What you C is what you get with McElroy

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:51 PM ET

The more things change for the Edmonton Rush, the more they stay the same for Chris McElroy.

The fourth-year defenceman will once again sport the captain's 'C', heading into the season leading a Rush roster that has gone through plenty of changes since last season.

Besides leadership, his continued captaincy helps maintain some familiarity through a preseason full of transition.

"I've been with the Rush since Day 1," he said. "There's been a lot of changes but I'm as optimistic as I've ever been with the group of guys that we have and the coaching staff. I really believe in this group and think Rush fans will be excited to see the product on the floor this year."

Fans in Lethbridge got a preview of that product last night in an exhibition game against the defending NLL champion Calgary Roughnecks.

"I think it's good, most importantly, to try to help the game of lacrosse grow within the game of Alberta," McElroy said. "Last year, we played in Red Deer, we were down in Lethbridge playing down here a few years ago, so I like the neutral-site game.

"It's good for those fans that do drive to Calgary or Edmonton to get out and show support there and good for the communities that we come to.

"Calgary has always been a rival for us," McElroy said. "They've got a lot of guys that can feed the ball but also shoot the ball and they've played together for a while so they know each other's game.

"They play a pressure defence that has given success for them last year. They have a similar group to what they've had last year and obviously them being the champions they're a team that we're gunning for."

The two teams will rematch for real on Jan. 30 when the Roughnecks visit in their first of three regular-season games scheduled this year.

But there is still some time to work some of the kinks out before league play begins on Jan. 15 when the Rush travel to Everett to take on the Washington Stealth.

"Training camp's gone really well," McElroy said. "Not only did we add some more talent to our group, but we've added a lot of character guys that are going to be huge for us both on the floor and in the locker-room.

"I think we have the best veteran leadership group that we've ever had and that goes a long way in having the formula for success."


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