Shawn Slaght, All Lacrosse All The Time – A Division of the Edge of Philly Sports Network
Calgary Roughnecks 2021-2022 Season: 10-8 record, 2nd in the West Division, Lost 16-12 to Colorado in the semifinal.
Key Losses: Curtis Dickson, Landon Kells, Marshal King and Carter McKenzie.
Key Additions: Jeff Cornwall and Brett Hickey
Keep calm and lax on, that seems to be the motto of the Calgary Roughnecks. In the past couple of years, the Roughnecks have lost superstars Dane Dobbie and Curtis Dickson, yet have not made a lot of big splashes in free agency other than the signing of Brett Hickey and trading for Jeff Cornwall during the expansion draft.
Could we see Calgary take on a similar model to the Coquitlam Adanacs in the WLA and rely heavily on Christian Del Bianco in goal? If so, it could be questionable how sustainable that can be. And with little depth at goaltender, don’t be surprised to see Calgary make a move or two before training camp.
This is also a team that lived and died by Del Bianco collecting long passes to create transition opportunities. Zach Currier and Eli Salama are returning to fill that need along with the addition of Cornwall.
The Calgary Roughnecks will be looking to see if Brett Hickey will be able to fill the void that was left with Dickson heading to San Diego.
Meanwhile, secondary scoring has been questionable is past years. The Roughnecks will likely want to see Jesse King play a bigger role on the left side after a strong summer in the WLA.
Where Calgary will really need to see players step up is in guys like Dan Taylor, Haiden Dickson, Tyler Pace and Zach Herreweyers. Though they showed flashes of brilliance throughout last season, it will be a matter of them finding some consistency.
Trading away Marshal King came as a bit of a surprise as he had a strong summer playing alongside is brother Jesse in Victoria and is a young up-and-coming player.
This might be the Calgary Roughnecks strength heading into training camp. This week they announced the re-signing of Curtis Manning to anchor the back end.
Calgary is also returning a number of veterans including Reece Callies, Salama, Shane Simpson, Currier and Ethan Ticehurst to name a few.
One of the big splashes that the Roughnecks made this offseason was trading away Marshal King at the expansion draft to pick up Jeff Cornwall. The hero of the 2016 NLL championship was chosen by Las Vegas from the Saskatchewan Rush and immediately traded to Calgary.
In Cornwall, the Roughnecks get another bonafide star defender who brings a lot of speed to the defense. This will just give Del Bianco another weapon to use in transition.
As mentioned, goaltending is a question marker when it comes to depth. There is no question Del Bianco is their number one guy, but who will be number two? Currently, Adam Bland is the only goaltender on the roster. Don’t be surprised to see them sign someone like Adam Shute, who was released by the Saskatchewan Rush. Shute is a doctor in Calgary, so location wise it would only make sense.