Tag Archives: nll

Buffalo Bandits’ Back-to-Back Championships Cap Record-Setting NLL 2023-24 Season

A record-setting sellout crowd for the clinching championship game, a significant uptick in content consumption across all media channels, and the historic launch of its new grassroots youth participation initiative are among the superlatives as the National Lacrosse League (@NLL) closed its 37th season with a second straight Buffalo Bandits’ title with a pair of wins over the upstart Albany FireWolves in the NLL Finals presented by AXIA Time.

The NLL’s first-ever brand campaign, “Welcome to The Next Major League” kicked off a transformative season for the largest professional lacrosse league in the North America:

  • The total NLL attendance of 1,150,369, inclusive of the regular season and playoffs, marks the second straight year that the League surpassed one million in attendance.
  • The Bandits’ championship was the sixth for the franchise, tying the Toronto Rock and Philadelphia Wings for most in NLL history.
  • The Bandits are the first back-to-back champions in the NLL since the Edmonton and Saskatchewan Rush did so in 2015 and 2016. In all, eight teams have won consecutive NLL championships.
  • Buffalo’s Josh Byrne became the fifth player in NLL history to win both the regular season and Finals MVP awards. Dane Dobbie was the last to achieve the feat in 2019.
  • The NLL engaged more fans than ever across its official media channels, including a 42% increase in social video views. (source: Emplifi)
  • The League’s broadcast team produced 135 regular season and 10 playoff games, totaling approximately 365 hours of coverage. Additionally, more than 100 games were produced and distributed in NLL team markets across the U.S. and Canada, adding more than 250 hours of live game coverage to fans via local outlets.
  • The NLL expanded its League-wide activation of the award-winning Every Child Matters initiative, with all 15 teams participating in a campaign helping to bring awareness to the forcible placement of Indigenous children in residential and boarding schools by the Canadian and United States governments from the 19th century to as recently as 1996.
  • The NLL moved forward with its most significant grassroots initiative ever, creating NLL UnBOXed™, a school-centric curriculum and equipment endowment platform aiming to introduce the NLL’s fun, sixes-style game play to a new generation of fansin more communities across North America. The campaign opened with eight new “NLL UnBOXed Lacrosse Communities” joining the 15 existing NLL teams for the 2024 launch.
  • Buffalo’s Dhane Smith set the all-time playoff assists mark, notching nine in Game 1 on Friday to set the mark, and adding five more in the championship-clinching Game 2 on Saturday. His career total of 125 passed John Tavares (116). Smith also added four goals in the two-game sweep, moving into fifth place on the all-time playoff list with 63.

NLL Finals presented by AXIA Time summary:

(4) Buffalo Bandits vs. (3) Albany FireWolves

  • Game 1 – Buffalo 12, at Albany 9, Friday, May 17
  • Game 2 – at Buffalo 15, Albany 13, Saturday, May 18

AXIA Time joins the expanding NLL partner roster as the ‘Official Timepiece of the NLL’

The National Lacrosse League (NLL) today announced a new, multi-year partnership with AXIA Time as the “Official Timepiece of the NLL” and the presenting partner of the upcoming 2024 NLL Finals presented by AXIA Time that starts this Friday between the defending NLL champion Buffalo Bandits and the Albany FireWolves.

AXIA (pronounced ahx-EE-ah) Time creates heirloom-quality timepiece to commemorate life’s biggest moments. AXIA has been rapidly expanding its portfolio of partners and events. Notable recent projects include ultra-custom timepiece for the University of Michigan’s college football national championship and the University of Connecticut’s men’s basketball back-to-back national championship. Last week, AXIA Time unveiled its new collaboration with Zach Edey, Purdue University, and the Naismith Awards – commemorating Edey’s back-to-back Player of the Year honors.

“Storytelling is vital to the NLL as we advance towards our goal of becoming ‘The Next Major League’ in North America,” said Kurt Hunzeker, NLL Executive Vice President, Commercial Operations. “The biggest and best story of any NLL season centers on celebrating championship teams, and AXIA Time specializes in celebrating life’s biggest achievements and memorializing them in remarkable timepieces that tell so much more than time.”

“We wanted to create a premium item that players, coaches, and fans would appreciate and want to wear to remind them of one of the best times in their lives, and AXIA Time is the perfect partner to bring our vision to life,” Hunzeker said.

