By Alex Hinkley
It was announced on Saturday that Gary Gait has re-signed with the Rochester Knighthawks for one more season. This is great news for Hawk fans as many thought the 43 year old veteran would be finally calling it quits for good after last year.
"I want to help them transition into a really young team and, with the injury situation, I want to help them out," Gait said in a quote on NLL.com.
With three NLL Championship Titles under his belt, six league MVP awards (the most of any player), and fifteen all-pro appearances, Gait is one of the all time greats in the National Lacrosse League. The Hall of Famer still has plenty left in the tank to offer the K-Hawks in 2011. In 11 games last season, he scored 16 goals and added 16 assists for 32 points. The year before he had 37 points in 11 games (22 G + 15 A). 69 total points in 22 games isn't too shabby.
Aside from inevitably being slower due to age, one thing that has held Gait back from scoring as much as he did years ago was that he was at best the third man down the offensive ladder. There is only one ball out there and with other guys like John Grant Jr., Shawn Williams, Craig Point, and the Evans brothers, Gait just didn't get enough opportunities. He only had 52 shots on goal last year. With 16 goals, that means over 30% of his shots went in! Compare that with John Grant's 20% scored, Craig Point's 28%, or Shawn Evans' meager 14% and it is easy to see that Gait can still compete with the best.
With injuries to Knighthawks forwards mounting, John Grant being traded to Colorado, and Cody Jamieson still not officially signed, Gait should provide a much needed boost to the Hawks offense this season.