2008 NLL season
LeagueNational Lacrosse League
SportIndoor lacrosse
DurationDecember 29, 2007 – May 17, 2008
Number of games16
Number of teams12
Regular season
Season MVPAthan Iannucci (Philadelphia)
Top scorerAthan Iannucci (Philadelphia)
Eastern championsBuffalo Bandits
  Eastern runners-upMinnesota Swarm
Western championsSan Jose Stealth
  Western runners-upColorado Mammoth
Champion's Cup
ChampionsBuffalo Bandits
  Runners-upPortland LumberJax
Finals MVPMark Steenhuis (Buffalo)
NLL seasons

The 2008 National Lacrosse League season, the 22nd in the history of the NLL, began on December 29, 2007, and concluded with the Buffalo Bandits winning the championship game over the Portland LumberJax on May 17, 2008.

In an odd coincidence, all four eastern division teams that made the playoffs finished with identical 10–6 records. Due to tiebreakers, the Buffalo Bandits clinched first place overall, followed by the Minnesota Swarm, New York Titans in their playoff debut, and the Philadelphia Wings in their return to the playoffs after a five-year absence.

There was also a tie atop the west division standings, as the San Jose Stealth and Colorado Mammoth both finished with 9–7 records. The Stealth won that tiebreaker and clinched their first western division title. The Calgary Roughnecks and Portland LumberJax finished out the playoff teams in the west despite having losing records.

History was made in 2008 as neither the Rochester Knighthawks nor the Toronto Rock made the playoffs, for the first time in the history of either team (though the Toronto franchise, then the Ontario Raiders, missed the playoffs in their inaugural season in 1998). The Knighthawks broke a 13-year streak of making the playoffs, the Rock streak was stopped at 9 years.[1]

Philadelphia Wings second-year stars Athan Iannucci and Geoff Snider set a number of new league records in 2008. Iannucci eclipsed Gary Gait's record of 61 goals by scoring 71, and Snider set or tied marks in loose balls (244), face offs won (318, tied with Peter Jacobs in 2005), and penalty minutes (103).[2]

The 2008 season almost never happened. On October 16, 2007, the league released a statement officially cancelling the season, after no agreement could be reached on a new collective bargaining agreement.[3] However, negotiations continued, and on October 25, the league announced that a new CBA has been agreed on, and that the season would proceed.[4] The new revised schedule was released on November 2, 2007, but only included 12 of the expected 14 teams. The expansion Boston Blazers and 2007 Western division champion Arizona Sting had decided for "a number of business reasons"[5] to opt out of the 2008 season and return in 2009. Due to the short time frame between the agreement on a new CBA and the start of the season, the New York Titans were unable to secure 8 home dates for the revised schedule, and thus both the Toronto Rock and Buffalo Bandits hosted a Titans home game in their own arena.[citation needed]

Team movement

An expansion franchise for Boston, Massachusetts was announced on May 9, 2007. It was expected that the team would play at the TD Banknorth Garden, which is also home to the NBA's Boston Celtics and the NHL's Boston Bruins.[6] On October 3, 2007, the Boston franchise was officially named the Boston Blazers.[7]

When the revised schedule was released on November 2, 2007, it was announced that both the Arizona Sting and Boston Blazers were suspending operations for the 2008 season, returning in 2009.[5]

Work stoppage

In the off-season between the 2007 and 2008 seasons the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the National Lacrosse League and the Professional Lacrosse Players' Association expired. The owners announced that if there no deal was in place before midnight, October 15, 2007 the 2008 season would be cancelled.[8] On the morning of October 16, the league announced that no agreement had been reached, and that the season was cancelled.[3] The next day, commissioner Jim Jennings even said that the league would not change its mind about the cancellation, saying:

There's no hope due to the fact that we've released our dates. It's very difficult to get dates in places like (New York's) Madison Square Garden and (Toronto's) ACC Centre and places like that. To try to restart this thing up on a moment's notice is an impossibility.[9]

However, the negotiations continued, and on October 25, the league announced that a new seven-year agreement had been reached, and that the season would be played.[4]

Before the initial cancellation of the season, the Versus network announced that it would not carry a game of the week, as they had in 2007, even if an agreement was reached before the deadline.[10]

Final standings

Reference: [11]