“As a life-long lacrosse person, it’s an honor to be partnering with the NLL to create ultra-custom, heirloom-quality timepieces for their fans, players, and partners,” said John Kanaras, AXIA Time founder. “The NLL is making great progress toward creating the next major sports league, and that aligns with our vision to make AXIA Time the next great watch brand in the U.S.”

The 2024 NLL Finals presented by AXIA Time begin Friday, May 17, 7 p.m. ET at MVP Arena in Albany before the series shifts to Buffalo’s KeyBank Center on Saturday, May 18 at 7:30 p.m. ET.

All 2024 NLL Finals presented by AXIA Time games will be televised live on TSN and on the TSN+ streaming service in Canada, and available live via ESPN+ in the U.S.

National Lacrosse League Announces Finalists for 2023-24 NLL Awards

The National Lacrosse League (@NLL) today announced the finalists for its annual season-end awards honoring the best NLL players, coaches, and executives for the 2023-24 regular season.

Highlighting the major awards is the NLL Most Valuable Player honor, with two Buffalo Bandits – Josh Byrne and Dhane Smith — joining the Toronto Rock’s Nick Rose as finalists.

The award winners will be announced in advance of the 2024 NLL Finals.

Most Valuable Player

  • Josh Byrne – Forward – Buffalo Bandits
  • Nick Rose – Goaltender – Toronto Rock
  • Dhane Smith – Forward – Buffalo Bandits

Rookie of the Year

  • Owen Grant – Transition – Vancouver Warriors
  • Tye Kurtz – Forward – Albany FireWolves
  • Alex Simmons – Forward – Albany FireWolves

Goaltender of the Year

  • Doug Jamieson – Albany FireWolves
  • Chris Origlieri – San Diego Seals
  • Nick Rose – Toronto Rock

Offensive Player of the Year

  • Josh Byrne – Buffalo Bandits
  • Dhane Smith – Buffalo Bandits
  • Jeff Teat – New York Riptide

Transition Player of the Year

  • Ian MacKay – Buffalo Bandits
  • Shane Simpson – Calgary Roughnecks
  • Jake Withers – Halifax Thunderbirds

Defensive Player of the Year

  • Mitch de Snoo – Toronto Rock
  • Ryan Dilks – Vancouver Warriors
  • Brad Kri – Toronto Rock

Sportsmanship Award

  • Keegan Bal – Vancouver Warriors
  • Tom Schreiber – Toronto Rock
  • Lyle Thompson* – Georgia Swarm

Les Bartley Award (Head Coach of the Year)

  • Glenn Clark – Albany FireWolves
  • Curt Malawsky* – Vancouver Warriors
  • Matt Sawyer – Toronto Rock

General Manager of the Year

  • Glenn Clark – Albany FireWolves
  • Jamie Dawick – Toronto Rock
  • Curt Malawsky – Vancouver Warriors

Executive of the Year

  • John Catalano – President and Chief Executive Officer, Halifax Thunderbirds
  • Mike Hancock – Director of Communications and Lacrosse Operations, Toronto Rock
  • Oliver Marti – Chief Executive Officer, Albany FireWolves

Tom Borrelli Award (Media Person of the Year)

  • Teddy Jenner* – TSN play-by-play and co-host, “Off the Crosse Bar” podcast
  • Adam Levi – NLL.com, Inside Lacrosse, NLLPA contributing writer and host, “Lacrosse Matrix” podcast
  • Graeme Perrow – NLL Chatter

*denotes 2023 winner

Each NLL team had the opportunity to nominate and vote for each of the awards with the exception of Teammate of the Year, as each NLLPA Player Representative nominated a player from their team for this honor that was voted on by the NLLPA and its 15 Player Representatives. The Teammate of the Year will be announced with all awards’ winners.

The League added Offensive Player of the Year to the lineup of awards this year to align with the other position-based honors: Defensive Player of the Year, Transition Player of the Year, and Goaltender of the Year.

Once nominations were finalized, each NLL team cast three ballots for each award and select media were eligible to vote for all awards except Teammate of the Year and Executive of the Year.

