2002 NLL season
|2002 NLL season|
|League||National Lacrosse League|
|Duration||November 16, 2001 – April 13, 2002|
|Number of teams||13|
|Season MVP||Paul Gait (Washington Power)|
|Top scorer||Paul Gait (Washington Power)|
|Eastern champions||Washington Power|
|Eastern runners-up||Philadelphia Wings|
|Central champions||Albany Attack|
|Central runners-up||Rochester Knighthawks|
|Northern champions||Toronto Rock|
|Northern runners-up||Vancouver Ravens|
|Finals MVP||Colin Doyle (Toronto)|
The 2002 National Lacrosse League season began on November 16, 2001 and concluded with the championship game on April 13, 2002. 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. 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.
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. Williams was later arrested and charged with manslaughter. Williams was acquitted of most charges, but was to be retried for reckless manslaughter. However, the case was delayed several times. On Monday, January 11, 2010, Williams plead guilty to aggravated assault in the case, 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. There were two home games left in the season at the time of the move.
- November 23, 2001: The first ever game for both the Montreal Express and Calgary Roughnecks was a record-setting affair. Montreal set an NLL record for goals by one team in a game by defeating the Roughnecks 32–17 in Calgary. The records for most goals by in a game by both teams (49) and most penalty minutes in a game by both teams (155) were also broken in this game.
- January 4, 2002: Derek Malawsky of the Rochester Knighthawks sets a new NLL record with 11 assists in a 22–11 win over the Buffalo Bandits
|1||Albany Attack – xyz||16||14||2||.875||0.0||7–1||7–1||252||194||+58||15.75||12.12|
|2||Rochester Knighthawks – x||16||13||3||.812||1.0||8–0||5–3||261||202||+59||16.31||12.62|
|1||Washington Power – xy||16||9||7||.562||0.0||6–2||3–5||253||243||+10||15.81||15.19|
|2||Philadelphia Wings – x||16||8||8||.500||1.0||6–2||2–6||222||237||-15||13.88||14.81|
|3||New York Saints||16||5||11||.312||4.0||2–6||3–5||200||249||-49||12.50||15.56|
|4||New Jersey Storm||16||5||11||.312||4.0||3–5||2–6||178||232||-54||11.12||14.50|
|1||Toronto Rock – xy||16||11||5||.688||0.0||8–0||3–5||223||176||+47||13.94||11.00|
|2||Vancouver Ravens – x||16||10||6||.625||1.0||6–2||4–4||236||192||+44||14.75||12.00|
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; GB: Games 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
- Washington was the higher seed but surrendered the game to Philadelphia for financial reasons.
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.
|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)|
|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|
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.
|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||Bille LeFeurve|
|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|
Awards are also given out monthly for the best overall player and best rookie.
|Nov/Dec||Tracy Kelusky||none selected|
|Jan||Paul Gait||Kasey Beirnes|
|Feb||Chris Gill||Gavin Prout|
|Mar||Paul Gait||Blaine Manning|
Bold numbers indicate new single-season records. Italics indicate tied single-season records.
|Penalty Minutes||Brian Reese||Washington||78|
|Loose Balls||Jim Veltman||Toronto||203|
|Save Pct||Rob Blasdell||Albany||77.5|
- 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.
- Philly, R.A. (February 25, 2002). "Williams charged with reckless manslaughter". Outsider's Guide to the NLL. Retrieved February 4, 2007.
- Reilly, Matthew (May 22, 2004). "Prosecutor: We'll retry Williams on key charge". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved February 4, 2007.
- 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.
- Philly, R.A. (February 15, 2002). "Rebel going downtown after Saturday". Outsider's Guide to the NLL. Retrieved February 4, 2007.
- Mehling, Vaun (November 24, 2001). "Records shattered in Express' 32–17 romp". Outsider's Guide to the NLL. Retrieved February 4, 2007.
- McAllister, Deb (January 5, 2002). "Malawsky's eleven assists set record in big K'Hawks win". Retrieved February 4, 2007.
- "National Lacrosse League - 2002 Regular Season - Standings". NLL.com. Retrieved May 3, 2012.