Rush Looking To Improve Record Again This Season.


Jim MilliganThe Edmonton Rush are entering their 3rd season in the National Lacrosse League. For two straight years they have improved their team and their win / loss record from the season before. Although not yet considered a powerhouse team, they are making strides each year, and in the coming 2008 season they may make that leap.

With several off season moves, and signings, the Rush are picking up key players in key positions to help solidify their lineup.

I had the chance to speak with Assistant Head Coach of the Rush, Jim Milligan about the team and the coming 2008 season.

GM: Edmonton made a few off season moves acquiring the likes of Mike Accursi, Ben Prepchuk, Kyle Goundrey, and Matt Disher. Tell us how you see these players helping out the team in ’08.

JM: I see the likes of Accursi, Prepchuk and Goundrey bringing a strong balance to the offense. In the last couple of years the Rush offense lacked depth and balance (long shot, cutters and grinders) and these players have shown these qualities with their respective other teams before coming to Edmonton. Therefore the hope is they will bring these qualities to Edmonton to make it a more balanced and stronger offense consistently.

Disher is a proven starter and offers the Rush another element in net. It is also good to have 2 proven goalies that have already played and established themselves in the league. This gives us depth and options in this position as Disher and Palidwor both have distinctive different goaltending styles.

GM: In this year’s draft you also traded up and took Steve Hutchins. What was it that you saw in Steve to make that move?

JM: Steve is a big, strong and talented right shoot that had a strong summer. What I liked about Steve this summer was his competitiveness and aggressiveness. I believe anytime you can get a big, strong aggressive offensive player with a nice touch around the net, this will help your team.

GM: So how has the squad looked so far in the camps you’ve had to date?

JM: The Edmonton Rush squad this season has looked very strong. With the off-season trades and the pick up from the Arizona team there has been 11 changes to our line up. This has really improved the skill level of the team and most important the all round game sense of the team. Of the changes made 9 have already played in the league before and this experience will really improve the Rush in the 2008 season

GM: Have any of the rookies caught your eye?

JM: All the rookies have caught my eye because their skill level has really elevated due the skill level at camp. Hutchins and Wilhelm have really competed for a spot on the offensive end and Poly and Hartzell have worked hard on the defensive end. (Wilhelm, Polny and Hartzell are all Edmonton players that have really shown well at camp).

Kurtis Wagar has really impressed me even though he is not a rookie and saw limited action last year; he finished on the practice roster. Kurtis played for the Brooklin Redmen last summer and he has really improved his game to another level. Kurtis has looked really strong in camp and has really impressed the coaching staff with his improvement and maturity as a goaltender.

GM: The Rush are now entering their third season in the NLL, and have improved in each of the first two seasons. What can fans expect to see from the team this season?

JM: I am hoping fans can see a very much improved, competitive and hopefully a potential champion in the Rush this season. I believe the goal is to get better every year and make progress towards every teams ultimate goal which is to win the Champions Cup. I believe if our team stays healthy and focused that we will do some damage in the league and hopefully close the gap in achieving this goal.

GM: Who can we look for to potentially have a breakout season in Edmonton in 2008?

JM: I think you will see the likes of Stobart, Grimes, McElroy, Quinlain and Daly have strong season. These guys have had a strong camp and will definitely take a stronger and more important role with the team this year. These players will have to step it up and be solid every night to allow our team to be competitive night in and night out.

GM: Jim, thanks for your time and good luck this season.

JM: Thank You.

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1 Comment

  1. Milly,

    Who’s kiddin who… SHAMROX RULE!


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