June 14, 2011
Board steps into Riggers GM job
By IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency
CALGARY - Mike Board is hoping to make all the write moves for the Calgary Roughnecks.
The longtime Calgary sportswriter has just landed what he calls his dream job.
When the Calgary Flames announced Tuesday they purchased the Riggers from Brad Banister, Board was named the Roughnecks’ new GM.
Board, who joined the Flames in 2002 to run the Internet properties, inherits the National Lacrosse League’s top team in 2011.
He gets a young group of core players, a solid roster that doesn’t need much change and a chance to improve it with two first-round draft picks this fall.
“Brad set this up pretty well,” said Board, who played junior lacrosse in Brampton, Ont., in the late 1970s.
“I’m just trying to not screw it up. I love the core. It’s a good leadership group. There will be change in any season, but if we can bring all those guys back, I would love another crack at Washington (in the West Final).”
Board has a relationship with Riggers head coach Dave Pym — the two were on the same coaching staff in 2006 with Team Alberta at the bantam nationals.
Pym and assistants Curt Malawsky and Bob McMahon are expected to return next lacrosse season.
“I can’t say they are staying for sure,” Board said. “I talked to all three of them, and they indicated they want to come back. We want them back.
“It’s a great staff that did a great job,” continued Board. “We’re not worried about the coaching, so why make a change?”
The Flames named Mike Moore as the Roughnecks’ director of business operations, but the rest of the staff is yet to be finalized.
Ticket sales, marketing and promotions will be handled by the existing Flames staff. While the business needs to be straightened out, the Roughnecks have few needs on the floor.
They need to find a backup goalie, and maybe a lefty for the offence, but the team should look much the same in January 2012 as the one that finished this season.
One difference is Board won’t have budget restrictions that dictated decisions on whether to have fly-in players or practices on bye weekends.
“I don’t mean this in any disrespect to Brad, but we should have more to spend in those areas,” Board said.