It’s a cliche, but the dominoes have begun to fall for the Toronto Rock.
The 0-5 Rock were on a bye week with no game, but everyone on the team has been working hard this week.
Players have been busy practicing and management has been making hard personnel decisions.
General Manager Jamie Dawick is in the middle of re-structuring his team to better set them up for success.
The first domino gone was defensive coach Dan Ladouceur who was relieved of his duties on Monday. Dawick stated in a team press release that he was not pinning the slow start on Ladouceur but felt that something had to give. A coach since 2013, Ladouceur was a Rock defenseman himself from 1999-2009.
Also on the defensive end of things, Dawick released Glen Bryan and moved Jamie Batson, signed to the practice roster on January 29, to the active roster.
Bryan was drafted by the Rock in 2010 and played parts of the 2011 and 2012 seasons before being traded to Buffalo where he saw full time action in 2013 and 2014 before he returned to Toronto.
Batson played in one game for the Bandits this season before being released. He has previously played with the Rochester Knighthawks.
Bradley Kri, who suited up in the last weeks 20-17 loss to Georgia, was also promoted to the active roster full time.
Dominoes falling isn’t always a bad thing; sometimes things just have to move to get you where you want to go.
A big positive for the Rock is the news of the probable return of Josh Sanderson. After setting a record for assists in 2015, Sanderson stepped away from the game to contemplate whether his body could handle any more competitive lacrosse. He was expected to miss the entire season.
However, the Rock announced on Tuesday that Sanderson has been moved to the active roster – evaluation period list. Sanderson will practice with the team and if he is ready for action he will be added to the active roster. The Rock wouldn’t make the move on Sanderson if they weren’t sure he’d be ready to play – if he isn’t, he would have to be released from the team. Expect to see him leading the offense in the Rock’s next game in New England on February 14.
Sanderson’s return is the best news the struggling Rock could have heard. The 38 year old led the team last year on and off the floor and is the consummate professional. Having him back will be a boost to both the offense and the players themselves as they look for inspiration in a so far bleak season.
“Josh isn’t going to be expected to come in here and save the world but he’ll be a welcome addition on the floor and in the room,” Dawick told the Toronto Rock Total Access podcast.
Dawick also said that there are “a couple more (moves) to happen,” and previously stated in a press release that “an announcement regarding the makeup of the coaching staff going forward will come later this week.”
Whether that means a new assistant coach will be hired, after Matt Sawyer was brought back to the bench today, or there will be other changes, is still unclear.