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The Vancouver Ravens will have a legitimate National Lacrosse League scoring star in their line-up when they open their inaugural season later this month.
The Ravens, one of four new expansion franchises in the 13-team NLL, acquired left-handed sniper Chris Gill of Maple Ridge, B.C. from the two-time former champion Toronto Rock in a trade which also included a second-round draft pick in 2002. The Rock receives Ian Rubel of St. Catharines, Ont. and Vancouver's 2002 first-round draft pick.
"We believe Chris Gill is a natural fit for the Vancouver Ravens and we're very pleased to get him," said Paul Dal Monte of Burnaby, B.C., Director of Lacrosse Operations and Head Coach for the Ravens. "He's been on our hit list for a while now because we were looking for left-handed scoring."
In addition to his proven scoring abilities, Dal Monte said the Ravens place a premium on Gill's championship experience. He was the top scorer on Toronto's second championship team (1999-2000) when he tallied 30 goals and 20 assists. Last season, Gill scored 19 goals and 15 assists in 14 games.
Gill, a 25-year-old product of the Maple Ridge Burrards of the Western Lacrosse Association, was a first-round pick in the 1998 Western Canadian draft.
"I'm very excited to have the chance to help build the Vancouver Ravens into a championship team in the National Lacrosse League," said Gill. "I'm proud of the two rings that I was part of with the Rock, but I'm committed to making this new franchise competitive immediately and a contender soon."
Gill will make his debut at the Ravens' pre-season training camp practice Saturday, Nov. 10th, at Sportstown BC, the Ravens Official Training Nest. He will dress Sunday in the Bionda Cup, a pre-season game against the Washington Power at Victoria's Memorial Arena. Game time for the Bionda Cup is 5 p.m.
"I've been ready to go for weeks now, so I can't wait to get into it with the guys and play Sunday," said Gill, eyeing the Ravens' early-season schedule in their inaugural year in the NLL. The Ravens visit the Air Canada Centre to play the Toronto Rock, Saturday, Nov. 17th, at 3:30 p.m. Eastern in the NLL season opener, live on Sportsnet. Two weeks later, the Rock returns the favour, traveling to Vancouver to meet Chris Gill and the Ravens in a 1:30 p.m. Pacific start at General Motors Place