Top 'tenders go unprotected

TY PILSON -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:16 AM ET

Calgary Roughnecks GM Kurt Silcott admits he's a gambling man.

When he released the club's protected list yesterday for the July 12 National Lacrosse League expansion draft (to fill rosters for new teams in Chicago and New York), Silcott chose to leave his top two goaltenders -- Curtis Palidwor and Andrew Leyshon -- unprotected.

"We do have our own little game of Texas Hold'em going on," agreed Silcott.

Silcott is wagering neither Chicago nor New York will want his goalies, who both live across the continent in B.C.'s Lower Mainland.

"We're looking at the teams that are picking and they're Eastern-based teams and I know they want to have an Eastern-based goalie," said Silcott. "So, I'd be surprised if either of them took either of our goaltenders."

Silcott did protect young netminder Ryan Avery, whom Calgary acquired last season from Buffalo for a first-round pick.

NLL clubs are allowed to protect two goalies and 10 runners or one goalie and 13 runners for the expansion draft, with the Riggers going for option two in order to safeguard more players.

Once a player is selected from a team in the draft, that club can bring someone back from the unprotected list. A team can only lose two players total.

Many of the big-name players left available by Calgary are West Coast veteran players who have suffered major injuries over the last few seasons or have talked openly about retiring. For those reasons, coupled with their age, unprotected players such as Ted Dowling, Jesse Phillips, Andy Ogilvie and Grant Hamilton are unlikely to be selected.

The Rigger most likely to be snatched is 2006 second-round pick Callum Crawford, a talented right-handed forward from Ontario.

"That's the guy we think we're going to lose," said Silcott. "I'm not happy about losing him but we knew we were going to lose someone. We're kind of picking our poison there. We have another young righty, Jamie Rooney, to use if Callum goes."


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