SAINT PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Swarm today announced that F Mat Giles, D Eric Pacey and F Aaron Wilson will serve as assistant captains for the team in 2011.
Defenseman Ryan Cousins, who has served as Minnesota’s captain since 2005, will miss the first half of the season due to work commitments. Cousins is a full-time firefighter in Toronto outside of the Swarm.
General Manager Marty O’Neill said he expects to have Cousins back in a Swarm uniform in March.
“When Ryan gets back, he will make us that much better and that’s what he has always done for us,” O’Neill said. “He is the captain of this team and everybody responds to him and that’s nice to have in our back pocket.
“Eric will be entering his seventh season with us this year and has provided great leadership in the past as an assistant captain. Aaron did a good job last season as an interim captain when Ryan Cousins had to leave the team due to work commitments. Mat gives us a lot of leadership and that’s why we acquired him this offseason. He made his presence felt right away in camp. With his previous experience in this league, he felt comfortable stepping into this role.”
Giles, 35, is entering his first season with the Swarm in 2011. The 12-year veteran appeared in nine games for Philadelphia and six games with Boston last season. He posted 31 points (13g, 18a) and 46 loose balls with Philadelphia and recorded 23 points (7g, 16a) and 23 loose balls with Boston.
Pacey, 32, registered five points (3g, 2a), 23 PIM and collected 28 loose balls in 13 games with Minnesota in 2010.
Wilson, 30, finished second on the team in scoring with 89 points (40g, 49a) in 16 games last season with Minnesota. His 40 goals were a personal and team-high and he also broke the Swarm single season record for most goals scored in a season. The eight-year veteran also ranked second in the league in power play goals (12) and collected 73 loose balls in 2010.
Minnesota also today announced the signing of F John McClure to the team’s practice squad.
The National Lacrosse League’s (NLL) Minnesota Swarm kicks off its seventh season at Xcel Energy Center this Saturday, Jan. 8 at 7:30 p.m. CST against the Rochester Knighthawks on Treasure Island Field.
Saturday’s game is ‘Native American Heritage Night’ at the Hive presented by Treasure Island Resort & Casino and the Prairie Island Indian Community. Heritage Night will pay tribute to local Native American youth lacrosse players as well as feature a traditional game from the Oneida Warriors at halftime. Fan arriving early will receive bam sticks courtesy of Treasure Island Resort & Casino and the Prairie Island Indian Community.
Fans not in attendance can watch this Saturday’s contest LIVE by visiting mnswarm.com or nll.com.
For more information regarding 2011 Minnesota Swarm tickets please call 888-MN-SWARM or visit mnswarm.com.