By Aaron Lommers Herald Writer
The Washington Stealth continued to solidify their roster for the 2013 season on Friday by re-signing goalkeeper Tyler Richards to a one-year deal pending league approval.
Richards is entering his fifth National Lacrosse League season, all with the Stealth. In 2012, he posted a 12.70 goals against average and a .771 save percentage. For his career he has an 11.72 goals against average with a .778 save percentage.
“It’s rare that you see a goaltender establish himself among the league’s elite at such a young age,” Stealth general manager Doug Locker said. “But Tyler has done just that and has become the anchor of our defense. He’s mature beyond his years and has the complete trust of his teammates, coaches and the entire Stealth organization. We couldn’t be happier to have him on board for another season.”
While Richards is locked up for another season, the Stealth also said goodbye to a fan-favorite this week when defenseman Jason Bloom announced his retirement from the NLL. Bloom has worn the captain’s “C” on his jersey since being acquire prior to the 2010 season, the same year the Stealth relocated from San Jose to Everett. Bloom played just six seasons in the NLL, but family and work responsibilities forced him to make the decision to retire. Bloom will remain with the Stealth as an assistant coach in 2013.
“The National Lacrosse League is the pinnacle of the lacrosse world and I am so proud and thankful that I have been able to be a part of it,” Bloom said. “I’ve met so many lifelong friends through lacrosse. The game has given so much to me and I am forever in its debt.”
The Stealth also announced this week that the new captain for the 2013 season will be defenseman Kyle Sorensen. Forward Rhys Duch and defenseman Mike Grimes were named assistant captains.
Sorensen served as an assistant captain in 2012 and has played his entire career with the Stealth.
“It’s pretty special to have the opportunity to wear the “C” for the Stealth,” Sorensen said. “It’s an incredible honor, but I don’t think it will change the way I play or the way I go about my business. I am very excited to be engrained into the local lacrosse community and in all the non-profit work the Stealth does.”
The leadership Sorensen has exhibited in his six seasons in the NLL made head coach Chris Hall’s decision on naming a new captain an easy one.
“Kyle is a born leader and his ascendance to the captaincy is, for me, the expected progression in his professional lacrosse career,” Hall said. “Kyle is the guy. He’s a highly respected role model, an inspiration in the locker room, a vocal presence on the floor and a crafty strategist. We’ll be well served by his command.”
In other Stealth news this week, the team re-signed its entire coaching staff and brought on Dan Perreault, who will serve as the team’s offensive assistant coach.
Perreault joins the coaching staff after spending the past two seasons as a scout for the team. He has over 30 years of lacrosse experience to bring to the Stealth.
“We’re lucky to have a guy with Dan’s experience and knowledge of our coaching staff,” Hall said. “He has a tremendous lacrosse mind, is a great teacher and will command the respect of our players. Adding another Hall of Fame resume to our bench really strengthens our staff and team as a whole.”