October 1, 2009

NLL: Hawks Owner Styres Will Be Team's GM

from press release

Owner Curt Styres announced today that he will serve as the general manager of the Rochester Knighthawks for the 2010 National Lacrosse League season. The Knighthawks also announced the return of Paul Gait as the head coach, and named Landon Miller the assistant general manager, Tim Soudan the Director of Player Personnel, and Mike Hasen, Cam Bomberry and Jason Johnson as assistant coaches.
 
“It is a tremendous opportunity to take a huge step in preparing for the upcoming season,” said Styres. “Last year we barely got into the playoffs. We want to do a lot better with a healthy Scott Evans and John Grant back in the lineup. We have open tryouts and look forward to taking a good look at players out there. We want to build the team to be faster and stronger.”
 
Styres purchased majority ownership of the Knighthawks and American Hockey League Rochester Americans on June 19, 2008. Styres has been involved with lacrosse his entire life and helped the Arrow Express Junior “A” team become one of the elite teams in Canada. He resurrected a junior team that lost 20-0 in the Ontario Lacrosse Association Playoffs in 2003 to a program that captured the next four straight Ontario championships and the 2007 Minto Cup title. In 2008, the Arrows nearly advanced to their fifth straight Minto Cup, but lost a hard-fought six-game series to the eventual champion Orangeville Northmen. In the summer of 2009, Styres joined an ownership group to bring outdoor professional lacrosse to downtown Toronto. The Nationals won the MLL title in their first season of operation.
 
He also constructed the $7 million state-of-of-the-art Iroquois Lacrosse Arena in 2004, which serves as the home for the Arrows. New Rochester Assistant Coach Cam Bomberry noted the importance of the arena to the success of lacrosse.
 
“The ILA has definitely impacted the game in leaps and bounds. It gives us the opportunity to play year round,” said Bomberry, who coached Team Iroquois to a midget championship this summer. “It is one of the biggest advocates for lacrosse and picks up the skill level for players of all ages. I think that was Curt and Delby’s (Powless Sr.) vision. They saw a need and made it a reality for the community.”
 
One of his first orders of business for Styres was to re-sign Head Coach Paul Gait. Last season, Gait led the Knighthawks to a 7-9 record and a berth in the Champion’s Cup Playoffs. He will begin his second season with Rochester on Saturday, January 9th as the Knighthawks host the Buffalo Bandits at The Blue Cross Arena at the Rochester War Memorial.
 
“I am very excited. I was excited last year when we were going through our struggles knowing the players we would have back this season,” said Gait. “I have gotten to know the team and guys. I know they can execute and do what it takes to win but we have to be more consistent. The infusion of talent will help us to be more consistent.”

“I am looking forward to working with Paul. He adds a lot of experience and knowledge to everybody that is in the dressing room and on the bench,” said Styres. “There is a way of saying a lot without saying anything when someone comes into a room.”

The Knighthawks also announced the hiring of Landon Miller as the assistant general manager and Tim Soudan as the director of player personnel. Miller joins the K-Hawks staff after spending the past two seasons with the Six Nations Arrows. Miller served as the Vice President of the Arrows in 2008 and enters his second season in 2010 as the President of the organization. Soudan enters his second season in the Knighthawks’ front office after serving as the team’s assistant GM last season.
 
Former Knighthawks defenseman Mike Hasen will also return for his second season. In 2008 and 2009, Hasen was the defensive coach for the OLA Senior “A” Brampton Excelsiors, as the team captured back-to-back Mann Cups.
 
Joining Gait and Hasen behind the bench for the first time will be Bomberry and Johnson. Bomberry returns to Rochester, where he played college and professional lacrosse. He played at Nazareth College and helped the Golden Flyers win the 1992 National Championship. In 1995, Bomberry was the first pick overall by the then expansion Knighthawks and was a member of 1997 championship team. Recently, he was named the head coach of the Iroquois National team for the 2010 FIL World Lacrosse Championships. Johnson is also a product of Six Nations lacrosse, having spent time as a player and as a coach. He was the offensive coach for the Six Nations Arrows from 2004 to 2006 and helped the team win three consecutive Ontario Championships and advance to three Minto Cup Finals. This summer, he was a coach for the Major League Lacrosse champion Toronto Nationals.


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