Lindsay Plunkett made a big impression in a short time with the Edmonton Rush last season.
So much so that the National Lacrosse League club was counting on his offensive production when the new campaign opens tomorrow.
However, Rush head coach and general manager Bob Hamley received late word that Plunkett would not be available for the upcoming year.
"That is a loss," Hamley said. "Thank goodness we drafted Ryan Campbell, thank goodness we drafted Jamie Floris. These guys are going to have to step up right away.
"But we're definitely going to miss Lindsay."
Plunkett had six goals and nine assists in six games with the Rush after being acquired in a trade with the Chicago Shamrox last season.
He attended the Rush training camp, but informed Hamley he could not make the commitment to the club due to a new day job in his hometown of Peterborough, Ont.
"We traded Mac Allen, a very good player, to get him," Hamley said. "Hopefully things might change come March and he'll be available, but up to this point we're going to have to trudge on without him."
A four-year NLL veteran, Plunkett had played for Hamley in Arizona before being taken by Chicago in the expansion draft. He had 22 points in six games with the Shamrox prior to the trade.
"He's got a new job and they're asking him to work weekends," Hamley said. "But I think our message got across. We told the players that I needed a six-month commitment from them. Everyone has another job, but when they're at their other job I still want them thinking about the Rush.
"Lindsay phoned me on New Year's Eve, during the day, and told me that he couldn't give me the commitment. So kudos for him. If he can't give us his heart and his full effort here, then we don't want him here. That message obviously got across, which is cool."