The Toronto Rock have taken a huge defensive hit in the past two weeks, losing Chris White, Patrick Merrill and Bill Greer. Replacing them on the roster are three players coming off of the practice squad, none of which have played a game in the National Lacrosse League.
“To be on the Rock’s roster is a dream come true,” said Dustin Dunn, recently promoted from the practice squad. “I’ve been working hard on and off the floor all year for this opportunity and looking forward to get my chance to play among the best in the game and prove I belong.”
Dunn has never played an NLL game, but last season played in the Canadian Lacrosse League and has tried out at several NLL training camps. The defenseman was a healthy scratch last week against Calgary.
“Right now I can only hope to get into the line-up, I never expect to play being a first year guy, but I will continue to go out, work hard on and off the floor and give myself an opportunity to get into the lineup and if I get the call for Friday night I will be fully prepared and ready.”
“Never like seeing team mates get hurt,” said Mike Lum-Walker. “All of the guys on the IR are vet players who we look up to. I am very excited for the opportunity to play. It has been a very long road for me with ups and downs but staying positive and making the most out of the opportunities I receive is what I plan on doing.”
Lum-Walker was a draft pick of Toronto last year but tore his ACL and missed the entire season. This year he was placed on the practice squad, but now he has a chance to play as a starter potentially for the Rock this week.
“I expect my role to be simple. Play tough and honest defense. My game has always been the gritty defense. Work hard and play my game. It has been a long time coming. I expect there to be a bit of nerves going in. I just want to go out there and play my game. Not looking to change anything I do.”
“I do not believe you can replace a player like Chris White,” said Dunn. “He is a league veteran who has been an all star numerous times and a captain in the NLL. Filling the hole is not easy but we are a tight group and I feel if we make smart decisions, use our athleticism and play as a unit we will be ok.”
Toronto plays the 0-1 Buffalo Bandits on Friday night. It will be interesting to see how the defense fares against them.