Rush get help on defence

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:18 AM ET

Mike Keenan had Stephane Matteau.

Derek Keenan has Pat Jones.

When coaches find a hard-working, reliable player who puts the team first and knows how to win, they don't let go.

MADE SURE

Whenever Mike Keenan went to a new NHL team, he made sure Matteau was on the next plane, bringing him along to three different NHL cities, including the 1994 Cup-winning New York Rangers.

And just like his cousin Mike, Derek Keenan doesn't go far without his own heart and soul guy.

So it's no surprise that the new coach and GM of the National Lacrosse League's Edmonton Rush signed Jones to a two-year pact.

Jones played for Keenan for four years in Portland, and Anaheim before that and Toronto before that.

He once described Jones as his club's inspirational leader:

"Year in and year out he works harder than anyone in preparing for the season. He is consistently the most fit player on our team," said Keenan.

"He's a very good defender and above average face-off guy."

LEADERSHIP

"Jones is also a horse who can log a lot of floor time and someone who we can rely on for his leadership."

The 31-year-old native of Oshawa, Ont., registered two goals and 32 assists for 34 points in 90 career regular-season games.

The six-foot-two, 195-pounder also registered a career-high last season with a 55% (175-for-319) success rate in faceoffs.


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