CALGARY, AB — National Lacrosse League teams are now free to pursue free agents.
On August 1st, the NLL announced that the free agency period has opened for the 2016 season. All restricted (RFA) and unrestricted (UFA) free agents can now negotiate and sign contracts with teams.
The Calgary Roughnecks will be looking to make some changes after an up and down season and make a run at a third Champion’s Cup.
Here are some NLL free agents in whom the Roughnecks may have interest:
Bob Snider, D/T:
The younger brother of Geoff Snider, Bob Snider provides a different skill set that could help Calgary. With a need on the back-end, Snider would be able to contribute as a defensemen or as a defensive transition player. While not as proficient as his brother, Bob does have the ability to succeed within the face-off circle and could eventually become the lead face-off man for the Roughnecks. His versatility, and the fact that he is from Calgary, could intrigue the Roughnecks.
Callum Crawford, F:
Drafted 18th overall by the Roughnecks in 2005, Crawford played only five games for Calgary. He has since spent time in San Jose, Chicago, Edmonton, and Minnesota. Crawford has become one of the best forwards in the NLL and is arguably the top free agent forward on the market. Scoring 19 goals and 34 assists in 12 games in 2015, Crawford will surely be hot commodity. While the Roughnecks don’t necessarily have a need on the right side with Shawn Evans and Curtis Dickson, Crawford is too good not to take a chance on.
Ilija Gacic, T:
The former second overall pick has dealt with quite a bit of adversity since entering the league in 2010. Fighting through colitis to continue playing lacrosse, Gajic has turned himself into one of the games better transition players. With an ability to score, take face-offs, and fight for loose balls, Gajic’s hard nosed approach would be welcomed by the Roughnecks. In 2015, he scored 11 goals, 17 assists, and scooped 87 loose balls for the Vancouver Stealth. Adding his gritty style and speed to the Roughnecks transition game will help improve an already strong unit.
Josh Sanderson, LF:
Imagine Evans on one side and Sanderson on the other. That would be a nightmare for defences. The co-owners of the single-season assist record of 83 (set in 2015), would create a lethal duo who would help make the others on the floor better. Sanderson, a former member of the Roughnecks, won a Champion’s Cup with the team in 2009. Sanderson proved capable in 2015, finishing sixth in scoring, compiling 19 goals and 83 assists.
Sandy Chapman, D:
On a team that could be losing some veteran experience to retirement or free agency, adding a five-time Champion’s Cup winner would help fill that void. Chapman, the 2010 Defensive Player of the Year, would be able to step in and help the Roughnecks defensive core. Chapman still possess the ability to make a difference as he helped the Toronto Rock reach the Champion’s Cup in 2015, scoring two goals, eight assists, and scooping 86 loose balls along the way.
Stay tuned to CalgaryRoughnecks.com for up to date information on all Roughnecks free agent activities!