Rock to sacrifice toughness

RYAN WOLSTAT -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:15 AM ET

It appears the Toronto Rock is going to be a less imposing outfit when the National Lacrosse League season kicks off in January.

That's because six of the eight players the team left unprotected for the coming NLL expansion draft are among the toughest players on the squad.

The fledgling New York and Chicago franchises will stock their teams on July 12.

Existing teams could protect 13 runners and one goalie or 10 runners and two goalies and cannot lose more than two players.

Sniper Matt Shearer, known for his offensive touch, will surely go, but veteran hard-rock defenceman Dan Ladouceur heads the list of bruisers that also includes Brian Beisel, Rusty Kruger, J.J. Dickie, Ian Rubel and Stephen Evans. Backup goaltender Phil Wetherup was also left unprotected.

"Appreciating that we can only protect a limited number of players, we believe we have made the correct decisions for both the present and future of our franchise," new Rock director of lacrosse operations Mike Kloepfer said in a release.


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