2002 NLL season
LeagueNational Lacrosse League
SportIndoor lacrosse
DurationNovember 16, 2001 – April 13, 2002
Number of games16
Number of teams13
TV partner(s)CNN Sports Illustrated (United States)
Rogers Sportsnet (Canada)
Regular season
Season MVPPaul Gait (Washington Power)
Top scorerPaul Gait (Washington Power)
Eastern championsWashington Power
  Eastern runners-upPhiladelphia Wings
Central championsAlbany Attack
  Central runners-upRochester Knighthawks
Northern championsToronto Rock
  Northern runners-upVancouver Ravens
Champion's Cup
ChampionsToronto Rock
  Runners-upAlbany Attack
Finals MVPColin Doyle (Toronto)
NLL seasons

The 2002 National Lacrosse League season is the 16th season in the NLL. The season began on November 16, 2001 and concluded with the championship game on April 13, 2002, so, during that season, it was known as the 2001-2002 season as can be seen in the Albany Attack's 2001-2002 Central Division Championship banner.

The Toronto Rock defeated the Albany Attack 13–12 to win their third championship in four seasons. Colin Doyle was named championship game MVP for the second time.

Only one year after the season was lengthened to 14 games, 2002 saw it extended again, this time to 16 games.

Team movement

2002 was a year of expansion for the NLL, particularly north of the border. No less than four teams were added, three of them Canadian: the New Jersey Storm, Montreal Express, Vancouver Ravens, and Calgary Roughnecks all made their NLL debuts. The expansion caused the NLL to return to a divisional format for the first time since 1994. The teams were split into the Eastern, Central, and Northern divisions; the winners of each division would make the playoffs, as well as the top three ranked non-division-winners. The Eastern division consisted of Washington, Philadelphia, New York, and New Jersey, the Central division had Albany, Rochester, Montreal, Buffalo, and Columbus, while the remaining Canadian teams (Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver, and Calgary) were in the Northern division.

Early in the morning of February 14, limousine driver Costas Christofi was found shot to death at the home of New Jersey Storm owner Jayson Williams.[1] Williams was later arrested and charged with manslaughter.[2] Williams was acquitted of most charges,[3] but was to be retried for reckless manslaughter. However, the case was delayed several times. On Monday, January 11, 2010, Williams pleaded guilty to aggravated assault in the case,[4] and was sentenced on February 23, 2010. Williams would remain owner of the Storm until the franchise folded after the 2005 season.

For the first time in league history, a team changed arenas midseason, as the Ottawa Rebel left the Corel Centre for the smaller Ottawa Civic Centre.[5] There were two home games left in the season at the time of the move.


Final standings

Regular season

Reference: [8]

Central Division

1Albany Attackxyz16142.8750.07–17–1252194+5815.7512.12
2Rochester Knighthawksx16133.8121.08–05–3261202+5916.3112.62
3Montreal Express1688.5006.04–44–4237227+1014.8114.19
4Buffalo Bandits1688.5006.04–44–4210215-513.1213.44
5Columbus Landsharks16511.3129.02–63–5198230-3212.3814.38
East Division

1Washington Powerxy1697.5620.06–23–5253243+1015.8115.19
2Philadelphia Wingsx1688.5001.06–22–6222237-1513.8814.81
3New York Saints16511.3124.02–63–5200249-4912.5015.56
4New Jersey Storm16511.3124.03–52–6178232-5411.1214.50
North Division

1Toronto Rockxy16115.6880.08–03–5223176+4713.9411.00
2Vancouver Ravensx16106.6251.06–24–4236192+4414.7512.00
3Calgary Roughnecks16412.2507.02–62–6224264-4014.0016.50
4Ottawa Rebel16412.2507.01–73–5202245-4312.6215.31

x: Clinched playoff berth; c: Clinched playoff berth by crossing over to another division; y: Clinched division; z: Clinched best regular season record; GP: Games Played
W: Wins; L: Losses; GBGames back; PCT: Win percentage; Home: Record at Home; Road: Record on the Road; GF: Goals scored; GA: Goals allowed
Differential: Difference between goals scored and allowed; GF/GP: Average number of goals scored per game; GA/GP: Average number of goals allowed per game


First Round Semifinals Championship
3 Washington 11
2 Toronto 12
3 Washington 12
6 Philadelphia 11
2 Toronto 13
1 Albany 12
5 Vancouver 10
4 Rochester 11
4 Rochester 10
1 Albany 14

All Star Game

The 2002 All-Star Game was held on April 21 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut, where the North team (all of the Canadian teams plus Rochester) beat the South 14–10. The MVP was Toronto's Steve Toll, who scored three goals. At the time, this also marked Paul Gait's final professional lacrosse game, as he retired after this season. However, Gait was convinced by his brother Gary to come out of retirement during the 2005 season, and played four games for the Colorado Mammoth before retiring once again.

