2005 NLL season
LeagueNational Lacrosse League
SportIndoor lacrosse
DurationJanuary 1, 2005 – May 14, 2005
Number of games16
Number of teams10
TV partner(s)NBC and America One (United States)
The Score (Canada)
Regular season
Season MVPColin Doyle (Toronto Rock)
Top scorerColin Doyle (Toronto Rock)
Eastern championsToronto Rock
  Eastern runners-upBuffalo Bandits
Western championsCalgary Roughnecks
  Western runners-upArizona Sting
Champion's Cup
ChampionsToronto Rock
  Runners-upArizona Sting
Finals MVPColin Doyle (Toronto)
NLL seasons

The 2005 National Lacrosse League season is the 19th season of the NLL that began on January 1, 2005 and concluded with the championship game on May 14. The Toronto Rock won their fifth NLL championship, defeating the Arizona Sting 19–13 in Toronto.

Colin Doyle of the Toronto Rock won the scoring title, marking the first time since 1990 that someone other than Gary Gait, Paul Gait, or John Tavares has led the league in scoring. For his efforts in leading the Rock to the championship, Doyle was named both league MVP and Championship Game MVP.

Just hours after the Rock's championship victory, another lacrosse legend, former Toronto head coach and general manager Les Bartley died from colon cancer at age 51.[1] Bartley had coached the Buffalo Bandits to three MILL/NLL championships before moving to the expansion Ontario Raiders in 1998. Bartley moved with the Raiders to Toronto the next year, and went on to win titles in four of the next five seasons. Bartley also won the NLL Executive of the Year award in 2005, in part due to his involvement in the negotiation of the new CBA.[1]

The 2005 season featured the NLL retirement of two lacrosse legends: Gary Gait and Tom Marechek. Marechek played his entire 12-year career with the Philadelphia Wings, winning Rookie of the Year in 1994, as well as four championships with the Wings. He was named to the All-Pro team eight times, and is third all-time in the NLL in points, after only Gary Gait and John Tavares . Marechek announced his retirement shortly before the end of the season.[2]

Gait, at the time the league's all-time leading scorer, announced his retirement shortly before the season began. He was named League MVP six times, won seven scoring titles, and was named an All-Pro an astonishing 14 times in 14 seasons.[3] With four games left in the regular season, Gait managed to coax his twin brother Paul out of retirement to play with him. However, Colorado was eliminated in the division semi-finals by Arizona, so Gait's dream of winning the championship in his final season did not come to fruition. He did win the championship in his first year as head coach of the Mammoth the next year.

Labour dispute

The collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between the league and the Professional Lacrosse Players' Association (PLPA) expired at the end of the 2004 season, and negotiations for a new CBA took place over the summer. However, these negotiations did not result in a new agreement, and the NLL even accused the PLPA of negotiating in bad faith.[4] The league made its "last, best, and final offer" to the PLPA on September 29, 2004,[4] and announced that if this offer was not accepted by the players, the season would be officially cancelled on October 2.[5]

Marathon negotiations continued until early morning on October 1, and resulted in two different proposals. Both were presented to the players that day with the stipulation that if neither of them was acceptable, the season would be cancelled.[6] One of the two proposals (a three-year deal) was accepted, and the season went on as scheduled.[7]

Team movement

The season featured a new team added to the East division, and one removed from the West. The ownership of the Minnesota Wild NHL team purchased the rights to the old Montreal Express franchise, moving it to Minnesota and renaming it the Minnesota Swarm, while the Vancouver Ravens franchise was removed from the schedule less than three weeks before the start of the season.


Final standings

Regular season

Reference: [10]

East Division

1Toronto Rockxyz16124.7500.06–26–2227190+3714.1911.88
2Buffalo Banditsx16115.6881.05–36–2217183+3413.5611.44
3Rochester Knighthawksx16106.6252.05–35–3193179+1412.0611.19
4Philadelphia Wings16610.3756.03–53–5213218-513.3113.62
5Minnesota Swarm16511.3127.02–63–5188231-4311.7514.44
West Division

1Calgary Roughnecksxy16106.6250.06–24–4216208+813.5013.00
2Arizona Stingx1697.5621.05–34–4209209013.0613.06
3Colorado Mammothx1688.5002.05–33–5201182+1912.5611.38
4Anaheim Storm16511.3125.02–63–5175212-3710.9413.25
5San Jose Stealth16412.2506.02–62–6170197-2710.6212.31

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


Divisional Semifinals Divisional Finals Championship
3 Rochester 10
East Division
1 Toronto 12
3 Rochester 17
2 Buffalo 16
E1 Toronto 19
W2 Arizona 13
3 Colorado 13
2 Arizona 16
2 Arizona 19
West Division
1 Calgary 15

All Star Game

The 2005 All-Star Game was held at the Pengrowth Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta on February 26, 2005. The East division defeated the West 11–10 in a thrilling overtime game. John Tavares scored the winner, and hometown captain Tracy Kelusky was named game MVP.

