Riggers nab No. 1 goaltender

IAN BUSBY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:33 AM ET

In a trade involving three teams, six players and two draft picks, Kurt Silcott took care of his No. 1 need.

The Calgary Roughnecks general manager pulled of a blockbuster National Lacrosse League deal yesterday, shipping out defender Taylor Wray plus a first- and second-round draft pick in 2007 and '08, respectively.

In return, the Riggers receive veteran goalie Steve Dietrich and defender Kyle Couling from Buffalo, plus get young defender Ian Llord from Philadelphia.

The key to the deal is Dietrich, who was the league MVP in 2006 with Buffalo, the first time in league history a goaltender won that award.

"Some people argue with me and they can argue with me all they want, but I believe Dietrich is still the best goalie in this league," Silcott said about the 37-year-old.

"He's a huge piece of the puzzle. I'm really pleased to get him. Some people believe he's on the downside of his career but he was the MVP two years ago. Last year he was out with a (knee) injury, but he's played well this summer."

Wray lands in Philadelphia because Silcott was asked to deal the 2004 rookie and co-defender of the year. Wray will start a job as an assistant coach for Lehigh University and couldn't travel to play in Calgary this season.

But the Roughnecks got a great return by adding two solid defenceman to take Wray's spot and a veteran goaltending presence.

Ryan Avery and Andrew Leyshon rotated as the Calgary starter last season.

Dietrich, who was the Bandits' starter since 2002, is excited to come to the Roughnecks. He suffered a knee injury at the end of last season, but has returned to play senior-B lacrosse with Ajax-Pickering (Ont.) this summer.

"I just want to come in and bring consistency," Dietrich said. "I know the guys they had last year did a good job but were going back and forth.

"I just want to solidify the position so there isn't any more musical chairs going on. I'll solidify the back end and, hopefully, I get to win a championship."

In Couling, Silcott gets a player both he and new coach Troy Cordingley are familiar with. The 34-year-old defender was drafted by Silcott in Buffalo (1999), has played 113 career NLL games with the Bandits.

Getting Llord, Silcott looks to the future as well because the 22-year-old is a physical presence who was a fifth-overall pick by Philadelphia last year.

"The way I look at it is Couling replaces Taylor right now because he's a veteran," Silcott said. "We got another big leader who is a right-handed shot, so he can do a lot of things Taylor can do.

"He will replace Taylor right now and over the long-term, Llord becomes the guy who moves into that role as he matures."

To complete the deal, the Wings shipped forward Sean Greenhalgh to Buffalo and receive forward Jason Crosbie back from the Bandits, who get both of Calgary's picks.

In another move, the Edmonton Rush traded a 2009 first-round draft pick to Rochester for forward Mike Accursi.


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