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New Connecticut lacrosse team signs veteran forward Brett Bucktooth

Action from a National Lacrosse League game with Rochester and Toronto last winter. The NLL debuts in Connecticut in January. (Photo courtesy NLL via Facebook)

Action from a National Lacrosse League game with Rochester and Toronto last winter. The NLL debuts in Connecticut in January. (Photo courtesy NLL via Facebook)

UNCASVILLE – National Lacrosse League veteran Brett Bucktooth, one of the premier forwards in the sport of indoor lacrosse, will be playing home games at Mohegan Sun Arena this winter with Connecticut.

Bucktooth was signed to a one-year free agent contract today to play for the Connecticut franchise, which relocated from Philadelphia earlier in August.  An official announcement on the name of the franchise is pending.

Bucktooth, 31, has 92 goals, 131 assists and 223 points in 88 NLL games since he was selected third overall by the Buffalo Bandits in the 2006 NLL Entry Draft. Bucktooth joined the Vancouver Stealth in 2012, and had a career-high 18 goals with 25 assists and 43 points for the Stealth in 2014. 

Brett Bucktooth has signed with Connecticut.

Brett Bucktooth has signed with Connecticut.

A member of the 2004 NCAA championship team at Syracuse, Bucktooth has appeared in 11 NLL playoff games, collecting 14 goals, 21 assists and 35 points.

“We’re excited to have Brett Bucktooth in the lineup,” coach Blane Harrison said. “He’s going to be a real positive addition to our right side. He’s got size, and he can work well with Kevin Crowley. We like the fact that he’s a natural leader and will help in the locker room. Overall, we’re really happy to have the opportunity to go after him and bring him in to our organization. With our move to the New England area, we are looking to make an impact and Brett is a big piece to that puzzle.”

“I’m looking forward to playing lacrosse in Connecticut,” Bucktooth said. “I think fans are really going to love this game. It’s one of the fastest growing sports in America. Fans are going to be in for a treat.”

NLL releases 2015 schedule: The new Connecticut franchise will play the first game of the 2015 National Lacrosse League schedule on Friday, Jan. 2 when they host the Buffalo Bandits at the Mohegan Sun Arena at 7 p.m.

The 18-week NLL regular season concludes on Sunday, May 3, before the 2015 NLL Playoffs begin the weekend of May 8-10. The league is comprised of nine franchises across the U.S. and Canada. The Rochester Knighthawks are the three-time defending league champions.

Connecticut will play in the Eastern Division along with the Buffalo Bandits, Minnesota Swarm, Rochester and Toronto Rock. Teams in the NLL West Division are the Calgary Roughnecks, Colorado Mammoth, Edmonton Rush and Vancouver Stealth.

Connecticut, which is relocating from Philadelphia, has yet to release its new nickname. The team was formerly called the Wings. They went 6-12 last winter and missed the league playoffs. Philadelphia was a charter member of the league that began in 1987 but had only four playoff appearances since 2001. From 1989 through 2001, the Wings won six NLL championships, which is still a league record today.

Connecticut’s 2015 schedule
Fri. Jan. 2: BUFFALO, 7 p.m.
Sat. Jan. 10: ROCHESTER, 7 p.m.
Sat. Jan. 24: MINNESOTA, 7 p.m.
Fri. Jan. 30: at Edmonton, 9:30 p.m.
Sun. Feb. 15: ROCHESTER, 6 p.m.
Fri. Feb. 20: at Toronto, 7:30 p.m.
Sun. Feb. 22: COLORADO, 1 p.m.
Sat. Mar. 14: at Minnesota, 8 p.m.
Fri. Mar. 20: at Calgary, 9 p.m.
Sat. Mar. 28: MINNESOTA, 7 p.m.
Fri. April 3: at Minnesota, 8:30 p.m.
Sat. April 4: at Buffalo, 7:30 p.m.
Sun. April 12: VANCOUVER, 1 p.m.
Fri. April 17: at Toronto, 7:30 p.m.
Sat. April 25: at Rochester, 7:30 p.m.
Sun. April 26: BUFFALO, 6 p.m.
Sat. May 2: at Buffalo, 7:30 p.m.
Sun. May 3: TORONTO, 6 p.m.

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 30 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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