The Colorado Mammoth have traded defenseman Rory Smith and a fourth round draft pick in 2015 to the Buffalo Bandits in exchange for power forward Carter Bender and a second round pick in 2014.
The 6 foot 200 pound Smith is a six year veteran of the National Lacrosse League and is known throughout the league as one of the toughest defenders around. He has a reputation as an agitator which stems from his ability of being able to get under his opponent’s skin. Smith had zero points for the Mammoth last season while racking up 51 minutes in penalties but his solid defensive play earned him a spot on the 2012 West All-Stars.
This will be Smith’s fourth NLL team; he started his career with the New York Titans (who later moved to Orlando) and then he had a brief stint with Minnesota Swarm before heading to Colorado. He is currently playing summer lacrosse for the Six Nations Chiefs of the Major Series Lacrosse league (MSL) where he accumulated 4 points (1g 3a) and 97 penalty minutes in 19 regular season games.
It’s obviously too early to tell but the addition of Rory Smith could be the missing piece of the Bandits puzzle. The loss of captain Chris White last year created a large hole in the back end and this was a gap that they had to try and fill this off season. In Buffalo, Smith will join a cast of tough characters including Derek Suddons and Chiefs teammate Billy Dee Smith.
In return for Smith, Colorado will receive Carter Bender and a second round pick in next year’s entry draft. Bender was selected by the Bandits in the second round of the 2012 draft, 18th overall. He spent four years at the University of Hartford where he played attack for the Hawks while averaging over two points per game. At 6’4 and 220lbs, he is an intimidating presence and is expected to take to the NLL by storm. He moves very well for a big man and his gritty style of play will compliment John Grant Jr. on the left side.
Bender will bring some youth to a veteran Mammoth lineup and should fit in very well with their offense. Colorado was disappointed with their first round exit in last year’s playoffs and it was evident that a change would be coming. This move is a good one and should give the Mammoth the boost they need for a solid playoff push next season.