MLL: Nationals' Goaltender Queener Staying with Hamilton for Now
Hamilton Nationals goaltender Brett Queener was rumored around the time of January's Major League Lacrosse draft to be on the move back to Rochester, where he won a league title in 2008. But it doesn't look like he's moving anywhere.
"That's conjecture. There's conversation, but we've never had any real substantive conversation about it," Rochester coach B.J. O'Hara said. "I think they would offer him, but we're not there in terms of what it would take. We love Brett. He's been a great player in our league, but it would have to be at the right price. We're comfortable with the goalies that we have."
Last season Rochester, then playing as the traveling Chicago Machine, acquired former UMass goaltender Doc Schneider via draft-night trade from the then-Toronto Nationals. Schneider didn't play last season, but in 2009 was the goaltender for the Nationals when they won a league title. He's Rochester's projected starter in net this season.
The Rattlers also drafted Syracuse goaltender John Galloway in January and have MLL veteran Mike Gabel on the roster.
"Picking up John Galloway, that obviously makes the Brett Queener situation less important," O'Hara said. "John's having a good year. Fitting him in might even be difficult, but he's playing great for the No. 1 team in the country and handles the ball like nobody's business in the clearing game. That's so important in our league."
The Nationals, meanwhile, say they are pleased with their goalie duo of Queener, a freakishly athletic player in and out of the crease, and former Notre Dame goaltender Scott Rodgers, who is well, big, and nothing like Queener aside from the fact that they stop shots.
"I think we have the best one-two combination in Rodgers and Queener," Nationals general manager Jody Gage said. "That's what we like."
Ironically, the trade that sent Schneider to the then-Machine (now Rattlers) moved the Nationals up in the 2010 draft and allowed them to select Rodgers.
Rochester begins the MLL season May 14 at the defending league champion Chesapeake Bayhawks. Hamilton also starts its season May 14 on the road in Denver.
Check back to laxmagazine.com as the season approaches for more MLL news and team previews.