Riggers lose goaltender of future

STEVE MACFARLANE -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:33 AM ET

Calgary Roughnecks head coach Troy Cordingley knows better than most what his team lost in yesterday's NLL expansion draft, when the new yet-to-be-named Boston franchise scooped goaltender Ryan Avery from the Riggers.

"Ryan has had a pretty good summer. I've been keeping a close eye on him," said Cordingly yesterday over the phone from Southern Ontario, where his Brampton Excelsiors of the Major Series knocked Avery's Kitchener Kodiaks out of the Ontario quarter-finals Monday night.

"He held their team in right till the very end. He had a very good series against us."

The Kodiaks were swept 3-0 in the best-of-five series, but Cordingley said the 25-year-old Avery was a standout in the two games he played -- which makes yesterday's expansion loss sting even more.

"I hate them. It's really tough -- especially with our league -- because it's every year you have expansion drafts. There's always guys that you leave off that you don't want to leave off, but you have to just because of numbers," said Cordingley, who along with GM Kurt Silcott decided to protect only recently acquired goalie Steve Dietrich and 13 runners instead of two goalies and 10 runners.

"It's a poker game, man. You're always going to lose a good player, which sucks.

"It cost us a good goalie."

Avery cost the Roughnecks a first-round pick in 2006 in a trade with Buffalo and was considered the team's netminder of the future. Cordingley isn't sure who will take over that title now.

"I hope Kurt's got that all figured out," he joked before adding the team is comfortable with their current tandem of former league MVP Dietrich and last year's starter Andrew Leyshon in goal.

"Chugger (Dietrich), getting him out of Buffalo was huge for us."

Silcott, who was in the Maritimes yesterday and unreachable by phone, said in a statement Avery has a bright future but Calgary has depth at the position, including 24-year-old prospect Alex Coutts.


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