As one of the top lacrosse goaltenders in the world, Evan Kirk is no stranger to pressure, but he admits his latest challenge presents a whole different kind.
“It’s definitely weird … I’ve got to prove myself here as well. I got traded but that’s about it right now so I’ve gotta do my job and there’s a lot of work to be done before everyone’s gonna love me here,” he said.
The Saskatchewan Rush acquired Kirk from the New England Black Wolves over the summer in a deal that saw fellow goaltender and fan favourite Aaron Bold going the other way.
Bold, who spent six seasons with the Rush and backstopped the team to a pair of National Lacrosse League (NLL) Champion’s Cup titles, is one of the most popular players in franchise history. However Kirk isn’t looking to be another Aaron Bold and is quick to point out a key difference between the two.
“About two feet in height,” he joked. “I think every goalie in this league is very different but I think the size is just the biggest thing for sure.”
Rush head coach and general manager Derek Keenan believes Kirk is an upgrade over Bold, who is a former National Lacrosse League goaltender of the year and was named the Most Valuable Player in the 2016 Champion’s Cup final.
“We had to look forward and we got a guy a little bit younger and a guy who’s also been a goaltender of the year in this league and we like him, and so far at camp he’s looked really good and he’s excited to be here as well and to play behind that great defence in front of him,” Keenan said.
Saskatchewan fans were fond of chanting “Stone Cold” after a big Aaron Bold save but Kirk isn’t sure yet what they might come up with for him.
“People just call me Kirky … it’ll come I’m sure. I’ve got to make the first save, then we’ll go from there,” he said with a smile.
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