Voting members selected their top five choices for each award among all nominated persons. Points were distributed for each first through fifth place vote as follows:

  • 1st Place – 10 points
  • 2nd Place – 7 points
  • 3rd Place – 5 points
  • 4th Place – 3 points
  • 5th Place – 1 point

The person that accumulated the most points will be announced as the winner, while the top three in each category are designated as the award finalists. The All-NLL and All-Rookie teams are determined by the top vote getters in each position-based award. The All-Rookie team will be made up of six rookies, regardless of position. The All-NLL First Team and All-NLL Second Team will be made up of six individuals – two forwards, one transition player, two defenseman, and one goaltender – per team.

NLL Announces Television Slate for National Lacrosse League Semifinals

The 2024 National Lacrosse League (@NLL) Playoffs will take center stage again this weekend with both best-of-three semifinal matchups on linear television in Canada and the U.S.

TSN features complete coverage of the top-seeded Toronto Rock (16-3) and defending champion and #4 seed Buffalo Bandits (12-7) series between the long-standing rivals. In the U.S., ESPNU will be the linear home for the second-seeded San Diego Seals (14-5) and #3 Albany FireWolves (12-7) first-ever postseason battle.

ESPNU will also present Game 2 of Toronto vs. Buffalo series. All NLL postseason games will also stream live on ESPN+ and TSN+.

The Toronto-Buffalo series, a rematch of last year’s NLL Eastern Conference semifinals, will feature the commentator team of Jon Abbott, Pat Gregoire,and Brianne Foley. Play begins with Game 1 on Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET from Hamilton, Ontario. Game 2 follows on Sunday live from Buffalo at 5:30 p.m. ET, with Game 3, if necessary, scheduled for Saturday, May 11, at 7 p.m. back in Hamilton, Ontario.

San Diego and Albany, a first-time playoff winner, opens on Friday at 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT from San Diego, with Cooper Perkins, Nick Ossello,and Raine Michaels on the call. The teams travel to Albany for Game 2 on Sunday at 3 p.m. ET, with Brendan Glasheen, Dan Bahl,and Ashley Miller calling the action. Game 3, if necessary, is scheduled for Friday, May 10, at 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT, with Perkins, Ossello and Michaels on the call.

The winners of each semifinal series will face off in the best-of-three 2024 NLL Finals, scheduled for Thursday, May 16, through Sunday, May 19, and Thursday, May 23, through Sunday, May 26. Additionally, should both semifinal series end in two games, the NLL may move the 2024 NLL Finals up to the preceding week.

To view the 2024 NLL Playoffs bracket, visit https://www.nll.com/standings/.

The complete 2024 NLL Playoffs semifinal round broadcast schedule:

(4) Buffalo Bandits vs. (1) Toronto Rock

  • Game 1 – Buffalo at Toronto, Friday, May 3, 7:30 p.m. ET, FirstOntario Centre, Hamilton, ON, TSN, ESPN+ (Abbott, Gregoire, Foley)
  • Game 2 – Toronto at Buffalo, Sunday, May 5, 5:30 p.m. ET, KeyBank Center, Buffalo, TSN, ESPNU, ESPN+ (Abbott, Gregoire, Foley)
  • *Game 3 – Buffalo at Toronto, Saturday, May 11, 7 p.m. ET, FirstOntario Centre, Hamilton, ON, TSN, ESPN+ (Abbott, Gregoire, Foley)

(3) Albany Firewolves vs. (2) San Diego Seals

  • Game 1 – Albany at San Diego, Friday, May 3, 10:30 p.m. ET, Pechanga Arena, San Diego, ESPNU, ESPN+, TSN+ (Perkins, Ossello, Michaels)
  • Game 2 – San Diego at Albany, Sunday, May 5, 3 p.m. ET, MVP Arena, Albany, NY, ESPNU, ESPN+, TSN+ (Glasheen, Bahr, Miller)
  • *Game 3 – Albany at San Diego, Friday, May 10, 10:30 p.m. ET, Pechanga Arena, San Diego, ESPNU, ESPN+, TSN+ (Perkins, Ossello, Michaels)

NLL Welcomes Tampa General Hospital as the First NLL UnBOXed Lacrosse Community Presenting Partner

A few months after launching its innovative continent-wide grassroots initiative, NLL UnBOXed™, the National Lacrosse League today announced its first local market, multi-year presenting partnership as Tampa General Hospital (TGH) will join the League to bring the NLL’s fast-paced lacrosse game play to more young boys and girls throughout the Tampa Bay area.

