Logjam in the pipes

DARREN FRIESEN -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 9:35 AM ET

Curtis Palidwor's job as the starting goaltender for the Calgary Roughnecks is safe -- for now anyway.

But backup Andrew Leyshon might have to worry as Roughnecks GM Kurt Silcott pulled a National Lacrosse League trade with the Buffalo Bandits yesterday, acquiring goaltender Ryan Avery.

"I don't want anyone thinking he's going to come in here and set the world on fire," said the former Buffalo GM of the 6-ft. 1-in., 200-lb. Avery. "He'll be our backup and he's going to come in, learn and get better. But somewhere down the road, he could be our starter.

"It could be a long time down the road or could be whenever. I certainly don't see him taking Curtis' job this year but Curtis is getting older and he qualifies for unrestricted free agency next year, so that's certainly a concern, as well."

In return for Avery, the Roughnecks gave up one of three first-round picks they have in the upcoming draft.

Avery, 23, has played parts of three games this season and has a 12.00 GAA.

"I'm surprised but happy," said the Hamilton native. "I knew that Kurt liked me but, other than that, there was no news. They've got two good goalies over there in Palidwor and Leyshon, so it's going to be hard to get in the lineup and that's one of the reasons I was surprised."

With the pickup of Avery, the Roughnecks have 24 hours to decide how to keep their roster at 23 players, which might mean sending current backup Leyshon packing or to the practice roster.

However, as of yesterday, Silcott wasn't saying either way what was in store for the netminding trio, only that Avery's presence would hopefully light a fire under the present tandem.

"This guy's going to be breathing down everyone's neck because he wants to play and that's good," said Silcott. "Hopefully, we'll get improved play out of all of our goaltenders and make ourselves a better team."

The Roughnecks are off for all-star weekend but will return to the floor March 11 when they host the Colorado Mammoth.


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