Thursday, March 24, 2011

Whipper makes impending retirement official

Bob Watson made it official on the Toronto Rock website.
Today Watson made it official.  The 2011 season will be his last in the National Lacrosse League as the Toronto Rock legendary goaltender and future Hall of Famer will hang up the pads at the end of the current campaign.
"We were very happy that Bob decided to come back for this season,"  Rock owner and president Jamie Dawick said.  "Everyone in the organization wants to send him out on top and we know Bob has one goal this season, and that's winning a championship."
Despite not showing any signs of slowing down and being on a path to perhaps his best statistical season of his career, "Whipper" had decided long ago that this would be his last dance in pro lacrosse regardless of how the season was going.  Family and work commitments at his new job with the Waterloo Regional Police being two key factors in the decision making process.
"We decided as a family before the season began that this would be my last season,"  Watson said.  "We had a discussion and the timing was right.  With two very active kids, a new job and my desire to leave the game playing at a high level it's the right time."
The Toronto Rock has known only one starting goaltender throughout the 13-year history of the franchise.  Before playing for the Rock, Watson began his career with the Baltimore Thunder in 1996 and then moved on to the Ontario Raiders in 1998.  One-year later, the Raiders morphed into the franchise we know today as the Toronto Rock and the rest, as they say, is history.
The days at Maple Leaf Gardens were very special to the veteran goaltender and he remembers one experience fondly.  It came after what ended up being the final event ever at the historic building.
"It was the day after winning the 2000 Championship Game and we got the opportunity to skate on the ice,"  Watson said.  "My son was born a few days prior to the championship game, so my post-game celebrating had it's limits and I was the first one to arrive at the Gardens.  I was there all by myself, laying at centre ice just enjoying my final moments in that building."
To read the rest of the  release please click here

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