The Bandits made a huge splash Tuesday by bringing a six-time National Lacrosse League Goaltender of the Year to Buffalo.
Matt Vinc, an unrestricted free agent, signed a three-year contract, pending league approval, the Bandits announced, bringing Vinc back to where he starred on defense for Canisius College.
Vinc was rumored to be signing with the Bandits throughout the offseason and confirmed that he made the decision in late September.
A 13-year veteran, Vinc was a member of three NLL championship teams, is a seven-time All-Pro, six-time first-team All-Pro and was named Goaltender of the Year in 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2018.
In announcing the signing, the Bandits said, “one of the best to play the game is now our own.”
He spent the last eight seasons with the Rochester Knighthawks after previously playing for the New York/Orlando Titans and the San Jose Stealth. He has a 98-81 regular season with a .782 career save percentage and 10.87 goals against. He holds the league’s all-time postseason records for minutes and saves and is the active leader in regular-season minutes and saves.
Here are five questions with the Bandits’ new goalkeeper:
Q: What made signing with the Bandits attractive to you?
A: Buffalo is so close to my hometown and is such a great franchise with the tools to compete for a NLL title.
Q: You have been on the other side of the Rochester-Buffalo rivalry for quite some time. What sort of an adjustment will be to go against Rochester?
A: Everyone in the league will have a tough time playing against them this year. They are loaded with talent and are extremely well coached. I have a lot of friends over there, which will make it even more of a challenge.
Q: You graduated from Canisius in 2005 and were the male athlete of the year as a senior. Any particular memories of Buffalo that stand out?
A: I remember coming to Bandits games with my teammates. Riding the subway and just watching the games and hanging out downtown.
Q: What have the last few months been like, given the uncertainty of the situation with the labor situation?
A: Long and stressful. I made my decision around the draft and was waiting for the CBA to be finalized in order to actual make it public knowledge.
Q: You are a six-time Goaltender of the Year. What makes you so good?
A: I pride myself into being a hard worker. It was instilled at a young age and I always try to outwork my opponents on an off the floor. I have also been fortunate to have been surrounded with great coaches and teammates. This is something I believe the Bandits have.
One of the best to play the game is now our own.
Matt Vinc. 48. Coming to Banditland this season. pic.twitter.com/aowh71sW2g
— Buffalo Bandits (@NLLBandits) November 27, 2018
Thank you @RocKnighthawks for 8 amazing seasons. I would like to thank everyone involved in the organization. From the admin team, coaches, teammates and passionate fans who are the heartbeat of the franchise. I could not have asked for a better place to play and battle for the
— Matt Vinc (@Vno48) November 27, 2018
Vinc was welcomed on Twitter by the Sabres and Beauts, teams also owned by Kim and Terry Pegula.
— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) November 27, 2018