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Pair Of Veteran Defensemen Retire

12/05/2010, 3:03pm EST
By National Lacrosse League

Regy Thorpe & Bruce Alexander Look Back on Playing Careers

Veteran defensemen Bruce Alexander and Regy Thorpe have each recently announced their retirement from their NLL playing careers. The pair combined to play 26 seasons and 331 regular season games. Alexander played primarily for western teams, while Thorpe played his entire career with the Rochester Knighthawks.

Regy Thorpe (left) and Bruce Alexander have each recently announced retirement from their lengthy and succesful NLL playing careers.

Veteran defensemen Bruce Alexander and Regy Thorpe have each recently announced their retirement from their National Lacrosse League playing careers. The pair combined to play 26 seasons and 331 regular season

Alexander, an 11-year veteran, has decided to call it a career after playing for seven teams in his NLL career, including the past season with the Edmonton Rush.

"Lacrosse has given me the opportunity to make many lifelong friends, ultimately I have played as long as I have because of the guys, the coaches, and the first class organizations I was able to play for," said Alexander. "I will keep lots of great memories close to my heart and look forward to seeing the game continue to grow and the quality of play improve."

The 6'0", 250-pound right-hander hardly missed any games due to injury over his 11 year career. A British Columbia native who has been playing lacrosse since the age of five, Alexander recorded 245 points, including 73 goals, in 138 career regular-season games. He also had eight points in four postseason appearances.

Alexander will now focus on a business he owns with his wife and on raising his three kids at home. He coaches his two older girls in lacrosse, and plans to involve his son in the game as soon as he is old enough to play.

Thorpe, known as one of the greatest athletes in Rochester sports history, ended his career after 15 seasons. "I understand that the team is getting bigger, faster and stronger," said Thorpe. "I think it's the best for the organization and my family that I officially retire. Who knows what the future will hold."

During his career, Thorpe served as one of the team's most reliable defensemen and also worked behind the scenes as the team's general manager for a season. It's on the field, however, where Thorpe, 39, made a name for himself over his 15 year career. The Elbridge, NY, native spent his entire career in Rochester, where he stands as the team's all-time leader in games played (193), loose balls (966) and penalty minutes (385).

Thorpe played in every postseason game in franchise history (24), helping Rochester to six title games and 14 playoff berths in 15 seasons. More importantly, Thorpe was the only player in team history to play for both championship teams: 1997 and 2007.

In 2009, he earned the distinction of becoming the first GM in NLL history to also play for the same team in the same season. Under his guidance on and off the floor, the team finished 7-9 and advanced to the East Division Semifinals. Thorpe was instrumental in making player moves and anchoring the defense.

"I loved playing in the same city my whole career. Curt (Styres) gave me the opportunity to be a general manager, which was a dream job," said Thorpe. "My other dream was coaching at the Division I level and I am in a really good situation with Gary Gait at Syracuse. The Knighthawks have led my family down the road to opportunities as a player, general manager and a coach."

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