East Division

1Buffalo Banditsxyz16106.6250.07–23–4203174+2912.6910.88
2Minnesota Swarmx16106.6250.06–24–4199196+312.4412.25
3New York Titansx16106.6250.05–15–5197186+1112.3111.62
4Philadelphia Wingsx16106.6250.07–13–5225220+514.0613.75
5Rochester Knighthawks1688.5002.04–44–4197171+2612.3110.69
6Toronto Rock1679.4383.04–53–4172174-210.7510.88
7Chicago Shamrox16610.3754.03–53–5176212-3611.0013.25
West Division

1San Jose Stealthxy1697.5620.04–45–3185172+1311.5610.75
2Colorado Mammothx1697.5620.06–23–5184167+1711.5010.44
3Calgary Roughnecksx1679.4382.05–32–6183178+511.4411.12
4Portland LumberJaxx16610.3753.03–53–5179194-1511.1912.12
5Edmonton Rush16412.2505.03–51–7141197-568.8112.31

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 Semifinal Divisional Final Champion's Cup Final
E1 Buffalo 14
E4 Philadelphia 12
E1 Buffalo 19
Eastern Division
E3 New York 12
E2 Minnesota 8
E3 New York 11
E1 Buffalo 14
W4 Portland 13
W1 San Jose 16
W4 Portland 18
W3 Calgary 12
Western Division
W4 Portland 16
W2 Colorado 13
W3 Calgary 15

Milestones and events


Regular season

Glenn Clark suspension

On January 11, the Minnesota Swarm defeated the Toronto Rock 17–16 in overtime, in a game which saw three Swarm players and one Rock player given game misconducts. After the game, Rock head coach Glenn Clark was involved in an altercation with Minnesota forward Sean Pollock outside the Rock dressing room.[33] Clark was later charged with assault by Toronto Police[33] and suspended indefinitely by the NLL.[34] The Rock announced that assistant coach Terry Bullen would serve as the interim head coach[35] and Bullen led the Rock to a 2–2 record.

On February 6, the charges against Clark were dropped by Toronto Police,[36] and the NLL lifted the suspension on February 13.[37]

All-Star game

The 2008 All-Star Game was held at Rexall Place in Edmonton on March 16, 2008. The East division All-Stars defeated the West division 17–16 in overtime, as Shawn Williams scored the winner 31 seconds into OT. Philadelphia Wings' transition player Geoff Snider was named MVP.[38]

All-Star teams

Eastern Division starters   Western Division starters
Athan Iannucci, Philadelphia Jeff Zywicki, San Jose
John Tavares, Buffalo Dan Carey, Colorado
John Grant, Jr., Rochester Gavin Prout, Colorado
Mark Steenhuis, Buffalo Brodie Merrill, Portland
Ryan Cousins, Minnesota Eric Martin, San Jose
Nick Patterson, Minnesota (goalie) Gee Nash, Colorado (goalie)
Eastern Division reserves Western Division reserves
Scott Evans, Rochester Mike Accursi, Edmonton
Casey Powell, New York * Dan Dawson, Arizona
Andy Secore, Minnesota * Colin Doyle, San Jose
Geoff Snider, Philadelphia Ryan Powell, Portland *
Steve Toll, Rochester Lewis Ratcliff, Calgary
Jim Veltman, Toronto Jeff Shattler, Calgary
Peter Lough, Toronto Josh Sims, Colorado *
Jarett Park, New York Jimmy Quinlan, Edmonton
Scott Self, Chicago Andrew McBride, Calgary
Chris White, Buffalo Chris McElroy, Edmonton
Taylor Wray, Philadelphia Bruce Murray, Colorado
Bob Watson, Toronto (goalie) Anthony Cosmo, San Jose (goalie)
Ryan Ward, Minnesota (replacing C. Powell) Dan Stroup, Edmonton (replacing R. Powell)
Shawn Williams, Rochester (replacing Secore) Nick Carlson, Colorado (replacing Sims)

* Unable to play due to injury



Award Winner Team
Reebok Most Valuable Player Athan Iannucci[39] Philadelphia
US Navy Goaltender of the Year Bob Watson[40] Toronto
Edge Defensive Player of the Year Ryan Cousins[41] Minnesota
Transition Player of the Year Mark Steenhuis[42] Buffalo
Rookie of the Year Craig Point[43] Minnesota
Sportsmanship Award Dan Carey[44] Colorado
GM of the Year Marty O'Neill[45] Minnesota
Les Bartley Award Adam Mueller[46] New York
Executive of the Year Award Tom Garrity[47] Minnesota
Tom Borrelli Award Paul Tutka[47]  

