Sell, sell, sell, Jordan

SCOTT ZERR -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 9:24 AM ET

Before the Edmonton Rush even faced off for the first time, Jordan Cornfield had become the face of the franchise.

That's what happens when you're one of the local talents on a new team looking to carve out a niche in the marketplace.

Cornfield was everywhere - press conferences, promotional events, youth clinics and even hawking season tickets in the front office. But for the bulk of the Rush's inaugural year, Cornfield's face, and the rest of him, was missing in action.

"Getting the job was a bonus, but nothing compares to being on the floor," said Cornfield, who will get another shot at making a lasting impression when he returns to the Rush lineup for the finale of their first regular season tomorrow night in Portland.

"As a rookie I sort of knew it might happen," said Cornfield of dressing for only five games. "I've got friends on other teams who haven't played a game this season.

"I have to pay my dues a little and we had some experienced players on the right side. I knew I'd be sitting out. It's a question of confidence and getting in my time."

TRANSITION PLAYER

Cornfield managed two goals and 12 loose balls when he did dress, but in his most recent outings, he's been used as a defender and transition player.

Shutting down the opposition's top scorers is a stark contrast to the role Cornfield had with the Burnaby Lakers. During the past B.C. summer season, Cornfield was the Lakers' second-leading scorer with 59 points and played in all 18 regular-season games.

The 23-year-old will return to his offensive ways in Burnaby this summer, but what role he'll have with the Rush in 2007 is yet to be determined.

"I don't doubt that there will be an overhaul to the lineup," said Cornfield. "Right now, I need to step things up and get ready for next year and work hard to prove that I can play here.

"I don't think you want to go into the last game playing for your job. You want to go in playing for your team and the guys in stalls next to you in the locker room."

DRAWING IN

Cornfield, along with Colin Sherbanuk and Greg Whitenect, draw into the lineup for the final game in part due to injuries to Kerry Susheski and Randy Daly.

But their inclusion is also part of head coach Paul Day following up on his message from the conclusion of the Rush's last game - a 14-10 loss in Portland which saw the Rush jump out to a 5-0 lead only to have the LumberJax rattle off the next 10 goals.

Day exploded on his forwards for their lazy efforts and declared that he'd put fresh faces in to get his point across.

"The biggest disappointment was when we were on offence, and even when we were being creative, there's still a responsibility to get off the floor so we can get defensive guys on," said Day.

Inserting Whitenect serves two purposes. Firstly, the Rush are rewarding their third-round pick from the 2005 draft for his service on the practice roster. And the Rush are also looking for a source to combat the Jax's physical presence.

"I have to make sure guys don't have an easy time getting to the net and, if I have to, show them that those aren't muffins at the end of my wrists," said the six-foot-two, 220-pounder.


Videos

Photos