The Nanaimo Timbermen traded away their leader, their top scorer, their best player. Scott Ranger was dealt to the Victoria Shamrocks in a blockbuster deal today.
Ranger was the captain of the Coastal Windows Timbermen and led the Western Lacrosse Association in goals and points each of the last two seasons. In exchange, the T-men get rookies Kyle Dexter and Jake Emms, second-round draft choices in 2014 and 2015 and future considerations.
Ranger requested the trade.
“A few sleepless nights and a few tears shed over it,” he said. “It’s one of those things that you don’t know how much time you have left and it’s really hard to be that close to the playoffs and not make it … My family and I made a decision, it’s kind of now or never.”
Earl Nicholson, Timbermen general manager, said Ranger indicated that he might only play another year or two of summer lacrosse.
“He’d like to have a chance at a Mann Cup ring…” said Nicholson. “For all the service that he’s given us we wanted to give him the shot, as long as we could get a deal that would work for us and we think we’ve got one.”
The T-men also negotiated with a mainland team, but couldn’t work out an arrangement. The Shamrocks were the preferred destination for Ranger, who played three seasons of junior in Victoria.
The sniper was the first-ever draft choice of the senior A Timbermen in 2005 and in eight seasons playing for his hometown team, Ranger only reached the WLA post-season once, in 2007.
“You never can really read the tea leaves, but I think that [the Shamrocks] are probably in a better position than we are … They’ve never missed the playoffs in the last 10 or 15 years,” Nicholson said.
Ranger said he likes the direction the Shamrocks are taking, and their youth and energy, whereas he hadn’t seen any trades or signings by the T-men this off-season to boost his optimism.
“We don’t have the right pieces to get to that championship – we’ve got a lot of prospects and a lot of potential,” Ranger said of the Timbermen. “I would love to stick it out for another five years and try and make the team better here but I just don’t know if I have that.”
Nicholson said trading Ranger is the hardest move he’s had to make as a general manager.
“Scott and I go way back, right through minor and intermediate and junior,” said Nicholson. “It was real tough but I’d say it’s a good trade for both clubs.”
He said both Dexter and Emms are excited to be coming to the Timbermen organization. Dexter was a standout transition player for the junior T-men in the 2010 season, while Emms captained the junior Shamrocks last year and also plays a two-way game.
Ranger’s first game against the Timbermen at Frank Crane Arena will be June 5. It’s going to be tough to come up with a defensive scheme to stop him.
“Yeah, you bet it is,” said Nicholson.