The two-time defending World Champion Rochester Knighthawks have re-signed veteran defenseman Scott Self to a three-year contract good through the 2016 season.
Self, 34, was acquired from the Buffalo Bandits in a trade for Alex “Kedoh” Hill midway through last season, and made his debut in Rochester on March 16, 2013. He is in his 14th season in the National Lacrosse League after winning his first championship with the Knighthawks last year.
“I’m hopeful that – knock on wood – that I can finish my career in Rochester,” Self said. “It’s a good feeling that they still believe I’m a big part of this team going forward.”
“Scott’s a veteran leader and a solid defenseman,” Assistant Coach Jason Johnson said. “He’s a good leader on the floor. Although he may not be as vocal as some of the others, he leads by the way he plays. He’s also an extra man that can take faceoffs, and if you watch him in practice, he’s not a bad shooter either.”
Self is the latest member of the league’s top defense from 2013 to sign a long-term deal with the Knighthawks. Paul Dawson and Mike Kirk each agreed to four-year contracts, while goaltender Matt Vinc signed a five-year deal. Team captain Sid Smith inked a seven-year deal as well.
“Scott is a steady force on the backend. He’s very quiet, but he does all of the little things right,” said Kirk, an assistant captain for the Knighthawks. “When I first came into the league, I had the opportunity to learn from ‘Selfer’ in Chicago. I can still learn from a guy like that and the rest of the team can learn from him because he does all of the little things so well.”
In addition, Self’s younger brother, Brad, re-signed with the Knighthawks for four years.
“We built a really solid foundation with our defense back there and he’s just another piece that fits in real well,” said Self’s younger brother. “He’s obviously a guy who has a lot of experience. He’s been a captain for quite some time in Peterborough. He’s a pretty calming influence, a pretty relaxed guy. He’s a pretty competitive guy and he’s really comfortable with the scheme.”
The pair has played on the same NLL team twice before reuniting in Rochester, but having one brother on each end of the I-90 rivalry with the Bandits was hard for their parents. Ironically, Scott was drafted in the 1999 NLL Entry Draft by Buffalo the same year Brad was taken in the NHL Draft by the Sabres.
“It’s great for Brad and me, and for our family, to be able to drive down there every weekend together, suit up together and play, and try to win championships together,” Self said.
With contract negotiations now finished, Self can focus on his performance on the turf. He recovered six loose balls and forced a turnover in the season-opening win against Minnesota on December 28th. Through 190 career games, he has scored 43 goals and 124 assists while gathering 946 loose balls. Self is also a three-time All-Star (2006, 2008 and 2012).
“I really like our defensive scheme,” he said. “It’s very, very simple. We’re grateful to have a goalie like Matt Vinc too. We definitely give up shots, but we dictate where we give up the shots from, and Matt’s able to kind of gobble those up. It’s a fun system to play in.”