Roberts turns down Roughnecks offer

Canadian Press

10/27/2004 6:25:31 PM

TORONTO (CP) - Veteran winger Gary Roberts of the NHL's Toronto Maple Leafs has turned down a chance to play with the National Lacrosse League's Calgary Roughnecks.

Roberts, 38, was selected by the defending-champion Roughnecks in the NLL entry draft Tuesday night. Calgary used its last-round pick, the 65th out of 66 overall, to pick Roberts, who played hockey and lacrosse in Whitby, Ont., before turning pro in Calgary's NHL organization. He played for the Flames from 1987 to 1996.

``There's not a chance,'' Roberts told the Globe and Mail's website Wednesday. ``I just got off the ice after playing three-on-three pond hockey at the rink here in Richmond Hill (near Toronto) and I'm having a tough time just playing hockey right now, let alone worrying about picking up lacrosse again.''

Roberts was at a store Wednesday morning when he heard the Roughnecks had drafted him.

``Honestly,'' said Roberts. ``At 8 a.m. this morning, some guy comes up to me and asks me for a picture and then says: `Hey, I hear you're going to play lacrosse.' And I said: `What?' He said: `Didn't you hear, this morning, you were drafted to the Calgary Roughnecks?' ``And I said, `Not a chance.'''