The “Tampa Bay Snowbirds™ presented by Tampa General Hospital” will begin the initial phase of NLL UnBOXed activations this year, with the League providing Snowbirds and TGH-branded lacrosse equipment to participating Tampa Bay-area elementary and middle schools for use in physical education classes for all students.

“A primary goal for NLL UnBOXed always centered on partnering with influential local leaders and community-driven companies to help us introduce and foster a new love of NLL-style, fast-paced lacrosse to young boys and girls across North America,” said Kurt Hunzeker, NLL Executive Vice President, Commercial Operations. “We are thrilled to begin this exciting journey with our friends at Tampa General Hospital and bring the Tampa Bay Snowbirds to life in Bay Area schools starting this fall.”

While the first wave of Tampa Bay-area schools who registered to bring NLL UnBOXed to their students will be announced in the coming weeks, any elementary and middle school administrators, athletic directors, and/or physical education teachers can request to become an inaugural participating school by registering at NLL.com/UnBOXed.

“Tampa General Hospital is committed to promoting health and wellness in our community to prevent illness and chronic health conditions,” said Kim Christine, administrator of community health and wellness at Tampa General Hospital. “This partnership not only helps us connect youth to the growing game of lacrosse, it allows us to invest in creating a healthier Tampa Bay.”

Tampa Bay joined seven other North American markets in the League’s inaugural class of “NLL UnBOXed Lacrosse Communities” unveiled in November 2023. To illustrate its commitment to growing box lacrosse participation and skill development across Canada and the United States, the NLL created community-relevant team names and bold brand identities for each of the nine markets: Baltimore Ghost Crabs™, Charlotte Cobras™, Minnesota Lake Dragons™, Montréal Castors™, Seattle Shipwrecks™, St. Louis Howlers™, Tampa Bay Snowbirds™ presented by Tampa General Hospital, and Utah Spikes™.

NLL UnBOXed will drive the expansion of the League’s current multi-national activation footprint to include approximately 60 North American communities by the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles when sixes lacrosse, similar to the NLL’s 6-on-6 box lacrosse game play style, returns as a medal sport for the first time since 1908.

Officially licensed NLL UnBOXed merchandise, including a wide selection of Snowbirds’ apparel and collectibles, will debut later this year with exclusive reveals all summer via the League’s social media channels.

The 2023-24 NLL regular season wraps up this week before the 2024 NLL Playoffs begin on Friday, April 26.

National Lacrosse League Playoffs Begin Saturday; Schedule to Feature Broadcasts on TSN and ESPNU

The National Lacrosse League’s (@NLL) new unified standings aimed to make every game count, and it took until its 135th and final regular season game to set the 2024 NLL Playoffs bracket and schedule. With Rochester defeating Philadelphia, 12-3, the postseason field of eight is set, with quarterfinal play beginning on Saturday, April 27.

The top-seeded Toronto Rock (15-3) and No. 2 San Diego Seals (13-5) are joined by the No. 3 Albany FireWolves (11-7) and No. 4 Buffalo Bandits (11-7) in hosting single-elimination quarterfinal games next weekend.

Two teams, the No. 7 Panther City Lacrosse Club (9-9) and No. 8 Rochester Knighthawks (8-10), punched their tickets based on the wild final weekend results.

This year’s field includes six teams that advanced to the postseason in 2023, including defending champion Buffalo.

TSN will feature Rochester at Toronto to start quarterfinal weekend on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. ET. ESPNU’s coverage will include the No. 5 Georgia Swarm at Buffalo Saturday night, 7 p.m. ET, and No. 6 Halifax Thunderbirds (10-8) at Albany on Sunday at 3 p.m ET. Every postseason game can be seen on ESPN+ and TSN+.

Here is the complete 2024 NLL Playoffs quarterfinals’ broadcast schedule (all times ET):

  • Saturday, April 27 – #8 Rochester at #1 Toronto, 4:30 p.m., TSN, ESPN+, TSN+
  • Saturday, April 27 – #5 Georgia at #4 Buffalo, 7 p.m., ESPNU, ESPN+, TSN+
  • Saturday, April 27 – #7 Panther City at #2 San Diego, 10 p.m., ESPN+, TSN+
  • Sunday, April 28 – #6 Halifax at #3 Albany, 3 p.m., ESPNU, ESPN+, TSN+

Quarterfinal winners advance to their respective best-of-three semifinal series, which will commence on Thursday, May 2, through Sunday, May 5, and continue Thursday, May 9, through Sunday, May 12.

