Several lacrosse players from the Tri-Cities are going back to work after the Professional Lacrosse Players’ Association reached a new labour agreement with the National Lacrosse League last Saturday.
The labour uncertainty had cost the 12-team league its first two weeks of games, scheduled for this weekend and next. In a statement on its website, the league said it is still working out details for the 2018-19 season and how those games might be made up.
That’s good news for the Vancouver Warriors, which was acquired last summer by Canucks Sports and Entertainment. The parent company of the National Hockey League’s Vancouver Canucks moved the team from Langley to Rogers Arena and excised their old Stealth nickname, then appointed Port Coquitlam resident Dan Richardson as its new general manager and Coquitlam native Chris Gill as head coach.
The Warriors are scheduled to play their first game Dec. 15, against the Calgary Roughnecks in Calgary. The same two teams will then play at Vancouver’s home debut on Dec. 21.
During the impasse, players that include local stars like Port Coquitlam’s Curtis Dickson and Port Moody’s Taylor Stuart, stayed away from training camps.
“We have to make sacrifices for the future of this league and its players,” Dickson said in a post to his Twitter account.
Coquitlam’s Christian Del Bianco, who tends net for the Roughnecks, didn’t stay idle during the dispute as he worked out with the club field lacrosse team at the University of British Columbia.
“Momma always wanted me to be a scholar,” he quipped on Twitter.
The labour agreement is for five years.
“This agreement has created a clear path for incremental growth for both the NLL and the players,” league commissioner Nick Sakiewicz said in a statement.