2006 NLL season
|2006 NLL season|
|League||National Lacrosse League|
|Duration||December 30, 2005 – May 13, 2006|
|Number of teams||11|
|Season MVP||Steve Dietrich (Buffalo Bandits)|
|Top scorer||Josh Sanderson (Toronto Rock)|
|Eastern champions||Buffalo Bandits|
|Eastern runners-up||Rochester Knighthawks|
|Western champions||Portland LumberJax|
|Western runners-up||Colorado Mammoth|
|Finals MVP||Gavin Prout (Colorado)|
The 2006 National Lacrosse League season was the 20th season in the history of the league, which began as the Eagle Pro Box Lacrosse League in 1987. The season began on December 30, 2005 and concluded with the championship game on May 13, 2006.
The defending champion Toronto Rock were once again the favourite to win the Champions' Cup, but a slow start plus a dismal performance in the semifinal game against Rochester removed the Rock from contention. The Colorado Mammoth, under first-year head coach Gary Gait, won their first title since winning the first ever title in 1987, as the Baltimore Thunder.
Highly touted Portland rookie Brodie Merrill lived up to his hype, winning both the Defensive Player of the Year and the Rookie of the Year awards. Portland continued its domination of the post-season awards with Derek Keenan, himself a former Rookie of the Year Award winner (1992 with Buffalo), winning both the Les Bartley Award for coach of the year and the GM of the Year Award, and owner Angela Batinovich winning the Executive of the Year Award.
The season featured the debut of two expansion teams; the Edmonton Rush and the Portland LumberJax, both in the Western Division. Portland beat the expansion team odds and won its division, finishing with an 11–5 record, while Edmonton did not fare so well. The Rush finished the season 1–15, their only win coming at the hands of their provincial rivals, the Calgary Roughnecks.
Before the 2006 season, the Anaheim Storm folded not being able to attract enough fans in their two years in Southern California moving from their original home of New Jersey after the 2003 season where, for two seasons, they were not able to attract enough fans.
- February 18: John Tavares tied Gary Gait for the all-time record in points, with 1091, as the Buffalo Bandits defeated the Minnesota Swarm 14–9.
- March 4: Tavares sets a new NLL record for career points, scoring his 1092nd point in an 11–8 loss to the Swarm.
|1||Buffalo Bandits – xyz||16||11||5||.688||0.0||6–2||5–3||193||167||+26||12.06||10.44|
|2||Rochester Knighthawks – x||16||9||7||.562||2.0||6–2||3–5||196||180||+16||12.25||11.25|
|3||Toronto Rock – x||16||8||8||.500||3.0||5–3||3–5||182||179||+3||11.38||11.19|
|4||Minnesota Swarm – x||16||8||8||.500||3.0||3–5||5–3||158||171||-13||9.88||10.69|
|1||Portland LumberJax – xy||16||11||5||.688||0.0||5–3||6–2||188||177||+11||11.75||11.06|
|2||Colorado Mammoth – x||16||10||6||.625||1.0||6–2||4–4||200||172||+28||12.50||10.75|
|3||Calgary Roughnecks – x||16||9||7||.562||2.0||4–4||5–3||183||178||+5||11.44||11.12|
|4||Arizona Sting – x||16||8||8||.500||3.0||4–4||4–4||198||199||-1||12.38||12.44|
|5||San Jose Stealth||16||5||11||.312||6.0||3–5||2–6||151||174||-23||9.44||10.88|
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 Toronto won the 3-way tiebreaker with Minnesota and Philadelphia
|Divisional Semifinal||Divisional Final||Champion's Cup Final|
The 2006 All-Star Game was held at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario on February 25, 2006. The West Division defeated the East Division 14–13. The MVP of the game was Lewis Ratcliff of the Calgary Roughnecks, who scored 4 goals, including the game winner. This marked the second straight year that a Roughneck player was All-Star Game MVP, with Tracy Kelusky having won it in 2005.
|Eastern Division starters||Western Division starters|
|John Grant, Jr., Rochester||Gavin Prout, Colorado|
|Colin Doyle, Toronto||Tracey Kelusky, Calgary|
|John Tavares, Buffalo||Craig Conn, Arizona|
|Steve Toll, Rochester||Jay Jalbert, Colorado|
|Thomas Hajek, Philadelphia||Brodie Merrill, Portland|
|Pat O'Toole, Rochester (goalie)||Anthony Cosmo, San Jose (goalie)|
|Eastern Division Reserves||Western Division Reserves|
|Marshall Abrams, Rochester||Dan Carey, Colorado|
|Jake Bergey, Philadelphia||Bruce Codd, Arizona|
|Ryan Cousins, Minnesota||Jonas Derks, Arizona|
|Glenn Clark, Philadelphia||Dallas Eliuk, Portland (goalie)|
|Steve Dietrich, Buffalo (goalie)||Peter Lough, Arizona|
|Blaine Manning, Toronto||Derek Malawsky, San Jose|
|Dan Marohl, Philadelphia||Lewis Ratcliff, Calgary|
|Josh Sanderson, Toronto||Scott Self, Arizona|
|Phil Sanderson, Toronto||Ryan Sharp, Portland|
|Mark Steenhuis, Buffalo||Kaleb Toth, Calgary|
|Shawn Williams, Rochester||Andrew Turner, Edmonton|
|Jim Veltman, Toronto||Taylor Wray, Calgary|
|Jet Blue MVP Award||Steve Dietrich||Buffalo|
|Edge Active Care Rookie of the Year Award||Brodie Merrill||Portland|
|Les Bartley Award (Coach of the Year)||Derek Keenan||Portland|
|GM of the Year Award||Derek Keenan||Portland|
|Executive of the Year Award||Angela Batinovich||Portland|
|Defensive Player of the Year||Brodie Merrill||Portland|
|RBK Goaltender of the Year Award||Steve Dietrich||Buffalo|
|Bowflex Sportsmanship Award||Sean Greenhalgh||Philadelphia|
|Championship Game MVP||Gavin Prout||Colorado|
- Colin Doyle, Toronto
- John Grant, Jr., Rochester
- Brodie Merrill, Portland
- Gavin Prout, Colorado
- Josh Sanderson, Toronto
- Steve Dietrich, Buffalo
- Craig Conn, Arizona
- Dan Dawson, Arizona
- Jay Jalbert, Colorado
- Lewis Ratcliff, Calgary
- John Tavares, Buffalo
- Nick Patterson, Minnesota
- Brodie Merrill, Portland
- Sean Greenhalgh, Philadelphia
- Dan Carey, Colorado
- Jeff Zywicki, San Jose
- Shawn Evans, Rochester
- Luke Wiles, San Jose
The NLL gives out awards weekly for the best overall player, best offensive player, best defensive player, and best rookie.