All-Pro teams

First Team

Second Team

All-Rookie team

Weekly awards

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

Month Week Overall Offensive Defensive Transition Rookie
December 1 Jason Wulder Jason Wulder Gord Nash Josh Sims Dane Dobbie
January 2 Blaine Manning Blaine Manning Rob Marshall Bobby McBride Bobby McBride
3 Jeff Zywicki Jeff Zywicki Nick Patterson Johnny Christmas Craig Point
4 John Tavares John Tavares Bob Watson Pat McCready Merrick Thomson
5 Sean Pollock Sean Pollock Ryan Avery Geoff Snider Jordan Hall
February 6 Jeff Zywicki Jeff Zywicki Aaron Bold Jimmy Quinlan Craig Point
7 Pat O'Toole Shawn Evans Pat O'Toole Jarett Park Craig Point
8 John Grant, Jr. John Grant, Jr. Bob Watson Brodie Merrill Jordan Hall
9 Casey Powell Casey Powell Daniel Sams Rob Van Beek Daniel Sams
10 Shawn Evans Shawn Evans Curtis Palidwor Mark Steenhuis Steve Hutchins
March 11 Ken Montour Luke Wiles Ken Montour Mark Steenhuis Frank Resetarits
12 Gavin Prout Mike Hominuck Matt Vinc John Orson Craig Point
13 Bob Watson Brian Langtry Bob Watson Mitch Belisle Sean Morris
14 Cody Jacobs Cody Jacobs Rory Glaves Chris McKay Matt MacLeod
April 15 Jeff Zywicki Ryan Ward Scott Self Mark Steenhuis Bobby McBride
16 Athan Iannucci Athan Iannucci Pat O'Toole Nolan Heavenor Tom Johnson
17 Pat Maddalena Pat Maddalena Matt Vinc Mark Steenhuis Jordan Hall
18 Jim Veltman John Tavares Greg Peyser Brad Self Peter Jacobs

Monthly awards

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

Month Overall Rookie
January Athan Iannucci Merrick Thomson
February Athan Iannucci Craig Point
March Curtis Palidwor Jordan Hall
April Athan Iannucci Peter Jacobs

Statistics leaders

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

Stat Player Team Number
Goals Athan Iannucci Philadelphia 71
Assists Gavin Prout Colorado 67
Points Athan Iannucci Philadelphia 100
Penalty Minutes Geoff Snider Philadelphia 103
Shots on Goal Athan Iannucci Philadelphia 253
Loose Balls Geoff Snider Philadelphia 244
Save Pct Ken Montour Buffalo .808
GAA Chris Levis Colorado 10.04

