In the world of professional lacrosse, there are few guarantees. Teams fold, rosters change, and injuries plague players unexpectedly. However, for Toronto Rock’s goaltender, Nick Rose, there is one constant that keeps him in the game: his love for the sport. While life as a lacrosse professional may not be easy or lucrative (there are no NFL salaries here), Nick shares what it is about lacrosse that has him hooked.
He’s good at it (what’s not to love about that?)
On the field since age six, it’s safe to say that Nick has mastered the sport after almost 20 years of experience. He didn’t, however, gravitate toward a position in goal since day one. Like Tye, he was in tears at the thought of having to play goalie. Soon enough, though, he discovered his talent and hasn’t left the net since.
He gets to be a “Rock” year-round
When his National Lacrosse League season with the Toronto Rock ends, Nick will play for the Oakville Rock in the MSL. They’ll play 20 regular season games throughout the summer and begin playoffs in August, when teams compete for the coveted Mann Cup.
“Summer lacrosse is more old-school lacrosse,” says Nick. “It’s more physical and it’s really competitive because the Mann Cup is the best trophy to win in all of lacrosse.”
He gets to explore new places
Drafted by the Boston Blazers at age 20, Nick played for the team for 3 seasons before it folded. He then played for Calgary for half a season before he was traded to Toronto, where he is now in his third season.
“When I saw Boston come in the NLL, I wanted to get there because I had heard such great things about the city. Living in Calgary, though brief, was a great experience too.” says Nick.
He lives near his family (yes, this can be a good thing)
“Toronto is also home for me, because my hometown of Orangeville is only an hour north of the city. I love playing here because I’m near my family and my teammates are guys I know and am good friends with. Also, the travel’s easy.”
Game days include naps
“On game days, we have morning shooter rounds and then eat lunch together as a team. Then we gear up for the game with a nap.”
He has fans!
“Among the NLL teams, I’d say we’re in the top 4 or 5 as far as fan bases go. A lot of people come to the games, and hopefully we can gain even more traction and start to sell more tickets as lacrosse becomes more popular. About 10 years ago, games used to sell out. There were 12-14,000 people at most games. It’d be great if we could get back to that.”
He’s surrounded by like-minded lacrosse lovers
“Even though a lot of us are always nursing some injury and we don’t make a ton of money playing, we all play for the love of the game. It’s amazing what so many of us are willing to play through. We’ve all known each other forever and feel fortunate to be able to be playing a sport that we love.”