2019-2020 Record: 7-3, 1st place West Division
New Faces: D Matt Beers, F Tristan Rai, F Dan Lintner, F Mike Mallory, F Josh Currier
Key Losses: HC Derek Keenan, G Evan Kirk, T Jeremy Thompson, D Matt Hossack, T Adrian Sorichetti, F Ben McIntosh, F Matthew Dinsdale.
It’s not often you add a head coach to the “key losses” list, but when he is the winningest coach of all-time in the NLL, those are big shoes to fill. Derek Keenan remains on as the general manager but he’s now handed over the reigns to Jeff McComb.
There are a lot of keys losses this year and it started out with the blockbuster trade that saw Ben McIntosh get sent to Philadelphia in exchange for Josh Currier. No doubt Currier can put the ball in the net and be a playmaker, but the Rush will lose some offensive output.
It also wasn’t a secret that the Rush went into free agency with a lot of players unrestricted and the losses show, losing Evan Kirk, Jeremy Thompson, Adrian Sorichetti and probably one of the most underrated players in the league in Matthew Dinsdale.
Keenan wasn’t silent during free agency, however. He bolstered up his defence by picking up Matt Beers to add a steady veteran.
Despite losing Ben McIntosh, this still has to be one of the most dangerous offences in the league and it all starts with their leader Mark Matthews. Jeff Shattler re-upped for one more year which will likely be his last, yet he can still perform at a top level. Add in Robert Church and Ryan Keenan and the Rush look pretty good. Derek Keenan swinging a deal to grab Dan Lintner just added more depth to a potent offence. The player to watch out for is Marshall Powless. Drafted seventh overall in 2020, Johnny’s younger brother could be an exciting young player to watch.
The glaring question will be: Is Adam Shute ready to be a starting goaltender? In 2018-2019 Shute started five games for the Rush while Evan Kirk injured and went 4-1 during that time including four wins in a row. He finished that year with a record of 5-3 and the second best goals against average in the league at 10.30.
The good news is that if the young goaltender struggles he’ll have a lot of help up front. Captain Chris Corbeil is back asking with veterans Ryan Dilks and Kyle Rubisch. Yes, the Rush lost a lot on defence and transition in free agency and during the offseasons, but they had enough depth to once again give opposing offences fits.
Shawn Slaght has been a sports reporter across the Canadian prairies for over 10 years and has experience covering everything from junior hockey to World Cup skiing to all levels of lacrosse. He is the Saskatchewan correspondent for All Lacrosse All The Time.