Many new beginnings

DEREK VAN DIEST -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:22 AM ET

Mike Accursi had two new reasons to smile, neither of which had to do with his trade to the Edmonton Rush.

The native of Pelham, Ont., was the proud father of twin daughters - Abigail and Isabella - yesterday.

"We also have a three-year old boy," said Accursi, "So this is our second and third."

On Tuesday Rush head coach and general manager Paul Day traded a first-round pick in the 2009 National Lacrosse League draft to the Rochester Knighthawks for Accursi.

10-YEAR VETERAN

The 10-year veteran helped the Knighthawks claim the league title last season, scoring three goals and adding a pair of assists in a 13-11 win over the Arizona Sting in the championship final.

In 16 regular-season games with the Knighthawks last season, Accursi scored a career-high 26 goals and 51 assists.

"I know Paul very well and I've heard nothing but good things about the organization, the city of Edmonton and the fans in Edmonton and I think it's going to be an exciting new beginning for me," Accursi said.

"I think we're trying to build on what they've done there the last two seasons. Bringing in guys like (Chris) Gill and (Dan) Stroup definitely help. Hopefully I'm just one more piece of that puzzle that's going to put Edmonton over the top."

Accursi began his NLL career in 1998 with the now defunct Ontario Raiders.

He spent the last three seasons with Rochester, the first playing under Day.

"I've known Mike since he was 18," Day said.

"I traded for him in junior to play for me in St. Catherines and then I traded for him in Rochester.

"He's a guy that can do it all. He creates things for other players and he's a great finisher as well.

"He's the type of guy we're looking for to help the right side of the offence."

With 286 career regular-season goals to his credit, Accursi knows his way around the net. He's the latest veteran scorer the Rush have traded for this off-season.

Last week they acquired local product Ben Prepchuk from the Colorado Mammoth.

"I think it was pretty important for us get another impact player," Day said.

"He's a 32-year-old guy that still has several good years left."

Accursi's production has increased over the past three seasons.

He's averaged over 25 goals and 52 points per season in his career.

"I think I'm like a fine wine, I'm getting better with age," Accursi joked.

"I think I just had a fine season. I think when I was early in my career, you kind of take for granted the fitness level that you should be at.

"In the last few years that's been a real focus, coming into camp in top-notch shape and trying to maintain that the whole year.

"That's really paid off for me, the last three seasons have been my best seasons and ending it off with a championship was a feather in the cap for the few years of hard work."

Last year's title was the first for Accursi. Yet despite winning the Champion's Cup, he was expecting a trade this off-season.

"When you look at that team there are so many guys that they needed to sign," Accursi said.

"They looked at it that they have a lot of young good righties and maybe they're looking to them to try and step up and try to replace what they've done in the past.

"I kind of thought something might be up. I didn't really know where I'd end up and I'm very glad to be in Edmonton."

Day is the big reason Accursi is coming to Edmonton. He's played in the East all his career with stints in Syracuse and Buffalo.

"I don't know if I'd get up and do all that travelling if I didn't like the direction the team was going," Accursi said.

"Paul is a guy that I've known for a long time, he's a guy that brought me to Rochester and I'm glad to be playing back for him.

INCREASED TRAVEL OK

"Moving to the West Coast will definitely increase the amount of travel time I'll have, but I'll look at it as a trade off. I'm going to an organization that, from all accounts and everyone I've talked to, is a phenomenal organization that really takes care of our players."


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