Veteran scorer hangs it up after productive 10-year career in the league
Calgary Roughnecks forward Scott Ranger has announced his retirement from the National Lacrosse League. Ranger, a member of the Roughnecks for eight seasons (2007-14), played over 145 NLL regular season and playoff games combined and posted over 50-plus points in six-straight seasons from 2008-2013.
“It was a difficult decision to step away from a game that I love but I have a young family and would like to commit to spending more time at home,” said Ranger. “I am going to miss the fans, my teammates and all those involved in the Roughnecks organization. The sport of lacrosse has given me a lot and I am grateful for my time spent with the Roughnecks and in the community of Calgary. I wish the team continued success this season and in the future.”
“Scott played the game the right way and at the highest level and always led by example, with and without the ball,” commented Roughnecks head coach Curt Malawsky. “He was one of the purest overhand shooters the game has ever seen. He was in top notch shape throughout his career, embodied what the game of lacrosse is all about and never took a night off. It was an honour and a pleasure to both play with him and coach him. Scott will be missed by the Roughnecks both on and off the floor.”
“Scott spent eight of his 10 seasons in the NLL wearing a Roughneck uniform and his contributions offensively on the floor and in the dressing room as a leader are not easily replaced,” said Roughnecks general manager Mike Board. “The NLL is a unique league and sometimes it’s very tough to play because of work and family commitments. Such is the case with Scott who now has a teaching career and a terrific young family keeping him very busy on Vancouver Island. On behalf of the organization and all Roughnecks fans, we would like to thank Scott for becoming part of the Roughnecks family and wish him all the best in his future endeavours.”
A native of Nanaimo, British Columbia, Ranger began his NLL career in 2004 with the Stealth franchise. After two seasons and nine games played with the Stealth, the 31-year-old forward signed with the Roughnecks as a free agent and went on to play 118 regular season games with Calgary, recording 407 points (sixth among all franchise players), including 173 goals, and 351 loose balls. In 2009, Ranger helped the Roughnecks win their second Champion’s Cup, scoring four goals and adding nine assists in three playoff games. Over his 10-year NLL career, the veteran forward recorded 418 points (176 goals, 242 assists) in 127 regular season games and 28 goals along with 26 assists for 54 points in 19 post-season contests.
Story courtesy of Roughnecks.com:
Scott Ranger had to decide between continuing his lacrosse career in the NLL or stepping back to focus on his family.
The choice was obvious.
The 31-year-old veteran, who spent eight seasons suiting up for the Calgary Roughnecks, retired from the game he loves after ten productive years in professional lacrosse.
“I’ve got two young kids now and my oldest is going to be four pretty soon,” Ranger said. “She’s starting to figure out daddy leaves all weekend and it’s just too hard to leave them every weekend.
“It’s fun to see the boys but I’m a family guy too and my kids are number one.”
To say Ranger’s career in Calgary was productive is an understatement. In fact, he was the model of consistency and was a staple on the right side of the floor in his eight-year tenure with the Roughnecks.
The Nanaimo, BC product amassed 176 goals, and 417 points in 127 games during in his NLL career. All but nine games were with the Roughnecks. He is 6th in all-time franchise points behind only Kaleb Toth, Tracey Kelusky, Lewis Ratcliff, Jeff Shattler and Dane Dobbie.
That is elite company, to be sure.
He scored at least 19 goals in each of his eight seasons in Calgary with the exception of last season when he played in just nine games due to work commitments.
In addition to his offensive prowess, Ranger quickly became a leader in the locker room and was a big part of the Roughnecks’ success over the years.
“Scott spent eight of his 10 seasons in the NLL wearing a Roughneck uniform,” Calgary general manager Mike Board said. “His contributions offensively on the floor and in the dressing room as a leader are not easily replaced.”
Board is well aware of the challenges players face being employed in the NLL.
“The NLL is a unique league and sometimes it’s very tough to play because of work and family commitments,” the Riggers GM said. “Such is the case with Scott who now has a teaching career and a terrific young family keeping him very busy on Vancouver Island.
There is no doubt that given different circumstances Ranger could have — and would have — made this work.
“It’s hard when you have a family that’s established in a city outside of where you’re playing, you have to travel every weekend,” Ranger said. “It doesn’t get any easier as you get older. We came to a decision that it’s time.”
Ranger, who is a teacher in the greater Vancouver area, struggled with the travel and trying juggle his schedule and family was difficult. The travel was also compounded by several injuries and being a diabetic, which got more difficult as time went on.
“I’ve had a couple of pretty significant injuries in the last couple of years with a broken jaw, a knee injury and a shoulder injury and being diabetic,” he said. “The travel is what kills you the most. Leaving the family and the travel with being a diabetic is definitely the hardest thing.”
Despite all of the on-floor success Ranger experienced, the lacrosse accolades aren’t what he will miss the most.
“The dressing room is what I am really going to miss,” Ranger admitted. “All the boys and getting to hang out each weekend … the close friendships you make over the years.
“You spend a lot of time with those guys when you’re a guy that flies home [every weekend].”
The locker room won’t be the only thing he will miss, though.
“I’m going to miss the fans. When they call your name out and the fans get up and make some noise for you — it’s an unreal feeling,” Ranger said. “It’s going to be hard to watch my buddies play but I know they’re in good hands and I’m happy for everybody that is going to continue to play.”
Of Ranger’s fondest memories, winning the Champion’s Cup in 2009 is right at the top of the list but he also points to Calgary as the place where he really got his career going.
“Definitely [winning] the cup [in 2009] and just having the opportunity to play,” Ranger recalled. “I didn’t get to play all that much and [Chris Hall] gave me the opportunity to play — that was the big thing for me.
“I hoped I contributed enough to stay there each year, and I did enough to have that. Between the Cup and just having the opportunity to play in Calgary. Those were the two big ones.”
Current Roughnecks coach Curt Malawasky had a big influence on both the start of his career — as a teammate — and later on as his coach.
“Curt Malawsky was always a mentor and a good friend of mine and I looked up to him with great respect as a lacrosse player and as a human being,” Ranger said. “He taught me a lot in the short time I was there with him and that’s something I’ll never be able to repay.
“I was very fortunate to play with Curt and play for him. He’s probably one of the smartest lacrosse guys I’ve ever met and definitely he’s had the most influence on me in terms of lacrosse.”
For now, Ranger is stepping away as a player but he would like to be involved in the game of lacrosse in one capacity or another in the future.
“This sport has given me a lot and I’d like to give back,” he said. “Hopefully I can be part of the Roughnecks in whatever aspect I can be.
“After I’m done playing lacrosse altogether hopefully I can give back. I’ve got a young daughter and a young son that hopefully one day will play lacrosse and I’ll give back to them too.”