- 2005 NLL season
National Lacrosse Leagueseason began on January 1, 2005and concluded with the championship game on May 14. The Toronto Rockwon their fifth NLL championship, defeating the Arizona Sting19-13 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 Bartleylost his battle with colon cancer at age 51cite web|url=http://www.lacrosse-network.com/outsidersguide/news050515.htm|title=Les Bartley, 51, loses battle with cancer|author=Philly, R.A.|work=Outsider's Guide to the NLL|date= May 15, 2005|accessdate=2007-02-04] . Bartley had coached the Buffalo Banditsto three MILL/NLL championships before moving to the expansion Ontario Raidersin 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.
The 2005 season featured the NLL retirement of two lacrosse legends:
Gary Gaitand 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. [cite web|url=http://www.lacrosse-network.com/outsidersguide/news050401.htm|title=Tom Marechek to retire at end of season|work=Outsider's Guide to the NLL|author=Philly, R.A.|date= April 1, 2005|accessdate=2007-02-04]
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 [cite web|url=http://www.lacrosse-network.com/outsidersguide/news041027a.htm|title=Gary Gait to retire after 2005 season|date=
October 27, 2004|author=Philly, R.A.|work=Outsider's Guide to the NLL|accessdate=2007-02-04] . 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.
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 faithcite web|url=http://nll.com/article.php?id=1252|date= September 30, 2004|work=NLL web site|title=Cancellation of Season Looms|accessdate=2007-01-05] . The league made its "last, best, and final offer" to the PLPA on September 29, 2004, and announced that if this offer was not accepted by the players, the season would be officially cancelled on October 2[cite web|url=http://nll.com/article.php?id=1592|date= September 30, 2004|work=NLL web site|title=NLL threatens to cancel 2004-05 season if new CBA isn't signed by Friday|accessdate=2007-01-05] .
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 [cite web|url=http://nll.com/article.php?id=1251|date= October 1, 2004|work=NLL web site|title=League and Player's Union Hammer Out Two Proposals|accessdate=2007-01-05] . One of the two proposals (a three-year deal) was accepted, and the season went on as scheduled [cite web|url=http://nll.com/article.php?id=1249|date= October 2, 2004|work=NLL web site|title=League & Players Reach Agreement|accessdate=2007-01-05] .
The season featured a new team added to the East division, and one removed from the West. The ownership of the
Minnesota Wild NHLteam purchased the rights to the old Montreal Expressfranchise, moving it to Minnesota and renaming it the Minnesota Swarm, while the Vancouver Ravensfranchise was removed from the schedule less than three weeks before the start of the season.
February 10: Buffalo Banditslegend John Tavares became the first player in league history to reach 500 assists, as the Bandits defeated the Anaheim Storm20-9. [cite web|url=http://www.lacrosse-network.com/outsidersguide/game0507anbu.htm|title=Bandits blow away Storm as JT hits 500 assists|work=Outsider's Guide to the NLL|date= February 11, 2005|author=McAllister, Deb|accessdate=2007-02-04]
February 18: Tavares reaches another milestone in his very next game, scoring his 1000th point in an 11-7 defeat of Rochester. Tavares becomes only the second player ever to reach that milestone, following Gary Gait. [cite web|url=http://www.lacrosse-network.com/outsidersguide/game0508buro.htm|title=Tavares hits another milestone in Bandits' 11-7 win|work=Outsider's Guide to the NLL|author=McAllister, Deb|date= February 19, 2005|accessdate=2007-02-04]
"W = Wins, L = Losses, GB = Games Behind Division Leader, PCT = Winning Percentage, Home = Home record, Road = Road record, GF = Goals For, GA = Goals Against"
3RoundBracket-Byes | RD1=Divisional Semifinals
group1= East Division
group2= West Division
*Toronto hosted the championship game.
All Star Game
The 2005 All-Star Game was held at the
Awards are also given out monthly for the best overall player and best rookie.
Bold numbers indicate new single-season records. "Italics" indicate tied single-season records.
* [http://www.lacrosse-network.com/outsidersguide/arch051227.htm 2005 Archive at the Outsider's Guide to the NLL]
* [http://www.pointstreak.com/prostats/standings.html?leagueid=230&seasonid=686 Standings from pointstreak.com]
* [http://www.pointstreak.com/prostats/scoringleaders.html?leagueid=230&seasonid=686 Scoring Leaders from pointstreak.com]
* [http://www.pointstreak.com/prostats/goalieleaders.html?leagueid=230&seasonid=686 Goalie Leaders from pointstreak.com]
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