McCrimmon finally gets opportunity

SCOTT ZERR -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 7:18 AM ET

Time will tell if Dave McCrimmon has still got what it takes.

After a long wait, he's finally got his chance to play pro lacrosse in his hometown. McCrimmon finished playing the outdoor field version of the game in 1998 as a standout member of the St. Joseph's University team in Philadelphia. That led to unsuccessful free-agent attempts with National Lacrosse League teams in Toronto, Ottawa and Calgary.

But the Edmonton Rush are giving him one last chance, and the first-year city firefighter expects to be at the club's main camp.

"The tank's still pretty full. I've still got the desire and the heart and I want to compete," said McCrimmon, who was introduced yesterday as one of the 11 players the Rush will bring from last weekend's open tryouts to their final camp in early November.

"Like a lot of these guys I was waiting for the opportunity for a team to come to Edmonton, and now that it's here we're going to let loose the beast."

LABELLED AS 'OUTSIDERS'

While some former local stars like Blaine Manning, Devin and Taylor Wray and now-Rush member Jimmy Quinlan have found success in other markets, many of Alberta's best have been labelled as 'outsiders' and been turned down by other NLL teams.

"There's a lot of good talent here and hopefully I'm one of those guys,"said McCrimmon, a two-year captain at St. Joe's and an All-Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference all-star in his senior season.

"Being a local guy, you know they're going to take a little bit harder of a look at you because they won't need to fly you in, and you can practise with the team. It's a big opportunity for guys like myself, Darren Hillier and the others to get a better look and finally land a spot - and maybe become a mainstay.

HE LOVES TO RUN

"I've always felt I could play in this league. I can score and hopefully that will come through in the main camp. I love to run, and in this league, the track meet that it is, that plays into my style of game."

McCrimmon, a defensive midfielder in college, was the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse League's leading scorer in 2003 and feels that under the right circumstances he can provide the Rush with some offensive jolt.

Joining McCrimmon and Hillier as local products moving from the tryouts to the Rush's main camp will be Chris Sherbanuk, Colin and Chris Stachniak, Marwan Jomha, Stu Sterparn and Stephen Skoreyko.

Also invited are Calgary's Chad Evans and B.C. natives Tom Hayden and Danny Walters.

QUICK STICKS: Rush GM/head coach Paul Day indicated the team will likely sign popular free-agent goaltender Dwight Maetche ... The Rush announced a deal with The Team 1260 which will see late-night host Jason Gregor doing the play-by-play for 12 games on the radio with the other four regular-season tilts available through his website www.justagame.com. The Bear morning show co-host Yukon Jack will be the public address announcer.


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