Rush deal Hawksbee to Stealth

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:32 PM ET

It was a classic case of, “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ’em,” in reverse.

Four days after sweeping the Washington Stealth for their first two wins of the NLL season, the Edmonton Rush dealt defender Ian Hawksbee to their opponents in exchange for defender Tyler Codron.

“I thought (it was) a good trade for us,” said Rush head coach and general manager Derek Keenan. “I think Codron’s a high-end defender, good size and athleticism and a guy that I really like. Obviously, to get a good guy like that, we had to give up a good one.

“Hawksbee was a very good player here in Edmonton for 3˝ years and not easy to give up because he was a big contributor to our success last year, and to the turnaround of the organization.”

The six-foot, 200-pounder was second on the team last season with 136 loose balls to help the Rush to a franchise-best 10-6 record on their way to an appearance in the West Division final.

Since then, the squad turned what was 180 degrees on the path to success into a 360, with an 0-5 start to the 2011 season.

Keenan began shaking things up by trading defender Rory Glaves to the Rochester Knighthawks for forward Scott Evans four weeks into the schedule.

“Codron’s got a lot of upside and it just kind of filled a bit of the void when we made the trade to bring in offence with Scott Evans and move Rory Glaves out,” Keenan said. “We needed more of a shut-down-type guy and we think Codron has that ability.

“We’re real happy to have him with us.”

At six-feet, 205 pounds, Codron played just one game with the Stealth due to a knee injury. Coming into this season with the defending champions, Codron had nine loose balls and 10 penalty minutes in eight games with the Stealth prior to joining Edmonton.

“Tyler, just 24 years of age, plays with a lot of bite to his game and he plays an effective shut-down role. Both of those elements are going to be very beneficial to the Rush when we are facing teams that we are battling against for a playoff spot,” said Keenan. “There is a lot of sandpaper to Tyler’s game. He plays the game tough, plays with grit, and he has good speed to be in the right position. Tyler is an excellent addition to the team as we make our way into the heart of the regular season and things start to get very intense.”

The fourth-year NLL veteran was a first-round pick of the Portland Lumberjax in the 2007 draft, beginning his pro career under Keenan with the now-defunct franchise. He also spent time with Toronto.

In 41 career NLL regular-season games, the Port Coquitlam, B.C., native has eight goals and 17 assists for 25 points to go along with 167 loose balls.

Hawksbee returns to the Stealth, whom he played with when the franchise was back in San Jose. With the Rush, he earned 30 assists and 33 points in 54 games. This season, he has three assists and 38 loose balls so far.

The Rush prepare to host the Calgary Roughnecks Sunday at 2 p.m. at Rexall Place, where they will look to bite into their provincial rival’s 2-0 hold on the season series so far.

gerry.moddejonge@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/Gerry_EdmSun


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