Silcott grabs Riggers reins

TY PILSON -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 6:59 AM ET

When new Calgary Roughnecks GM Kurt Silcott was introduced to the media yesterday, he was referred by a team executive as one of the brightest minds in the game today.

Riggers majority owner, president and outgoing GM Brad Banister quickly chimed in, saying Silcott was the second brightest.

And with that little joke, Banister handed off the reins of his National Lacrosse League club to Silcott, a 38-year-old New York native who left the same post with Buffalo Bandits to come to Calgary.

"I can't forget the first time I came here to play with the Bandits," said Silcott. "Brad came and picked me up at the rink and we drove up to the mountains, chatted, went out and had lunch. He showed me around. He really impressed me as a great guy and class act, just like the franchise."

Silcott said he made the decision to leave Buffalo out of the desire for a new challenge after serving as the Bandits GM since 1999. Banister's desire to step away from the team and focus full time on his business endeavours in the oil patch led to the opening here.

"As the years went on, things in Buffalo had kind of run their course and that organization is in good shape and things are going well," said Silcott, whose girlfriend lives in Calgary. "Brad was looking to move on and I knew that so I kind of approached him and said 'What do you think?' And it worked out great for us. He was looking to go and I was looking to move on to a new challenge and do a little more in the lacrosse world."

Silcott, who was named the NLL's GM of the Year in 2003, doesn't expect to put his stamp on the team right away. The Roughnecks topped the West during the regular season last year but lost to the Arizona Sting in the West Division final.

Silcott said his first order of business is to meet with bench boss Chris Hall and the rest of the coaching staff to brainstorm any lineup weaknesses.

"I want to meet with the coaching staff right away and then the players," said Silcott. "The one thing we tried to do in Buffalo is create a family environment. That's what I want to see here. I know that the team is already close but I want to just try and make it tighter, very close-knit. I like to see everybody stand up for the guy beside him and believe in the guy beside him."

Hall said he welcomes Silcott's addition to the team.

"I think he did a really good in Buffalo and it was obviously a successful run he had there," said Hall. "I've known Kurt for awhile. I worked with him on the competition committee, so I think we have a good understanding of each other and a good working relationship."

"And, having him there to do the job full time is certainly something the club can benefit from."

Silcott will be the team's first full-time GM which he hopes will foster his family-first mentality.

"That's where the family and stability will come from," said Silcott. "The guys will know, 24/7, they can always reach him whenever they need me. They can count on me."


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