "I had a real good time in Calgary but it was a numbers game. No hard feelings at all towards the Roughnecks. That's the way it works. I got a championship out of it and I had a great time."

Howard was excited to play in Alberta when selected by the Roughnecks and the chance now to play in his hometown had him walking on air.

"I've got goose bumps right now," said Howard. "I can't believe I'm going to be playing in Edmonton. It's fantastic. Like a dream right now."

The next order of business for the Roughnecks will be the Anaheim Storm dispersal draft, in which Calgary has the seventh pick. A date for that hasn't been announced but it's expected to happen next week.

QUICK STICKS: Veteran Roughnecks forward Jason Wulder is tearing it up in senior A summer ball on the West Coast. The Calgary native leads the Western Lacrosse Association in scoring with 29 goals and 37 assists for 66 points, an 11-point cushion on second place. Wulder plays for the Coquitlam Adanacs along with Roughnecks teammates Tracey Kelusky, Jesse Phillips, Brad MacDonald, Andrew McBride, Andrew Biers and Ted Dowling.


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