Well-travelled enforcer finds fine fit in Riggers

IAN BUSBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 1:26 PM ET

Getting traded twice and joining a third team in three seasons can make a player feel discarded.

But Mike Kilby felt wanted when he arrived in Calgary.

Although it's tough to join a new, established group of National Lacrosse League players, Kilby has fit right into the Roughnecks this season.

"It's a family when you are away from home," said the 27-year-old defender.

"You never get used to getting traded, but everybody was really open to me.

"Right away, we got really close. It made it easy to start playing and feeling comfortable right away. That's the way it is with Calgary -- if you play your game, everything else takes care of itself."

The 4-0 Roughnecks have a bye-week and return to action Friday at the Saddledome against the Minnesota Swarm.

Kilby, who played three seasons with the Swarm, was traded to the Portland LumberJax in 2007, then taken by the Boston Blazers in the expansion draft this off-season. Because he couldn't leave his job as an electrician in Vancouver, the Blazers sent him to the Colorado Mammoth, which flipped him to the Roughnecks.

The 6-foot-1, 205-pounder was needed to fill the spot of Ryan McNish, who was traded to the Edmonton Rush. But Kilby brings much more than just an enforcer role, although he is the only Riggers player to record a fight this season.

"It's the style I play," Kilby said. "I get into a few fights because of the way I play. I don't shy away from it.

"But the first thing the coaches said was they liked the way I play and they weren't solely getting me for fighting.."

Kilby didn't come into the Riggers completely cold.

He won a Minto Cup with veteran Devan Wray while both were with the Burnaby Lakers in 2000.

He was also part of the LumberJax team that knocked off the Riggers last season but lost the Champion's Cup final to the Buffalo Bandits.

The playoff run was a special one in Kilby's career, as the 6-10 Jax surprised the San Jose Stealth and the Riggers in the post-season.

"It's hard to explain the feeling of playing in front of all those people in Buffalo," Kilby said.

"It was deafening. In the dressing room after the game, my ears were ringing. The run we were on, it was so high. We thought we were going to win it. We had that belief. It was a fun thing to be part of."

With the Riggers, Kilby stands out because of his black shoes and socks.

He wears ankle braces instead of getting his ankles taped, and it's now a habit he can't break.

"It's funny now because my parents watch the Internet feed for games," Kilby said. "They tell me I can't change now because the only way they can tell who I am is from the socks.

"That's a running joke. I tell people I do it for my parents."


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