When Paul Day started putting together the Edmonton Rush, it was clear to him that defence was the first order of priority.
The head coach/GM figured an expansion team without an abundance of proven scoring talent had to be rock-solid on the back end. With the second stage of the Rush's inaugural training camp wrapping up yesterday at Millennium Place , it is obvious Day knows how to assemble a defence.
A REAL ASSET
In addition to landing all-star rearguard Andrew Turner, Day acquired Buck Stobart in the same deal with the Rochester Knighthawks and then snatched up Rory Glaves with the team's first pick in the National Lacrosse League dispersal draft. What the pair add in toughness more than makes up for their modest offensive skills.
"Rory's physical play is a real asset," said Day. "He's a tough kid who can really control the floor."
While Glaves's brutishness is disguised behind a quiet voice, Stobart is right in your face about his forte. Standing six-foot-four and weighing in at 240 pounds, Stobart comes to the Rush after smashing heads on the rugby pitch during a career that saw him toil for the Canadian national under-19 team as well as play professionally in Europe.
"I think Buck is sort of a late bloomer but I really saw him improve all year in Rochester and become a real containment guy," said Day.
"He's going to be physical and contain guys. You're never going to see him floating around out there."
NO STANDING AROUND
Stobart admits that he can't be standing around looking tough in front of the Rush net. He has to make the opposition pay.
"It's a fast sport and if you can't move defensively you're going to get burned every time," said Stobart.
"You have to have a little bit of athleticism or you're going to get embarrassed out there.
"I'd like to think I can do more than just hit and fight - every big guy likes to think like that. But I have to go out there and keep everybody honest and just play hard defensively."
The Rush will return to camp Nov. 26-27.