- Calgary Roughnecks
NLL Team Infobox
team_colors=Red, Black, White
media= Shaw TV
website= [http://www.calgaryroughnecks.com www.calgaryroughnecks.com]
The Calgary Roughnecks are a member of the
National Lacrosse Leaguebased in Calgary, Alberta. The name refers to the roughnecks who work in Alberta's oil and gas industry. The team is affectionately known by fans as the "Riggers".
Team beginnings (2001-2002 season)
March 28, 2001, a press conference was held in Calgary to announce the Roughnecks as the (then) tenth NLL franchise under the ownership of Calgary businessman Brad Banister. Kevin Melnyk was announced as the Head Coach and General Manager. Prior to the season getting under way some resume inaccuracies became public regarding Melnyk. Melnyk, who claimed to be a member of one of Canada's National teams, was replaced by the team with Chris Hall as Head Coach and Brad Banister as General Manager.
The Roughnecks hosted the
Montreal Expressin the inaugural game for both franchises on November 24, 2001. The Roughnecks lost by a score of 32-17. This set a new league record for most combined goals scored in a game and the most goals scored by one team.
In the 2002-2003 season, the Roughnecks enhanced their record to 9-7, with a very successful 6-2 record at home. Leading the team with 63 points was
Tracey Kelusky. Close behind him was Kaleb Tothwith 61 points. Before the season got going Brad Banister promised the fans the playoffs and the boys pulled it off. They travelled to Buffalo for the first playoff game in franchise history. The team lost 16-9 against the Buffalo Banditsto get knocked out of the playoffs.
The Roughnecks continued their improvement in the 2003-2004 season with a record of 10-6.
Lewis Ratclifflead the team with 71 points. Tracey Kelusky finished second with 69. Again Banister predicted a playoff entry and this time he predicted a home game to boot. Finishing third in the West the only way to get a home playoff game was to meet the third place team from the East. In the playoffs, the Roughnecks beat the San Jose Stealth15-14 on the road to advance to the conference final. Again on the road, the Roughnecks beat the Colorado Mammothwith a final score of 13-11. On May 7, 2004, the Roughnecks hosted the championship game against the Buffalo Bandits, who had knocked them out of the playoff the previous year. Calgary won the Champion's Cupby beating the Bandits 14-11 in front of a home crowd of 19,289 in the Pengrowth Saddledome.
For the 2004-2005 season former Roughneck player and assistant coach Dave Bremner was hired as General Manager.
The Roughnecks hosted the 2005 NLL All Star Game on February 26, 2005. This was the first nationally televised NLL game; it was broadcast on
NBC. Roughnecks' captain Kelusky took home the Most Valuable Playeraward as the East beat the West in an 11-10 overtime win. The 2005 season saw the Roughnecks come in first place in the Western Conference for the first time in franchise history. This garnered them a bye in the first round of the playoffs. On April 30, they hosted the Arizona Stingfor the conference title and lost with a score of 19-15.
Prior to the 2005-2006 season the Roughnecks hired on former Buffalo GM Kurt Silcott to replace Dave Bremner and become the fourth GM in team history.
After beginning the
2007 NLL season4-1, the Roughnecks lost three straight games, and Silcott fired the only head coach in Roughnecks history, Chris Hall. Silcott filled in as interim head coach for one game, and then hired former Roughnecks player Jeff Dowling as the second head coach in Roughnecks history on March 9, 2007. [cite web|url=http://www.nll.com/article.php?id=2805|title=Jeff Dowling named Calgary head coach|work=NLL.com|date= March 9, 2007|accessdate=2007-03-09] He was replaced as Head Coach for the 2008 season by Troy Cordingley [cite web|url=http://calgaryroughnecks.com/news/recent/index.html?article_id=271|title=Bandit becomes 'Necks New Bench Boss|work=Calgary Roughnecks web site|date= July 4, 2007|accessdate=2007-09-05] , while former Toronto RockHead Coach Terry Sanderson was added as Assistant Coach.
In 2008, Calgary finished 3rd in the West with a 7-9 record, beat Colorado in the division semi-final, but lost in the division final to the
Portland LumberJax. Despite this relatively successful season, general manager Kurt Silcott was fired. [cite web|url=http://nll.com/article.php?id=3500|work=NLL.com|title=Roughnecks GM Kurt Silcott Fired|date= May 17, 2008|accessdate=2008-05-22] Team President Brad Banister gave no reason for the firing other than to say that "the team and Silcott are heading into different directions, and this move would allow both parties to succeed to their full potential" and that he would take over as interim GM. [cite web|url=http://calgaryroughnecks.com/news/recent/index.html?article_id=389|work=Calgary Roughnecks website|title=Roughnecks Release General Manager Kurt Silcott|date= May 21, 2008|accessdate=2008-05-22]
Awards & honors
* [http://www.calgaryroughnecks.com Roughnecks official website]
* [http://www.gonecksgo.com Roughnecks Fan Site]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.