In the first big transaction since the League announced the Florida Launch, the MLL’s newest club has executed a trade with Boston that will see six-time Warrior Defenseman of the Year Brodie Merrill don a Cannons uniform in 2014.
"Our staff and management team is thrilled to have Brodie and Marty on the Cannons,” said Cannons Head Coach John Tucker. “Brodie Merrill is arguably the best player to ever play his position and it became increasingly important for us to bolster our defensive unit. He is the consummate leader who does so many of the little things it takes to win championships.”
WATCH: Evan Washburn's take on the trade
The Launch sent Merrill, alongside midfielder Martin Cahill and the No. 37 overall selection in the 2014 Collegiate Draft to Boston in exchange for defenseman PT Ricci, midfielder Lee Coppersmith and the No. 12 overall selection in the 2014 draft.
“It was not an easy decision to trade Brodie Merrill,” Launch Head Coach Stan Ross said in a statement. “He is a tremendous player and will be missed. That is the difficult part of coaching in this competitive league, with so many talented players. Sometimes decisions need to be made in the best interests of the team and the organization.”
Merrill is widely regarded as one of the greatest defensemen in MLL history. Ever since joining the league in 2005 he has made an impact earning the Cascade Rookie of the Year award in his first season. The perennial All-Star has appeared in 104 games scoring 41 goals (three 2-pointers) and holds the MLL record for career ground balls with 711 in nine seasons. He helped his teams win three championships starting with the Bayhawks in ’05, with the Rattlers in ‘08, and with the Nationals in ’09. In 2013 Merrill tied for the league lead in points by a defensemen and was named to the All-MLL Team for the ninth consecutive year.
WATCH: Brodie Merrill Career Highlights
Cahill, a Malden, Mass. native, returns to the Cannons after spending a breakout season in 2013 with the Hamilton Nationals where he scored 14 goals including two 2-pointers. He was originally selected in the second round (No. 12 overall) of the 2010 Collegiate Draft by Chicago and has appeared in a total of 35 games in his four-year career. He scored 35 goals and recorded three assists during that time.
"Marty returns to us after having an excellent 2013 season for the Nationals,” Tucker continued. “He is an excellent scorer who is finding his range in MLL and will be a wonderful complement to our current group of midfielders."
th overall in the 2009 Collegiate Draft by the Washington Bayhawks, Ricci appeared in 18 games for the Bayhawks before being acquired by the Cannons prior to the 2011 season. The Loyola product appeared in a total of 52 games recording seven goals, five assists and collecting 176 ground balls along the way.
A native of Boca Raton, Fla., Coppersmith was selected 22
nd overall in the 2013 MLL Collegiate Draft. The Johns Hopkins graduate made his professional debut last June 21 in a 16-11 win over the New York Lizards and appeared in two more games for the Cannons in 2013.
“I am very excited about bringing Lee Coppersmith and PT Ricci to Florida,” Ross continued. “I have watched PT play for a number of years and I think we can use his style of play in the middle of the field. Lee is a big, strong and athletic midfielder who has his best days ahead of him. It will be great to have someone who played at a local High School now playing for the MLL in the same town.”
In a separate trade, the Cannons also acquired midfielder Will Mangan and the eighth overall selection in the draft from the Denver Outlaws, in exchange for Cam Flint and the 43
rd overall selection.
A Rutgers University product, Mangan is entering his third season in Major League Lacrosse, having appeared in 18 games, totaling 16 goals and six assists.
"We are excited to acquire Will Mangan and the 8th overall pick in the 2014 College Draft. Will is an athletic and versatile player who can play multiple positions within our system,” Tucker concluded. “I have been impressed with his competitive spirit and feel he will find a valuable role in a Cannon's uniform."