All-star tilt is no vacation

TY PILSON -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 1:27 PM ET

While it may be a classic West vs. East battle, there's more at stake in today's National Lacrosse League all-star game than bragging rights.

The league uses the showcase tilt -- which will be held at 2 p.m. at Toronto's ACC (Ch. 27) -- to try and sell the sport to new fans.

Unlike the NFL, NHL or NBA, players go 100% in NLL all-star games, which are always physical affairs.

Calgary Roughnecks forward Kaleb Toth was one of four Riggers named to the West Division team this year, along with fellow forwards Tracey Kelusky, Lewis Ratcliff and defender Taylor Wray.

Toth said the NLL's elite who take part in the game are aware of their role as salesmen.

"Everyone wants to showcase our sport and sell it," said Toth, who played for last year's West team which lost 11-10 in OT at the Saddledome. "This is a great opportunity to do that and all the guys are excited to do it. That's why it's not like your typical all-star game where guys float around and don't try. Guys play for real and both teams want to win.

Said Kelusky: "That's what's great about this game and us as players. Whether it's the regular season, playoffs or the all-star game, we always have it in the back of our minds that we want to help build this sport into the next big sport in North America."

- - -

QUICK STICK: The NLL held a ceremony Thursday night in Toronto to induct the five charter members of the league's newly created Hall of Fame: League founders Russ Cline and Chris Fritz, legendary players Gary and Paul Gait and the NLL's all-time winningest coach, Les Bartley.


Videos

Photos