Rock City Rock Lacrosse

Hutchcraft, Slade Re-Signs with Rock

The Toronto Rock announced team re-sign the contracts of Goaltender Riley Hutchcraft and Defenseman Brandon Slade to one-year contracts.

The third round selection from the 2017 NLL Draft pick, Hutchcraft appeared in limited action in the 2019-2020 season, appearing in only one game.

Slade appeared in five contests during the 2019-20 season, registering one goal and three assists. The Orangeville, ON native was acquired by Toronto via free agency in 2017.

Rock City Rock Lacrosse

Rock Retains Eleven Ahead of NLL Expansion Draft

On the day of the current NLL clubs sending a list of protected players ahead of the Panther City Expansion Draft, Toronto Rock has retained 12 players.

The players obtained in the protective list by the club were as follows…

Goaltender Nick Rose

Defence Challen Rogers, Mitch De Snoo, Latrell Harris, Brad Kri, Adam Jay, Josh Jubenville, and Jason Noble

Forwards Rob Hellyer, Tom Schreiber, Zach Manns and Dan Craig

In total, Toronto keeps four Fowards, seven Defence, and one goaltender.

The draft will take place June 29th. Panther City will be playing its inaugural season in the fall at Fort Worth, Texas.

After the draft, the next major date on the league schedule is August 1 as the league’s Free Agency opens.

Hamilton Bulldogs Rock City

City Council Approves HUPEG Plan

There will be new blend of sports and entertainment injecting to the beleaguered downtown precinct very soon.

In the day of the Ambitious City turning 175, the city council unanimously approved the Masters Agreement with the Hamilton Urban Precinct Entertainment Group (HUPEG).

According to the press release from the city, the HUPEG ownership of First Ontario Centre, First Ontario Concert Hall, Hamilton Convention Centre and Art Gallery of Hamilton will be official effective April 1, 2022.

The plan is for HUPEG to first start renovating the 35-year-old facility (FirstOntario Centre) in Fall 2022. After the completion of FOC, the other three facilities will undergo construction.

“The Precinct Group’s proposed minimum $50 million renovation of the FirstOntario Centre includes a new exterior façade and video board, comprehensive transformation of the lower bowl, expanded concourse level, and a new flexible curtaining system for the upper bowl balcony,” stated on the release.

In addition to the renovations, HUPEG acquires two major parking lots at York Blvd and Vine Street, and the Community Living Hamilton building on 191 York.

According to city council, it is stated with the agreement, the city will save $155 Million dollars in a 30 year span.

Rock City

Toronto Rock to Hamilton

An iconic, big-name Canadian lacrosse franchise heads back to where it all began.

Last week, the Toronto Rock announced the team is moving to Hamilton. The six-time National Lacrosse League champions will be playing in the First Ontario Centre, effective 2021-22 season.

The news broke Tuesday night via Twitter during the team’s town hall session, and officially announced to the public by team owner Jamie Dawick the following day.

If you are a fair-weathered, casual sports fan, this announcement may not strike as significant as to those who long supported the franchise. The reaction to the move was mixed, but when Dawick mentioned the team will remain Toronto Rock, the social media buzz was mostly negative.

Let’s put it out this way, if you are a Hamiltonian who is familiar with sports, Toronto is the Zod to Hamilton’s Superman. After all, Toronto is the metropolis of Canada, while Hamilton is the underdog city with the national perception equivalent of Rodney Dangerfield. As much as Dawick is invested in promoting the brand in the region, the team name citing as Toronto Rock isn’t a long term stability initiative.

A name change from Toronto Rock to The Rock or Rock City would be ideal if Dawick and the team public relations department wants this brand to survive with efficient support from the Hamilton area. This is not the kind of city or part of the region Dawick wants to alienate.

Just like I gave OHL Hamilton Bulldogs owner Michael Andlauer a chance to integrate the fanbase into the OHL over pro hockey (which turned out well), I’ll give Dawick at least two years to materialize the product. After all, this is the franchise with a loaded roster ready to compete for the 7th league championship next season.

Rock-Hamilton Announcement