See also


  1. ^ "2008 Season Was Down To The Wire". NLL.com. April 27, 2008. Archived from the original on 10 May 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-21.
  2. ^ "Snider Breaks Loose Ball Record". NLL.com. April 29, 2008. Archived from the original on 10 May 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-21.
  3. ^ a b c "2008 Season Cancelled". NLL.com. 2007-10-16. Archived from the original on 17 October 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-16.
  4. ^ a b c "NLL, PLPA reach seven-year deal". NLL.com. October 25, 2007. Archived from the original on 26 October 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-25.
  5. ^ a b c "League Releases New 2008 Schedule". NLL.com. November 2, 2007. Archived from the original on 6 November 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-02.
  6. ^ "Expansion Team Awarded to Boston for 2008". NLL.com. May 9, 2007. Archived from the original on 12 May 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-09.
  7. ^ "Boston Team Name: Blazers". NLL.com. October 3, 2007. Retrieved 2007-03-10.
  8. ^ "NLL Season could be cancelled". Calgary Sun. October 12, 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-14.
  9. ^ "Report: NLL won't change mind". NLL.com. October 17, 2007. Archived from the original on 18 October 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-17.
  10. ^ Johnson, Craig (October 11, 2007). "NLL: Saturday night Game of the Week on VERSUS a no-go". InsideLacrosse.com. Archived from the original on December 14, 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-12.
  11. ^ "National Lacrosse League - 2008 Regular Season - Standings". NLL.com. Retrieved May 3, 2012.
  12. ^ "Gait Steps Down as Mammoth Coach". NLL.com. August 22, 2007. Archived from the original on 24 August 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-22.
  13. ^ "Bob McMahon named Colorado Head Coach". NLL.com. September 26, 2007. Archived from the original on 4 October 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-26.
  14. ^ "Three Team Blockbuster Trade Announced". NLL.com. July 24, 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-24.
  15. ^ "Draft day trade frenzy". NLL.com. September 2, 2007. Archived from the original on 6 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-28.
  16. ^ "Dawson selected first overall by Portland". NLL.com. November 5, 2007. Archived from the original on 7 November 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-07.
  17. ^ "NLL Announces Hall of Fame Class of 2008". NLL.com. January 9, 2008. Archived from the original on 15 January 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-05.
  18. ^ "Bandits end K-Hawks Streak with 14-9 Win". NLL.com. January 12, 2008. Archived from the original on 15 January 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-13.
  19. ^ "K-Hawks Top Bandits in Friday's Opener, 12-9". NLL.com. January 11, 2008. Archived from the original on 13 January 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-13.
  20. ^ "Casey Powell Show Returns To Sirius". NLL.com. January 17, 2008. Archived from the original on 19 January 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-05.
  21. ^ "Tavares Breaks Goal Scoring Record". NLL.com. January 19, 2008. Archived from the original on 19 January 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-20.
  22. ^ "Rush Deals Seller to Roughnecks". NLL.com. January 30, 2008. Archived from the original on 2 February 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-05.
  23. ^ "Chicago Deals Lazore to Buffalo". NLL.com. February 5, 2008. Archived from the original on 7 February 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-05.
  24. ^ "Minnesota routs New York, 16-9". NLL.com. February 8, 2008. Archived from the original on 10 February 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-14.
  25. ^ Tutka, Paul (21 February 2008). "Bob Hamley hiring made official". NLLInsider.com. Archived from the original on 6 March 2008. Retrieved 21 February 2008.
  26. ^ "Trade Frenzy: six players dealt". NLL.com. March 5, 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-05.
  27. ^ "Weekend Recap, News, & Quotes". NLL.com. March 24, 2008. Archived from the original on 28 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-24.
  28. ^ Chavez, Bob (March 26, 2008). "Rush set up bright NLL future". nllinsider.com. Archived from the original on 28 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-09.
  29. ^ "Iannucci Breaks Single-Season Goals Record". NLL.com. April 12, 2008. Archived from the original on 13 April 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-12.
  30. ^ "Philadelphia-Minnesota Boxscore". Pointstreak. April 12, 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-12.
  31. ^ Shanahan, Brian (2008-04-30). "Jim Veltman: One More Time". NLLInsider.com. Archived from the original on 29 June 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-22.
  32. ^ Borrelli, Tom (2008-04-30). "'Scoop' Says Goodbye, For Now". LaxMagazine.com. Archived from the original on 2012-07-11. Retrieved 2008-05-22.
  33. ^ a b Ryan, Allan (January 14, 2008). "Rock coach charged after dustup with player". Toronto Star. Archived from the original on 17 January 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-16.
  34. ^ "League Suspends Clark Indefinitely". NLL.com. January 17, 2008. Archived from the original on 19 January 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-18.
  35. ^ "Bullen Named Rock Interim Head Coach". NLL.com. January 17, 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-05.
  36. ^ "Charges against Rock coach dropped". Toronto Star. February 6, 2008. Archived from the original on 9 February 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-06.
  37. ^ "League Lifts Clark Suspension". NLL.com. February 13, 2008. Archived from the original on 15 February 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-13.
  38. ^ "East All-Stars Win In Overtime, 17-16". NLL.com. March 16, 2008. Archived from the original on 19 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-16.
  39. ^ "Athan Iannucci Wins Reebok MVP Award". NLL.com. May 15, 2008. Archived from the original on 17 May 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-15.
  40. ^ "Watson Named US Navy Goalie of the Year". NLL.com. May 7, 2008. Archived from the original on 10 May 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-07.
  41. ^ "Cousins Named Edge Defensive Player of the Year". NLL.com. May 12, 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-12.
  42. ^ "Steenhuis Named Top Transition Player". NLL.com. May 12, 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-12.
  43. ^ "Point Named Rookie of the Year". NLL.com. May 13, 2008. Archived from the original on 17 May 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-13.
  44. ^ "Dan Carey and Chris McElroy Recognized". NLL.com. May 5, 2008. Retrieved 2009-05-06.
  45. ^ "Marty O'Neill Named GM of the Year". NLL.com. May 8, 2008. Archived from the original on 10 May 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-08.
  46. ^ "Adam Mueller Wins Les Bartley Award". NLL.com. May 8, 2008. Archived from the original on 10 May 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-08.
  47. ^ a b "Tom Garrity Named Executive of the Year". NLL.com. May 6, 2008. Archived from the original on 10 May 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-06.