Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Method to Richardson's trade madness

During the Western Lacrosse League draft Tuesday night, one of the biggest stories came when New Westminster Salmonbellies president/ general manager Dan Richardson traded its second, third and fourth round picks in 2011 and another pick in 2012 for Nanimo's first and third round picks in 2013.
When the trade happened, some in attendance were scratching their heads, but there was certainly a method to the madness, as Grant Granger of the New Westminster News Leader explains.
Richardson's jaw dropped and eyes widened in mock shock when asked if his latest swap had anything to do with stockpiling picks to acquire Jr. ’Bellies sniper Tyler Digby, who will be available in 2013.
Digby led the B.C. Junior A Lacrosse League scoring race in 2010 with 89 points, including 34 goals. Also eligible that year will be Coquitlam Jr. Adanacs' Robert Church, who was the league's leading scorer in 2009 as a rookie with 107 points.
Both are about to begin their second seasons playing NCAA field lacrosse - Digby at Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh and Church at Drexel University in Philadelphia.
With the recent acquisition of Kevin Crowley, last year's first overall pick, from the Burnaby Lakers, the three-time league champion Salmonbellies are stacked with young talent for the next few years.
Richardson said the team's scouts not only keep their eyes open for talent for the next draft but for those one, two and more years beyond.
"This year is not deep and 2012 isn't a deep draft, but 2013 is a very deep draft," Richardson said, who has made a habit of trading to get top picks over the last six years.
With the deal, the Salmonbellies already have two picks in the first, second and third rounds in 2013. They traded a first-rounder this year and next and Pete McFetridge to get Crowley from Burnaby.
"We have six picks in the first 21 in a very deep draft so we're very excited. At the end of the day we didn't need to get younger," said Richardson, whose squad averages about 25 years old.
"Our succession plan is set up now."
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