Greg Sakaki/Nanaimo News Bulletin
The Nanaimo Timbermen traded away former MVP Lewis Ratcliff on the eve of Tuesday’s (April 24) training camp.
Ratcliff has been traded to the Langley Thunder in exchange for a first- and second-round draft choice in 2014.
The deal puts one of the most prolific scorers in Western Lacrosse Association history onto a Mann Cup contender. The Thunder lost the 2011 Mann Cup final to the Brampton Excelsiors.
Ratcliff was permanently suspended late in the 2011 campaign by Timbermen president Hadi Abassi for missing too many games and has been on the trading block ever since.
“It’s been a long process,” said Earl Nicholson, Timbermen general manager. “We were holding out for a first rounder and that’s what we were able to get so we’re happy with the deal.”
He said the T-men thought they had a trade worked out a few months ago, but that deal fell through because it involved a player from Eastern Canada who decided not to come to play in the Western Lacrosse Association in 2012.
Nicholson said Langley is a good location for Ratcliff.
“He’s now living in Washington state so it’s got to be a team that he can get back and forth over the border. Langley was a good connection for him.”
At the time of Ratcliff’s suspension last July he suggested to Black Press that he might not play again in the WLA, but he has indicated he will report to the Thunder.
Ratcliff is currently second in scoring on the Washington Stealth with 29 goals and 65 points, behind team leader Rhys Duch (29 goals, 71 points).
The Stealth are in the midst of a dismal season with four wins in 15 games.
Shamrocks open camp
The Victoria Shamrocks opened its 2012 training camp at Bear Mountain Arena today.
The Shamrocks first WLA game is May 18 at Burnaby. The first home game is Friday, May 25 against the Maple Ridge Burrards.