Nfld. & Labrador

Attendance record, injuries and 'stupid' league rules: Edge coach, GM reflect on season

After last Thursday’s heartbreaking defeat, members of the St. John’s Edge are taking some time to figure out what went wrong and decide what their next move is.

Average number of tickets sold for playoff games around 4,500, setting league attendance records

St. John's Edge star and general manager Carl English shares a moment with fan favourite Glen (Big Baby) Davis in front of a crowd at Mile One Centre. (Twitter / @stjohnsedge)

After last Thursday's heartbreaking defeat in the National Basketball League of Canada final, the St. John's Edge are taking some time to figure out what went wrong and decide what their next move is.

"It's an unfortunate way to finish a wild couple of months," said Edge coach Steven Marcus. "My heart hurts for the guys that were in this locker room."

Marcus said he wouldn't use injuries as an excuse for losing in the championship series, where the Edge were swept four games to none by the Moncton Magic, but acknowledged the battered roster did not make the final leg of the season easy.

"Each guy had something. No one was 100 per cent healthy."

Edge coach Steven Marcus says record attendance meant Mile One Centre 'was rocking' every playoff game. (Eddy Kennedy/CBC)

Injury-plagued Edge

The Edge's Carl English was just one player who pushed through multiple injuries during the season.

English, also the general manager of the team, had some harsh words for the league, saying the league's roster rules made it hard to replace those injured players.

"I think the issue is not with our team but within the league because you have stupid rules that don't make any sense," he said.

"The whole league needs to assessed. They really need to start looking at some rules and different policies."

The St. John's Edge beat the Sudbury Five 101-92 in April to advance to the division finals. (Jeremy Eaton/CBC)

The 38-year-old shooting guard suffered torn ligaments in his thumb, a calf tear and injuries to his ankles. He said he spent hours doing therapy before and after games and practices, slept with a rehabilitation apparatus on his legs and underwent surgical procedures in order to function on the court.

All those things are just "cheating time," he said.

"You are trying to put a Band-Aid over a bullet hole."

Edge set attendance record 

Marcus said during playoff games, the team averaged about 4,500 spectators and about 3,800 during regular season games, setting a league attendance record.

Super-fan Zachary shows off his St. John's Edge sign. (Jeremy Eaton/CBC)

"This place was rocking every single night," said the coach. "Without the fans in this community we are nothing … Thank you."

When asked about whether or not the team will be back in St. John's next year, English said there wouldn't be a reason not to. 

"We have the fan support and we do great things," he said. "It would be foolish not to have a team here, in my opinion."

And English himself? His injuries mean he's still considering whether he will lace up next year.

"I still feel like I am one of the best shooters in the world but my body is that of a 60-year-old."

English said he feels like his career has come full-circle with the opportunity to play in Newfoundland in front of a home crowd.

"I just love playing at home. I love my province."

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

With files from Cecil Haire

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