Roughnecks welcome Minny move

IAN BUSBY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:46 AM ET

The Calgary Roughnecks suddenly have a Minny rivalry on their hands.

The National Lacrosse League realigned its two divisions yesterday and moved the Minnesota Swarm over to the West Division.

With the expansion Boston Blazers joining the East Division, the 10-6 Swarm suddenly become top contenders in the West.

"Minnesota has a great team," said Riggers assistant captain Kaleb Toth. "They started really young when they came into the league (in 2005), but they kept growing and playing really well.

"The most turnover they've had is in coaching staff, but other than that, they are much improved, and it will make our division more exciting to watch. We've had great games against them when we've faced them before. It will be an interesting development."

The Swarm have made two visits to the Saddledome with the teams splitting close games, while the Riggers have never visited Minnesota.

Although the 2009 schedule has yet to be announced, the Roughnecks expect to have at least a home-and-home with the talented Swarm.

"They don't have any superstars but no real bad players either," Toth said. "It makes up a real good team, and their record shows it. They beat Buffalo a couple times last year, and the Bandits won the Cup. So you never know what can happen when you put a team together."

Toth would love to visit Boston this season, not only just to face the expansion Blazers but to tour Beantown.

The Riggers have also never played either team from Chicago or New York since the Shamrox and Titans joined the league in 2007, so Toth is hoping to face them as well.

"The fans don't want to see the same teams over and over," Toth said. "They want to see other teams come into the building. I'm sure the league will mix it up with the schedule a bit more this season to create more fan interest.

"Hopefully the schedule works in our favour this year."

The other West Division teams are the Edmonton Rush, the Colorado Mammoth, the Portland Lumberjax and the San Jose Stealth.

The NLL Entry Draft is set for Sept. 6-7 in Boston, and the Riggers hold picks No. 6 and 7.


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