Sunday, April 24, 2011

Shamrocks find a new way to build a winner

Here's a good read from Sharie Epp of the Times Colonist about the Victoria Shamrocks new philosophy on building a winner.

The days of ring chasers and hired guns are over in Senior A men's lacrosse, according to Victoria Shamrocks general manager Chris Welch. As the Shamrocks prepare to open their training camp on Monday, Welch said the fact the Mann Cup is in the West this season, won't change the team's development strategy.
"We're about making household names, not buying household names," Welch said.
The national championship series alternates between East and West each season. Previously, that meant teams would bulk up with the sports elite, such as legendary snipers John Tavares, Jim Veltman or John Grant Jr., while anchoring a home-floor run to the Cup.
Now, however, the rules regarding cross-country player movement have tightened up, and teams aren't as willing to bankroll a top player who won't become a long-term addition.
"Teams have been built that way and had success, but it's almost impossible to do that now. You don't have the ring-chasers like in the past," Welch said. "We have to round out our team with imports, but today's import tends to be a young guy trying to make his way up."
A good example of a talented young import from Edmonton rather than Ontario is the Shamrocks' latest acquisition, Jamie Shewchuk. A Minto Cup winner with the Burnaby Lakers in junior, Shewchuk is in his fifth pro season in the National Lacrosse League, and is now playing with the Minnesota Swarm. In 80 career games in the NLL, he has 126 goals and 167 assists.
To read the rest of the story click here

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