The best-of-three 2024 NLL Finals are scheduled for Thursday, May 16, through Sunday, May 19, and Thursday, May 23, through Sunday, May 26.

Additionally, should both semifinal series end in two games, the League may move the 2024 NLL Finals up to the preceding week.

Exact dates and broadcast schedules for TSN and ESPN for the semifinals and NLL Finals rounds will be announced after the pairings and dates are set. To view the 2024 NLL Playoffs bracket, visit https://www.nll.com/standings/.

2024 National Lacrosse League Playoffs Open April 25-28 with Single-Elimination Quarterfinals

The National Lacrosse League (NLL) today announced its 2024 NLL Playoffs schedule that will start as early as April 25th.

Postseason positioning continues as the NLL’s “The March to May” playoff push continues this weekend with nearly every team still in contention for a playoff berth and many still in the hunt for a top-four seed and ability to host the single-game elimination quarterfinal later this month.

The exact dates and times of games will be determined as soon as practical before each playoff round, dependent on seeding, arena availability, and broadcast windows. Teams are not re-seeded after each round, resulting in a true “bracket style” format.

The single-elimination quarterfinals will be held between Thursday, April 25, and Sunday, April 28, at the home sites of the #1 through #4 seeds, hosting #8 through #5, respectively.

The best-of-three semifinals will commence on Thursday, May 2, through Sunday, May 5, and continue Thursday, May 9, through Sunday, May 12.

The best-of-three 2024 NLL Finals are scheduled for Thursday, May 16, through Sunday, May 19, and Thursday, May 23, through Sunday, May 26.

Additionally, should both semifinal series end in two games, the league may move the 2024 NLL Finals up to the preceding week.

The NLL postseason schedule, including the ESPN and TSN broadcast slate, will be released following the regular season, which concludes on Sunday, April 21.

National Lacrosse League Expands League-Wide Activationfor Award-Winning ‘Every Child Matters’ Initiative

The National Lacrosse League (NLL) today announced the return and expansion of its “Every Child Matters” initiative. The multi-faceted platform brings awareness to the forcible placement of Indigenous children in residential and boarding schools by the Canadian and United States governments from the 19th century to as recently as 1996. This year’s campaign will begin this coming weekend and will run through March 10th.

Now in its third year, all 15 NLL teams will participate in the campaign, including specially designed helmet decals supporting “Every Child Matters” worn by all players for the remainder of the season.

“Our continued work with Indigenous athletes and communities is a major priority for the National Lacrosse League, and the ‘Every Child Matters’ education process and activations are key components of that platform,” said NLL Commissioner Brett Frood. “This program presents an opportunity to facilitate meaningful conversations about the atrocities perpetrated by the residential and boarding school systems, continue the journey toward reconciliation, and honor survivors and their families.”

The “Every Child Matters” initiative is a part of the NLL’s ever-growing participation and awareness programs tied to Indigenous culture, which is at the core of the League’s values and the history of the sport of lacrosse. The work includes educational programs for athletes, coaches, staff, and fans, land acknowledgment ceremonies, and charitable and social responsibility programs to strengthen and enhance the ties between League stakeholders and the Indigenous community.

The NLL will also produce audio and video messaging for broadcasts on TSN and ESPN, and additional content will be incorporated into NLL.com, the League’s social channels, and in-venue game presentations.

Fans will be able to purchase cotton shirts through the league’s online stores, NLLShop.com and NLLStore.ca. For every shirt sold, the NLL will donate to the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund (DWF) in Canada and The National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition (NABS) in the United States.

DWF is inspired by the tragic story of an Indigenous boy, Chanie Wenjack, and the commitment of a modern-day folk singer, Gord Downie. The organization seeks to enhance the well-being of Indigenous peoples through heightened awareness, education, and a reconciliation among all Canadians. NABS is leading the movement for truth, justice, and healing in the U.S. Its work is focused on research, education, and healing, and is currently advocating for legislation in Congress to establish a Truth and Reconciliation Commission on Indian Boarding School policies (H.R. 7227).

