The Boston Cannons had one of their worst years in franchise history, and changes seem inevitable. We caught up with the general manager Kevin Barney.
Q. What do you think went wrong this year?
A. It’s a very fine line in this league between winning and losing. The talent level is so high on every team that it comes down to game plan and execution. For us, so many games came down to small stretches of the game that we did not play well and did not execute. Its tough to point to any one area that caused us to lose. Your offense, defense, face-off group and transition game all affect each other. When one is not playing well, turning the ball over, giving up multiple chances, it puts pressure on the other groups. At the end of the season, we had talented players, but we didn’t play as a team, and we didn’t execute for 60 minutes.
Q. Will John Tucker be returning as head coach?
A. Yes, Coach Tucker will be the Cannons Head Coach for 2014. When he took over in June both sides wanted his contract to be long term, and not just a stop gap for the rest of this season. I have the utmost respect and belief that Coach Tucker will rebuild the Cannons into a Championship contending team.
Q. What on the field changes do you think we see?
A. After the season we just had, and especially losing the last 4 games of the season, its clear to me and the coaching staff that we need to make some significant changes to the team. A number of factors will determine the scope of the changes. We look to trades and the supplemental draft this Fall and then the college draft in January to shape next year’s squad. I would expect to see a much different Cannons team next Spring.
Q. After retiring from International lax, is there a chance Ryan Boyle retires?
A. Ryan and I have not had any conversations about his future yet, so I wouldn’t want to speculate on his plans at this time. Ryan has been nothing but a true professional for the Boston Cannons, he’s our captain and brought the organization our first ever MLL Championship. I know he loves playing the game, loves being a Boston Cannon, and can still play at a high level.
Q. What do you think caused such an off year for Matt Poskay?
A. Its tough to say averaging 2 goals a game is an off year. I do think Matt would agree his play and production could have been better. I think his production drop was a result of the offense not clicking many times throughout the season. Matt is one of the best finishers this league has ever seen. He has that great knack for getting open in front of the net, and for being in the right place for the lose ball. He needs the offense moving the ball so he can find that space to be affective.
Q. Paul Rabil had the sports hernia, will he be having surgery to fix that?
A. Our trainer and team doctor have told Paul that surgery is his best option. He has a lot going on with Team USA try-outs and other obligations so the if and when has not been determined as far as I know at this time. Paul was a warrior playing through that for most of the season. He had to go through hours and hours of therapy before and after each game as well as treatment during the week so he could play.
Q. Jordan Burke had the worst GAA in the league, will that be addressed?
A. We know we can’t be successful if we are giving up the most goals in the league. Jordan had a tough season from the start, breaking his thumb during warm-ups of the first game of the year. He played through it for a game and half. His numbers were also the result of the teams play. When you are seeing 30+ shots on goal most games, your numbers are going to suffer. We need to play better on offense, maintaining possessions, limit turnovers, limit transition opportunities, and not allow teams multiple shots on goal in each of their possessions. If we can do those things better that limits the pressure on any goalie.
Q. What kind of needs will you be looking at in the draft?
A. I think our draft board will be shaped more by moves we make this Fall. We will look to add and improve in almost every area of play. If we are not able to find someone via trade or the supplemental draft, that position will move up our college draft board.