Vets bring experience

DEREK VAN DIEST -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 7:33 AM ET

It's a fine line between being an experienced squad and just being old. The Edmonton Rush went out and acquired a number of veterans for their second National Lacrosse League season.

Chris Gill, Dan Stroup and Jason Wulder are proven winners - they have nine NLL championships between them.

They are proven goal-scorers, combining for 75 goals last season. And they are proven leaders. But they're not exactly spring chickens.

Gill is 34 and will turn 35 at the beginning of the season. Stroup turns 38 in December. Wulder celebrated his 36th birthday on Friday.

"Experience is very important, but you just can't load your team up with old guys because then you don't move," Wulder said as the Rush gathered for a weekend training camp in St. Albert.

"It's good to have people that are a bit more relaxed, that have been around the game quite a while and that know if you go down by three or four goals you can still go out and win the game. It's a pretty good intangible to have on your team and in the dressing room."

A year ago, the Rush were a young team that struggled in their expansion season.

By bringing in the three quality veterans to mix with their youthful squad, they hope to eliminate some of the growing pains they experienced last season.

"There is a pretty good possibility some of the young guys that played a lot last year maybe won't play as much this year," said Rush head coach and GM Paul Day. "We improved our team. I think our young guys got some great experience that they probably wouldn't have had on a veteran team somewhere else."

Now it's a matter of finding that proper mix between youth and experience.

"Especially in the back-to-back games you have a fine balance between a couple of the older guys that maybe back-to-back they're not going to be able to go two nights in a row," Day said. "It's not a game like hockey where you can glide. You're sprinting for two hours straight. It is a fine balance."


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