All-Star teams

Eastern Division starters   Western Division starters
John Grant, Jr., Rochester Dan Dawson, Arizona
Blaine Manning, Toronto Gary Gait, Colorado
John Tavares, Buffalo Tracey Kelusky, Calgary
Glenn Clark, Toronto Pat Coyle, Colorado
Andrew Turner, Rochester Jim Moss, San Jose
Pat O'Toole, Rochester (goalie) Anthony Cosmo, San Jose (goalie)
Eastern Division Reserves Western Division Reserves
Craig Conn, Minnesota Ryan Boyle, San Jose
Kyle Couling, Buffalo Craig Gelsvik, Calgary
Ryan Cousins, Minnesota Peter Lough, Arizona
Colin Doyle, Toronto Gee Nash, Colorado (goalie)
Dallas Eliuk, Philadelphia (goalie) Jesse Phillips, Calgary
Thomas Hajek, Philadelphia Casey Powell, Anaheim
Mike Hasen, Rochester Gavin Prout, Colorado
Tom Marechek, Philadelphia Lewis Ratcliff, Calgary
Mark Steenhuis, Buffalo Gary Rosyski, San Jose
Dan Teat, Buffalo Scott Self, Arizona
Shawn Williams, Rochester Mike Law, Anaheim
Jim Veltman, Toronto Kaleb Toth, Calgary



Award Winner Team
MVP Award Colin Doyle Toronto
Rookie of the Year Award Ryan Boyle San Jose
Les Bartley Award (Coach of the Year) Bob Hamley Arizona
GM of the Year Award Bob Hamley Arizona
Executive of the Year Award Les Bartley Toronto
Defensive Player of the Year Award Andrew Turner Rochester
Goaltender of the Year Award Steve Dietrich Buffalo
Sportsmanship Award Gary Gait Colorado
Championship Game MVP Colin Doyle Toronto

All-Pro Teams

Reference: [1]

First Team

Second Team

All-Rookie Team

Reference: [2]

Weekly awards

The NLL gives out awards weekly for the best overall player, best offensive player, best defensive player, and best rookie.

Week Overall Offensive Defensive Rookie
1 Craig Conn Craig Conn Gee Nash Pat Dutton
2 Dan Dawson Dan Dawson Dallas Eliuk Ryan Boyle
3 Blaine Manning Blaine Manning Mike Miron Riley Kemp
4 John Grant, Jr. John Grant, Jr. Matt Disher Ryan Boyle
5 John Tavares John Tavares Pat O'Toole Delby Powless
6 Dan Dawson Dan Dawson Dallas Eliuk Kevin Fines
7 John Tavares John Grant, Jr. Bob Watson Ryder Bateman
8 John Grant, Jr. John Grant, Jr. Steve Dietrich Andrew Burkholder
9 Keith Cromwell Keith Cromwell Dallas Eliuk Andrew Burkholder
10 Mark Steenhuis Gary Gait Dallas Eliuk Dan Finck
11 John Tavares John Tavares Curtis Palidwor Ryan McNish
12 Pat Campbell Aaron Wilson Pat Campbell Dan Finck
13 Casey Powell Colin Doyle Bob Watson Rory Glaves
14 Matt Roik Colin Doyle Matt Roik Delby Powless
15 Blaine Manning Blaine Manning Steve Dietrich Andrew Burkholder
16 Tracey Kelusky Tracey Kelusky Nick Patterson Ryder Bateman

Monthly awards

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

Month Overall Rookie
Jan John Tavares Ryan Boyle
Feb John Grant, Jr. Andrew Burkholder
Mar John Tavares
Bob Watson (tie)
Ryan Boyle

Statistics leaders

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

Stat Player Team Number
Goals John Grant, Jr. Rochester 49
Assists Josh Sanderson Toronto 71
Points Colin Doyle Toronto 111
Penalty Minutes Jesse Phillips Calgary 69
Shots on Goal John Grant, Jr. Rochester 193
Loose Balls Jim Veltman Toronto 193
Save Pct Steve Dietrich Buffalo 78.9
GAA Steve Dietrich Buffalo 10.96

See also


  1. ^ a b Philly, R.A. (May 15, 2005). "Les Bartley, 51, loses battle with cancer". Outsider's Guide to the NLL. Archived from the original on June 22, 2007. Retrieved February 4, 2007.
  2. ^ Philly, R.A. (April 1, 2005). "Tom Marechek to retire at end of season". Outsider's Guide to the NLL. Archived from the original on August 18, 2007. Retrieved February 4, 2007.
  3. ^ Philly, R.A. (October 27, 2004). "Gary Gait to retire after 2005 season". Outsider's Guide to the NLL. Archived from the original on August 18, 2007. Retrieved February 4, 2007.
  4. ^ a b "Cancellation of Season Looms". NLL web site. September 30, 2004. Retrieved January 5, 2007.
  5. ^ "NLL threatens to cancel 2004–05 season if new CBA isn't signed by Friday". NLL web site. September 30, 2004. Retrieved January 5, 2007.
  6. ^ "League and Player's (sic) Union Hammer Out Two Proposals". NLL web site. October 1, 2004. Retrieved January 5, 2007.
  7. ^ "League & Players Reach Agreement". NLL web site. October 2, 2004. Retrieved January 5, 2007.
  8. ^ McAllister, Deb (February 11, 2005). "Bandits blow away Storm as JT hits 500 assists". Outsider's Guide to the NLL. Archived from the original on December 15, 2006. Retrieved February 4, 2007.
  9. ^ McAllister, Deb (February 19, 2005). "Tavares hits another milestone in Bandits' 11–7 win". Outsider's Guide to the NLL. Archived from the original on August 18, 2007. Retrieved February 4, 2007.
  10. ^ "National Lacrosse League - 2005 Regular Season - Standings". NLL.com. Retrieved May 3, 2012.