By Michael Kennedy
One thing is strikingly apparent this season in comparison to years past for the St. John's Edge: continuity.
Edge fans have become frustratingly familiar with the revolving door of roster turnover that is all too common in the NBL Canada. After all, this is a developmental league for players looking for a shot in bigger and better leagues. Guys move up, guys move down. But, while the season started with nine new faces in Edge uniforms, it's basically been steady as she goes for head coach Steve Marcus and his lineup. In fact, of all the players currently on the roster, every single one of them either started the season with the team or has played in St. John's previously.
The turnover, or lack thereof, has been minimal for the Edge and that has translated into an element of consistency for fans. This can obviously be attributed to a concerted effort by the team's brass to foster a winning culture and positive locker room chemistry that may have been lacking in the past. "I really like our roster the way it is right now. We're always looking to improve but we're focused on improving with the guys we have here. Something can be said for all the turnover we've had in years past and we've made a real effort this year to do our work early in the offseason and bring in guys we knew could last all year in this league and with our organization. Throughout the year you go through peaks and valleys, wins and losses. We've done a great job of staying the course and believing in our roster and who we have here and we will continue to do that." said Marcus.
But with the NBL Canada's transaction deadline slated for this Friday(March 13, 2020), players dealing with the typical midseason bumps and bruises and the team entrenched in a battle for a playoff spot the Edge find themselves at a bit of a crossroads.
St. John's are two games into a gruelling six-game road stint that has seen them go 0-2 thus far. Veterans Junior Cadougan and Tyrone Watson are being asked to log heavy minutes and, to make matters worse, star guard Karrington Ward is day-to-day with a nagging ankle injury. Some relief may be on the horizon as forward Murphy Burnatowski recently returned to Canada from Asia and is likely to rejoin the team however he won't be ready to suit up until later this month.
So where does that leave the Edge? Fortunately their biggest strength this season has been their depth and I expect Coach Marcus and company to double down on that. While an argument could be made for the addition of more size down low, the focus placed on nurturing the team's chemistry may mean that any transactions between now and Friday will be to augment the existing base as opposed to retooling a team that is having success thus far in the season.