Roughnecks add big defenceman

WES GILBERTSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:23 PM ET

Boston Blazers sniper Dan Dawson has a history of burning the Calgary Roughnecks.

Perhaps the Riggers finally found his kryptonite.

Dawson's younger — and bigger — brother Paul will likely be a fixture at the Saddledome next season after the Roughnecks acquired the rights to the restricted free-agent defender from Boston in exchange for a fourth-round draft choice.

Dawson signed an offer sheet with the Toronto Rock earlier this week, but the Roughnecks matched the deal after announcing the trade Thursday afternoon.

“Paul can shut down the top players in this league,” said Riggers GM Brad Banister. “He's got the size. He's got the speed. He's got the mobility. He's aggressive. He's an in-your-face style defender. So when we go up against those Dan Dawsons and Colin Doyles of the world, we've got a guy that is more than capable of shutting them down.”

Dawson, 24, is entering his fifth National Lacrosse League campaign. The 6-foot-5, 225-lb., ruffian spent the last two seasons playing alongside his brother in Beantown, scooping up 133 loose balls in 34 games with the Blazers. He also chipped in on offence, registering five goals and adding 13 assists over two seasons.

It's rare for restricted free agents to ink offer sheets in the NLL, so Dawson made headlines in the lacrosse world when he signed with Toronto, reportedly becoming one of the league's highest-paid defenders.

Unwilling to match the offer, the Blazers made Dawson available, eventually hammering out a deal with the Roughnecks.

And Banister wasn't about to apologize for scuttling his signing with the Rock, where former Roughnecks assistant coach Terry Sanderson is the current general manager.

“That's the way it works,” Banister said. “Toronto reacted to a situation where they could get this guy, and basically made him available through Boston. They forced their hand and we were more than happy to accomodate them.

“This is a competitive league. It's nothing personal against Toronto. It's nothing personal against Paul Dawson. We wanted him in our lineup and we were obviously willing to trade a late-round pick for him. That pick doesn't do Paul Dawson any justice. We got a very good deal, and we're just very happy to have him on board.

“He's going to be a great player for us. The fans are going to love him.”

wes.gilbertson@sunmedia.ca


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