As the summer wears on, teams in the National Lacrosse League are making the moves they think will take them to the next level for the 2013 season.
For the Calgary Roughnecks, a seemingly minor move just before the free agency period opened on August 1 could spell the end of the line for Kaleb Toth, the Roughnecks’ all-time leader in scoring, games played, and loose balls.
Calgary acquired 25-year-old Aaron Pascas from the Toronto Rock in exchange for a third round pick in this year’s entry draft.
Pascas played his rookie season with the Rock in 2011, scoring 15 goals and adding eight assists while helping Toronto win the Champion’s Cup. Last year, however, the Port Coquitlam, BC native chose to sit out the season, as is often the case for players who can’t financially justify playing for a team on the other side of the continent from their home.
Calgary should be a much better fit for Pascas, as it is much closer to his home. But his place on the floor would be far from assured, given the depth of offensive talent on the Roughnecks. Last season, Calgary scored the second most goals in the NLL, with six players collecting 50 points or more.
The depth up front is so good, in fact, that Kaleb Toth was only able to get into seven regular season games. He played in Calgary’s lone playoff game because sniper Curtis Dickson was injured, but played so few minutes that some might not have even noticed him on the floor.
For a player who has amassed a team-record 357 goals and 354 assists, sitting in the press box for most games could not have been easy.
According to Toth, the Roughnecks have yet to even contact him this off-season, which does not bode well for his future with the club:
“I’ve got a feeling that if (the Roughnecks) wanted me back, I would have heard something already, but there’s no hard feelings there. Obviously, they’re moving in a different direction,” Toth said.
With Toth likely out of the picture, the door is open for Pascas to step into that role as a part-time option behind top scorers Shawn Evans, Dane Dobbie, Jeff Shattler, Curtis Dickson, Scott Ranger, and Daryl Veltman. As a young player with upside, he may blossom in that role into a steady contributor.
Time will tell.