(NLL) - The Minnesota Swarm agreed to terms with team captain Andrew Suitor on a new five-year contract on Wednesday, marking the longest deal in team history.
The Swarm also locked up assistant captains F Callum Crawford to a two-year contract and D Jeff Gilbert to a one-year deal.
"Our captaincy program is second to none," Swarm associate general manager and head coach Joe Sullivan said. "With Andrew Suitor, Callum Crawford, and Jeff Gilbert as our captains, I'd put them up against anybody in the league."
As the NLL's youngest captain for the past two years, Suitor, 24, has helped the Swarm reach the Division Finals in back-to-back seasons for the first time in franchise history. Known as one of the league's toughest players, Suitor has become a fan favorite at The Hive with his gritty defensive skills and knack for making big plays on both sides of the ball. In 2012, Suitor was named the NLL's Transition Player of the Year and was selected to the All-Pro First Team in only his second season the league.
Suitor's new long-term contract ensures that the Swarm's captain will be in Minnesota for many more years to come.
"Words can't describe how excited I am," Suitor said. "This is the organization that gave me a chance as a rookie, then to be a young captain, and now the chance to grow up in front of these fans. I plan on bringing multiple championships here and we have the team to do it. We're going to continue to get better and I don't want to play anywhere but Minnesota and I think a five-year contract says a lot about that."
"We are elated to have Andrew sign the longest contract in franchise history," Swarm Owner and Governor John Arlotta said. "To put it simply but emphatically, he is our Captain. He is our leader. He is the heart and soul of the Minnesota Swarm."
Arlotta continued, "There aren't many players who can inspire and motivate like he does, both on and off the field. It's great to have him back, and we are honored by the long-term commitment he has made to the Swarm family."
Crawford is fresh off another incredible season at the helm of the Swarm offense. Named a 2013 First-Team All-Pro, the 29-year-old forward led Minnesota in scoring with 95 points (32g, 63a), which was good for fourth in the NLL. In 2013, Crawford became the Swarm's all-time leader in points (344) and assists (234), and needs 26 goals in 2014 to become the franchise's all-time leader in goals.
Gilbert finished his second season as an assistant captain with the Swarm in 2013, and posted a career-high 15 points (3g, 12a) along with 64 loose balls. In 2012, the 30-year-old Barrie, Ontario native finished second in the NLL with 26 forced turnovers and earned NLL All-Pro Second Team honors.