Palidwor rejoins Roughnecks

WES GILBERTSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:41 PM ET

How long did Curtis Palidwor’s retirement last?

Put it this way ...

When the Calgary Roughnecks announced Friday afternoon they’d signed the well-travelled backstop for a second tour of duty at the Saddledome, news of his hasty decision to hang up his pads was still among the half-dozen lead items on the National Lacrosse League website.

“It’s been a little bit of a roller-coaster of emotions,” Palidwor admitted. “I don’t think I was ready to retire. Circumstances that I’ve dealt with in the past led me to believe that maybe this was the time to step away, but I talked to my family, and they told me, ‘You have to make sure you’re ready to do this.’ And I wasn’t ready. I’m not ready to quit playing lacrosse.”

So after losing his job with the Colorado Mammoth earlier this week and announcing a spur-of-the-moment retirement that lasted just two days, he’s back.

The 37-year-old from New Westminster, B.C., will be between the pipes for three training camp sessions with the Roughnecks this weekend in Airdrie — his only opportunity to prove he’s fully recovered from a serious eye injury and earn a roster spot before the final cuts are made by the NLL club.

“I think I can do anything they need me to do to help the team,” Palidwor said. “I’m excited about this year, and I definitely think I can help them achieve their goal.”

In Wednesday’s retirement release, Palidwor listed winning a Champion’s Cup with the Riggers in 2004 as the best memory of his professional career. He was stellar in the championship game, making 43 stops and being named the MVP.

His role will be a little different this time.

Even before the team extended a last-minute training camp invite to Palidwor, Riggers head coach Dave Pym named Mike Poulin his starting netminder for the upcoming season. Palidwor is battling off-season addition Kurtis Wagar for the backup job.

“It’s Poulin’s time to shine,” Pym said. “I think he’s fully capable of showing everybody around the league that he’s a No.-1 goalie and he can take a team to the Promised Land.

“He’s embraced the challenge. He wants to get better. He wants to be better, and he wants to be a guy that his players in front of him know they can rely on. He’s certainly got the tools and the skill-set and the mental framework to be that guy.

“I think he’s shown he can be that guy.”

If not, there could be a new backup plan.

In 142 regular-season games with five different organizations, Palidwor has compiled a 53-53 record with a 12.40 goals-against average and .759 save percentage.

He knows, though, that Poulin is the go-to guy.

“He’s earned that spot and it’s his spot until something else happens,” Palidwor said. “I have no problem with that. I’m a team guy and if he’s playing great, play him every game.”

wes.gilbertson@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/WesGilbertson


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