Kelusky reflects on trade

MIKE DAVIES, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:36 PM ET

PETERBOROUGH, Ont. -- Tracey Kelusky is having a tough time not thinking of himself as a Calgary Roughneck any longer.

It has been a week since the Peterborough native was dealt to the National Lacrosse League’s Buffalo Bandits, a destination he had some choice in selecting, but after playing nine years in Calgary and being their captain, old habits die hard.

“I have my Roughnecks jacket and apparel and when I put stuff on it’s kind of surreal,” Kelusky said Tuesday. “It was a great part of my life. I was there nine years. I bought my first house, was married and that’s where my son was born. It is still kind of surreal but at the end of the day, I am excited to be a part of the Buffalo Bandits. They are one of the top organizations in the NLL.”

Buffalo acquired Kelusky and a third-round draft pick in exchange for the Bandits’ 2011 first-round pick.

With the Roughnecks making some cost-cutting moves and switching to a younger lineup, Kelusky found himself discussing his future with team president Brad Banister who he considers a friend.

Kelusky and his wife Emily bought a home and relocated to Peterborough from Calgary last year. With the Roughnecks preferring their players live in Calgary rather than cover their travel expenses to commute, Kelusky said he and Banister agreed, with hesitation on both sides, a trade to an eastern team made sense. Kelusky offered Buffalo as his first choice and Banister made it happen.

“I never thought of playing anywhere else,” Kelusky said. “Even at the end of last year knowing I was relocating back to Peterborough, I never really thought of it as a possibility of being traded.”

At the same time, a move to an eastern team made sense for him and a restructuring team that also traded leading scorer Josh Sanderson.

“Making the commute across the country can take a toll on a body especially if I’m planning on playing for another four years,” said Kelusky, 35. “That was a big part of the decision as well as financials.”

In Buffalo, Kelusky joins a slew of his Peterborough Lakers’ teammates and local players including Chris White, Scott Self, Kyle Clancy, Jesse Guerin, John Tavares, Mark Steenhuis, Darryl Gibson and goalies Mike Thompson and Angus Goodleaf.

“It will definitely be good to go into a locker room where you played and went to war with a lot of the boys,” he said. “Being close and being one of the top organizations in the league it was a no-brainer for me to say Buffalo who definitely expressed interest.”

Kelusky says he’s still enjoying the recent Mann Cup win with the Lakers and says he’s not thought about next season.

“I’m optimistic most of the guys will be back; and there is no reason why I wouldn’t be back,” he said.


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