The three-time NLL champion Saskatchewan Rush are not wasting any time getting ready for next season.
That point was illustrated in matter-of-fact fashion today as Rush General Manager/Head Coach Derek Keenan announced the signing of team captain Chris Corbeil and fellow defenceman Kyle Rubisch to new one-year contracts (pending league approval).
“The Rush mean business in 2020. The work has already started,” said Keenan.
Corbeil, who has captained the club to all three of its league championships, and Rubisch have been cornerstones of the Rush’s vaunted defence since joining the team.
“It is an easy choice to stay with the Rush when you play for such a great organization with a great coaching staff and great teammates,” said Corbeil.
“I’m very excited to be coming back. I think we’ve got some unfinished business considering how this past season ended for us in the first round of the playoffs, but we certainly have the pieces in place for the upcoming season to compete for a championship. Hopefully that’s what we’ll be doing.”
Like his long-time teammate, Rubisch was eager to return to Rush Nation.
“I am happy to sign back with the Rush,” said Rubisch. “I love playing in Saskatchewan and I really excited to be coming back next year. I love the Rush fans and the entire organization.”
Corbeil, who just completed his 10th season in the NLL, is amongst the franchise leaders in games played (3rd, 133), caused turnovers (2nd, 189), and loose ball scoops (3rd, 806). This past season, the Oakville, Ontario, product, finished 11th in the league with 24 caused turnovers, while collecting four goals, including a shorthanded marker, and 14 points.
Statistics are secondary, however, to Corbeil’s stature on the Rush and within professional lacrosse.
“I think the signing of one of the great leaders in the game sends a clear message to our team and our fans going forward,” said Keenan.
Originally selected 15th overall by the Buffalo Bandits in the 2009 NLL Entry Draft, Corbeil was named to the All-Rookie Team the following season. The Rush acquired him prior to the start of the 2012 campaign in exchange for a first- and second-round draft pick. Buffalo went on to use the second-round pick to select Jeremy Thompson, who was then traded to the Rush a year later.
Corbeil was named a finalist for the NLL Defensive Player of the Year award three times (2014, 2015 and 2016) and has twice earned spots on the All-Pro Second Team (2014 and 2016). In 2018, he was named a finalist for the NLL’s Teammate of the Year honor.
Through 161 career games, Corbeil has racked up 68 goals and 86 points for 154 points along with 205 caused turnovers and 1,008 loose ball scoops. He has added 22 points, including eight goals, in 26 playoff games.
Rubisch is likely to be contending for his fifth Defensive Player of the Year award following a standout 2019 season. The nine-year defender led the NLL with 45 caused turnovers and finished 10th with 130 loose ball scoops.
“Kyle is still the best d-man in lacrosse,” said Keenan. “He’s a foundation type player and we’ve been building our ‘D’ around him for a long time. It’s great to have him on board for another season.”
A sure-bet for Hall of Fame status upon completion of his career, Rubisch captured four consecutive Defensive Player of the Year awards from 2012 through 2015, and he earned All-Pro First Team honors in those same seasons.
The Brampton, Ontario, native is the NLL’s all-time leader in caused turnovers with 346 and holds the single-season league record with 61 in 2014. He is the Rush’s all-time leader in caused turnovers (326) and is second in both games played (137) and loose balls (1,063). In 2018, Rubisch was a finalist for the Defensive Player of Year trophy and earned a spot on the All-Pro Second Team.
Rubisch was originally drafted second overall by Boston in the 2010 NLL Entry Draft and was named the to the All-Rookie Team the following season. He was acquired by the Rush with the first pick in the 2012 Dispersal Draft.
This past season, Rubisch had two goals, including a shorthanded tally, and six assists for eight points. He has registered 17 goals and 54 assists for 71 points along with 1,206 loose ball scoops through 153 career regular-season games. In 26 playoff games, Rubisch has picked up nine assists.