A big day for the Edmonton Rush on Friday, as the club makes two major announcements. Nine Rush games will be televised on TSN2 & Citytv during the 2011 season. Brodie Merrill is the new team captain, with Gavin Prout & Jimmy Quinlan named Assistant Captains for the 2011 season.
Brodie Merrill trades his "A" for the captain's "C" this season.
The Edmonton Rush are pleased to announce the naming of the club's Captain and Assistant Captains for the upcoming 2011 National Lacrosse League season.
Brodie Merrill, one of the game's elite players, has been selected as the new Rush Captain, with the Assistant Captain roles going to offensive spark plug Gavin Prout as well as original Rush team member Jimmy Quinlan.
"I am extremely happy with the selection of our leadership team. I think the decision of putting the main leadership duties in the hands of these three key individuals is absolutely the best way for the Rush to make greater strides in 2011," said Rush GM/Head Coach Derek Keenan.
"Brodie is not only one of the greatest players in the world, but he is also a terrific leader. He is the consummate professional, someone who leads by example in preparation to play and then execution on the floor.
"Gavin is one of the top point-producers in the history of the NLL and his performance throughout his career is something that has earned him a great deal of respect. Jimmy is a heart-and-soul type of guy who puts everything he has into every game."
Merrill, who joined the Rush last season, has won back-to-back awards as the NLL Transition Player of the Year to go alongside previous honors as the league's Top Defensive Player and Top Rookie. Last season, Merrill was also named the Rush's Most Valuable Player while setting career-highs and Rush team records for transition players in goals (17), assists (36) and points (53). He also set a Rush team record with 190 loose balls.
The first overall pick in the 2005 NLL Entry Draft, Merrill earned All-World honors and the Best Defender award while leading Canada to the gold medal at the 2006 World Lacrosse Championship. Merrill will again wear Team Canada's red and white in 2011 as he helps the national team shoot for a third straight gold medal at the World Indoor Lacrosse Championship in the Czech Republic.
Prout is currently ranked 10th on the NLL's list of all-time leading scorers, adding to that total in his first season with the Rush by finishing second on the team and 21st in the league with 67 points. He also finished second on the Rush in goals, power-play goals, and assists while also netting three game-winning goals for the club.
The Whitby, Ontario native had a pair of seven-point games for the Rush last season, including a seven-assist effort in his first game against his former club, the Colorado Mammoth. Prout also sparked the Rush's offense in the team's playoff appearance as he collected 10 points in two games.
Quinlan is one of the last two remaining original members of the Rush, and is the team's all-time leading scorer. But more so than his point production, Quinlan's feisty nature and competitiveness are the driving forces he brings to each game.
The local product made a huge team-first commitment to the Rush last season, switching from his natural forward position to a transition role, and he became a key contributor with his overall game. He provides the Rush with plenty of grit and skill at both ends of the floor, and will be counted on this coming season to continue to be the lynch pin of the Rush's up-tempo attack.
Rush Announce Broadcast Agreement with Local Station Citytv
Edmonton Rush fans are going to be able to keep track of their favorite team better than ever before thanks to the club's new television broadcast agreement.
The Rush have partnered with Citytv which will air seven of the team's eight road games live during the 2011 National Lacrosse League season.
Manning the broadcast booth for the Citytv games will be Jason Gregor, host of The Jason Gregor Show on The Team 1260 who previously was the Rush's radio play-by-play voice, along with former Rush standout and six-year NLL veteran Kevin Howard.
"We are very excited about being on live television and being able to keep our fans entertained while we're on the road," said Rush President Gord Sawyer.
"It's very important, especially at the start of the upcoming season when we're on the road for three straight games, that our fans know how we're doing as we strive towards our goal of a Champion's Cup.
"The entire organization is pleased to be working with the team at Citytv. The quality and presentation of the broadcast is sure to match the excitement of the Rush team in action."
In addition to the Citytv broadcasts, both of the Rush's matchups against the Toronto Rock will be shown on TSN2. The Rush visit the Air Canada Centre in Toronto for the season-opener on Saturday, January 18, and then the two clubs face each other again in the regular-season finale at Rexall Place in Edmonton on Saturday, April 16.