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“This has been the most difficult one (since the Rush moved to Saskatoon in 2016), without a doubt,” Keenan said. “I could roll the dice and go ‘let’s win a championship in 2021 and then who cares what happens after that?’ My conscience just won’t allow me to do that.
“Before the Ben McIntosh trade, we would have had nine unrestricted free agents next year, with only two first-round draft picks. Now we’ll have eight, and four first-round draft picks, and a really good player in return. Josh Currier is a good player.”
McIntosh is one of those pending unrestricted free agents. The deal is a natural for him; he moved to Philadelphia last year to be with his fiancee, and travel arrangements are now much simpler.
Currier was the Rochester Knighthawks’ sixth overall selection in the 2016 NLL draft, and moved to Philadelphia in the 2018 expansion draft. He scored 17 goals and 35 points in 14 games this past season.
He made his mark on the Rush in the 2018 NLL final, scoring 10 goals for Rochester in a series Saskatchewan won 2-1.
Keenan has also made a flurry of signings recently, keeping Chris Corbeil and Kyle Rubisch in Saskatoon, and putting the franchise tag on Ryan Dilks.
“Tough. Difficult. Mixed emotions on it — happy, sad,” Keenan said of the big Friday swap. “It’s going to be tough for us, and tough for our locker room. But at the end of the day, better for the long-term of the franchise, and still with a really good opportunity to win next year.”