|1||Sean Greenhalgh||Sean Greenhalgh||Matt Roik||Sean Greenhalgh|
|2||Jonas Derks||Jonas Derks||Chris Levis||Jeff Zywicki|
|3||Mark Steenhuis||Mark Steenhuis||Steve Dietrich||Shawn Evans|
|4||Nick Patterson||Jake Bergey||Dallas Eliuk||Brodie Merrill|
|5||John Grant, Jr.||John Grant, Jr.||Pat O'Toole||Brodie Merrill|
|6||Craig Conn||Craig Conn||Nick Patterson||Dan Carey|
|7||Chad Culp||Chad Culp||Nick Patterson||Sean Greenhalgh|
|8||John Tavares||Brodie Merrill||Pat Campbell||Brodie Merrill|
|9||Aaron Wilson||Aaron Wilson||Bob Watson||Sean Greenhalgh|
|10||Matt Disher||John Grant, Jr.||Matt Disher||Shawn Evans|
|11||Sean Greenhalgh||John Grant, Jr.||Matt King||Jeff Zywicki|
|12||Jay Jalbert||Ryan Ward||Jeff Zywicki||Jay Jalbert|
|13||Mark Steenhuis||Mark Steenhuis||Matt King||Roger Vyse
Brodie Merrill (tie)
|14||Brodie Merrill||Jay Jalbert||Steve Dietrich||Brodie Merrill|
|15||Colin Doyle||Colin Doyle||Dallas Eliuk||Sean Greenhalgh|
|16||Dan Dawson||Dan Dawson||Steve Dietrich||Sean Greenhalgh|
Awards are also given out monthly for the best overall player and best rookie.
|Jan||John Grant, Jr.||Sean Greenhalgh|
|Feb||Nick Patterson||Brodie Merrill|
|Mar||Gavin Prout||Brodie Merrill|
Bold numbers indicate new single-season records. Italics indicate tied single-season records.
|Goals||John Grant, Jr.||Rochester||54|
|Penalty Minutes||Rob VanBeek||Philadelphia||72|
|Shots on Goal||John Grant, Jr.||Rochester||277|
|Loose Balls||Jim Veltman||Toronto||226|
|Save Pct||Steve Dietrich||Buffalo||80.8|
- "Toronto opens 2006 as Experts' top pick". Outsider's Guide to the NLL. January 4, 2006. Retrieved November 7, 2006.
- Philly, R.A. (February 22, 2006). "Record-tying Tavares named Player of Week". Outsider's Guide to the NLL. Archived from the original on 2 March 2007. Retrieved February 4, 2007.
- Philly, R.A. (March 4, 2006). "NLL Week Ten Roundup". Outsider's Guide to the NLL. Archived from the original on 2 March 2007. Retrieved February 4, 2007.
- "National Lacrosse League - 2006 Regular Season - Standings". NLL.com. Retrieved May 3, 2012.
- "Dietrich Wins 2006 Jet Blue MVP Award". NLL website. May 11, 2006. Retrieved November 7, 2006.
- "Merrill Wins Edge Active Care Rookie of the Year". NLL website. May 9, 2006. Retrieved November 7, 2006.
- "Derek Keenan Wins Les Bartley Award". NLL website. May 4, 2006. Retrieved November 7, 2006.
- "Derek Keenan Wins Vonage GM of the Year". NLL website. May 5, 2006. Retrieved November 7, 2006.
- "Batinovich Named Executive of the Year". NLL website. May 8, 2006. Retrieved November 7, 2006.
- "Merrill Wins Belmont.com Defensive Player of the Year". NLL website. May 2, 2006. Retrieved November 7, 2006.
- "Steve Dietrich Named RBK Goaltender of the Year". NLL website. May 3, 2006. Retrieved November 7, 2006.
- "Greenhalgh Wins Bowflex Sportsmanship Award". NLL website. May 1, 2006. Retrieved November 7, 2006.
- Knight, Ben (May 13, 2006). "Mammoth stampedes over baffled Bandits". Outsider's Guide to the NLL. Retrieved November 7, 2006.