CALGARY, AB — The 2016 National Lacrosse League trade deadline has come and gone without a trade for the Calgary Roughnecks.
But that’s not to say that Roughnecks General Manager Mike Board wasn’t exploring his options.
“We asked and inquired about certain areas, but in most cases there wasn’t a fit or the cost was too high,” Board explained. “We like our team as it is and we didn’t want to break up the pieces, so we held pat. There wasn’t many moves at the trade deadline. I think that shows that there are a lot of teams still in the hunt. The buyer-seller case wasn’t as big as it has been in past seasons.”
The biggest issue blocking trades right now is that most teams are still within reach of a playoff spot and do not want to sell off any important pieces.
The Colorado Mammoth and Saskatchewan Rush have clinched a playoff spot in the West, while the Roughnecks and Vancouver Stealth are in competition for that third and final spot. In the East, no team is out of the playoff picture, with the Toronto Rock, Georgia Swarm, and Rochester Knighthawks battling for the third playoff position.
“I think what teams are looking at is that if you’re in it, you’re not looking to make a big deal or dump salary or any of those things,” Board said. “They like what they have and they want to move forward with what they’ve got. The playoff race is so tight with a lot of teams, some have clinched.
“There just weren’t a lot of fits out there.”
The Roughnecks were not the only team to stand pat at the trade deadline.
It was quiet across the entire league, actually. Only two trades were made in total.
The Georgia Swarm and Buffalo Bandits agreed to a deal that would send Jerome Thompson from the Bandits to the Swarm for a sixth round selection. The Swarm made another deal, sending Joe Maracle and Josh Gillam to the Rochester Knighthawks in exchange for future draft picks.
While no deals were made by the Roughnecks, the conversations had over the last few days could bear fruit later on.
“Sometimes that happens,” Board admitted. “You have to see how things look in the summer and leading up to the draft. You’ve had discussions with other teams and they now what you like on their team and you know what they like on your team. If there are fits there, sometimes those things can materialize at the draft.
“I suppose some ground work might have been laid for future stuff in those talks, but it’s a long way away until the draft in September.”
Regardless of future moves, Calgary has decided to remain with the current group of players.
The Roughnecks have shown over and over again that they have the ability to play alongside the best teams in the NLL and with more growth from their young players, they will be a pest for any team in the playoffs – if they can fend off the Stealth.
“We really like our team and we hate harping on the four OT loses, but even if were 50 percent, we’re in a way better position right now,” Board said. “We really like the work ethic, the character, and the chemistry that this team is starting to show. We’re 6-8 at the Trade Deadline but we’re in a playoff spot and we think we can push forward.
“Once you’re in a playoff spot, you never know what can happen.”