All-Star teams

North Team starters   South Team starters
John Grant, Jr., Rochester Paul Gait, Washington
Colin Doyle, Toronto Gary Gait, Washington
Chris Gill, Vancouver Josh Sanderson, Albany
Pat Coyle, Toronto Cam Woods, Albany
Jim Veltman, Toronto Paul Cantabene, Philadelphia
Bob Watson, Toronto (goalie) Rob Blasdell, Albany (goalie)
North Team Reserves South Team Reserves
Tracey Kelusky, Montreal Gary Rosyski, Albany
Ryan Painter, Ottawa Roy Colsey, Buffalo
Peter Morgan, Vancouver John Tavares, Buffalo
Steve Toll, Toronto Gewas Schindler, Columbus
Kaleb Toth, Calgary Gavin Prout, New York
Shawn Williams, Rochester Kevin Finneran, Philadelphia
Derek Malawsky, Rochester Tom Marechek, Philadelphia
Bruce Codd, Montreal Jim Moss, Albany
Darren Reisig, Vancouver Jamie Hanford, New Jersey
Mike Hasen, Rochester Pat McCabe, New York
Dwight Maetche, Vancouver Steve Dietrich, Buffalo (goalie)
Pat O'Toole, Rochester Dallas Eliuk, Philadelphia (goalie)


Award Winner Team
MVP Award Paul Gait Washington
Rookie of the Year Award Blaine Manning Toronto
Coach of the Year Bob McMahon Albany
GM of the Year Award Dave Evans Vancouver
Executive of the Year Award Tom Mayenknecht Vancouver
Defensive Player of the Year Award Pat Coyle Toronto
Goaltender of the Year Award Rob Blasdell Albany
Sportsmanship Award Jim Veltman Toronto
Championship Game MVP Colin Doyle Toronto

Weekly awards

In 2002, the NLL expanded its weekly player awards from one to four. There are now awards for the best overall player, best offensive player, best defensive player, and best rookie.

Week Overall Offensive Defensive Rookie
1 Matt Disher Dan Stroup Matt Disher Blaine Manning
2 Tracey Kelusky Tracey Kelusky Bruce Codd Blaine Manning
3 Tracey Kelusky Paul Gait Dwight Maetche Peter Morgan
4 Tom Marechek Roy Colsey Dallas Eliuk Gavin Prout
5 Gary Gait Gary Gait Steve Dietrich Andrew Leyshon
6 Kyle Goundrey Kyle Goundrey Rob Blasdell Peter Morgan
7 Shawn Williams Kaleb Toth Jesse Phillips Billy LeFeuvre
8 Derek Malawsky Derek Malawsky Devin Dalep Kasey Beirnes
9 Gewas Schindler Gewas Schindler Pat Coyle Mike Miron
10 Peter Morgan John Tavares Devin Dalep Peter Morgan
11 Paul Gait Paul Gait Bob Watson Kasey Beirnes
12 Gary Gait Jake Bergey Bruce Codd Blaine Manning
13 Chris Gill Chris Gill Rob Blasdell Ryan Painter
14 Josh Sanderson Shawn Williams Matt Roik Gavin Prout
15 John Tavares John Tavares Jesse Phillips Mike Miron
16 Jeff Ratcliffe Jeff Ratcliffe Anthony Cosmo Blaine Manning
17 Paul Gait Paul Gait Curtis Palidwor Steve Penny
18 John Grant, Jr. John Grant, Jr. Chris Sanderson Blaine Manning
19 Tom Marechek John Tavares Rob Blasdell Ryan Painter

Monthly awards

Awards are also given out monthly for the best overall player and best rookie.

Month Overall Rookie
Nov/Dec Tracy Kelusky none selected
Jan Paul Gait Kasey Beirnes
Feb Chris Gill Gavin Prout
Mar Paul Gait Blaine Manning

Statistics leaders

Bold numbers indicate new single-season records. Italics indicate tied single-season records.

Stat Player Team Number
Goals Paul Gait Washington 54
Assists Josh Sanderson Albany 68
Points Paul Gait Washington 114
Penalty Minutes Brian Reese Washington 78
Loose Balls Jim Veltman Toronto 203
Save Pct Rob Blasdell Albany 77.5

See also


  1. ^ Philly, R.A. (February 14, 2002). "Fatal shooting at Jayson Williams' estate". Outsider's Guide to the NLL. Archived from the original on March 3, 2007. Retrieved February 4, 2007.
  2. ^ Philly, R.A. (February 25, 2002). "Williams charged with reckless manslaughter". Outsider's Guide to the NLL. Archived from the original on August 25, 2007. Retrieved February 4, 2007.
  3. ^ Reilly, Matthew (May 22, 2004). "Prosecutor: We'll retry Williams on key charge". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved February 4, 2007.
  4. ^ Schweber, Nate (January 11, 2010). "Jayson Williams Pleads Guilty in Shooting of Driver". The New York Times. Archived from the original on January 19, 2010. Retrieved January 23, 2010.
  5. ^ Philly, R.A. (February 15, 2002). "Rebel going downtown after Saturday". Outsider's Guide to the NLL. Archived from the original on September 26, 2007. Retrieved February 4, 2007.
  6. ^ Mehling, Vaun (November 24, 2001). "Records shattered in Express' 32–17 romp". Outsider's Guide to the NLL. Archived from the original on August 8, 2007. Retrieved February 4, 2007.
  7. ^ McAllister, Deb (January 5, 2002). "Malawsky's eleven assists set record in big K'Hawks win". Archived from the original on August 8, 2007. Retrieved February 4, 2007.
  8. ^ "National Lacrosse League - 2002 Regular Season - Standings". NLL.com. Retrieved May 3, 2012.