There were 523 Indigenous boarding schools operating in the U.S. and 130 Indigenous residential schools in Canada, and 13 NLL teams play within a couple hours of one or more of these sites. To learn more about these schools and their locations, please visit https://boardingschoolhealing.org/digitalmap/

The League will continue to use an “Every Child Matters” logo designed by Justin Gilbert of Kuvua Designs. Gilbert was selected due to his work in support of Indigenous organizations and his connection to the cause, being born and raised on the Southern Ute Reservation. The logo contains the silhouette of an Indigenous child wearing a ribbon shirt and holding a traditional wooden lacrosse stick. The text “Every Child Matters” appears next to the image with a heart and feather.

National Lacrosse League and Marvel Team up to Promote Lacrosse’s Legendary Origin Story

To close out this year’s Native American Heritage Month, the National Lacrosse League unveiled a new, multi-year program with storytelling giant Marvel, focused on honoring and popularizing lacrosse’s Indigenous origin story with game-specific promotions starting in the upcoming 2023-24 NLL season.

The central theme of the collaboration, the history of lacrosse, will be at the core of a custom comic book written by Paul Allor, in close collaboration with the NLL’s Indigenous consultants, drawn by Indigenous creator Shaun Beyale, and a cover by JL Giles.


“With NLL-style sixes lacrosse enjoying heightened global momentum with the IOC’s recent vote to add the sport to the upcoming LA28 Summer Olympic games, the NLL wanted to celebrate lacrosse’s fabled beginnings with our rapidly expanding worldwide fan base,” said Kurt Hunzeker, the NLL’s Executive Vice President of Commercial Operations. “Great stories are the heartbeat of the Marvel Universe, and the NLL is honored to work with Marvel to bring the legend of North America’s original pastime to life.”

The custom comic book will only be available at designated Marvel Super Hero™ themed games every NLL team will host each year of the program. The same core story will be offered in each market, and Marvel will produce variant covers featuring star players from every NLL team that will be given out at their respective games.

The collaboration was facilitated by AthLife, Inc., Marvel’s longtime sports-centric agency of record.

In addition to the comic book premium distribution, each NLL team will wear special edition Marvel Super Hero-inspired jerseys on floor during its designated game. NLL fans can expect more Marvel-themed activations throughout the year.

Each NLL team has designated its Marvel Super Hero theme night for the upcoming 2023-24 season:

  • Albany FireWolves: Saturday, March 2, 2024, 7pm ET, vs. New York
  • Buffalo Bandits: Friday, March 8, 2024, 7:30pm ET, vs. Saskatchewan
  • Calgary Roughnecks: Friday, March 22, 2024, 7pm MT, vs. Albany
  • Colorado Mammoth: Saturday, March 2, 2024, 7pm MT, vs. Saskatchewan
  • Georgia Swarm: Friday, April 19, 2024, 7:30pm ET, vs. Rochester
  • Halifax Thunderbirds: Friday, February 16, 2024, 7:30pm AT, vs. Buffalo
  • Las Vegas Desert Dogs: Saturday, April 13, 2024, 7pm PT, vs. Colorado
  • New York Riptide: Saturday, February 10, 2024, 7:30pm ET, vs. San Diego
  • Panther City Lacrosse Club: Sunday, March 3, 2024, 3pm CT, vs. Rochester
  • Philadelphia Wings: Saturday, March 2, 2024, 1pm ET, vs. Calgary
  • Rochester Knighthawks: Sunday, April 21, 2024, 3pm ET, vs. Philadelphia
  • San Diego Seals: Friday, February 23, 2024, 7pm ET, vs. Georgia
  • Saskatchewan Rush: Saturday, February 24, 2024, 7pm CT, vs. Halifax
  • Toronto Rock: Saturday, March 23, 2024, 7pm ET, vs. Halifax
  • Vancouver Warriors: Saturday, February 10, 2024, 7pm PT, vs. Saskatchewan

The 2023-24 NLL season will commence with NLL Faceoff Weekend tomorrow with a “NLL Game of the Week” doubleheader on TSN in Canada as Saskatchewan travels to Halifax at 7pm ET and Panther City opens up in Vancouver at 10pm ET. ESPN2 will carry the first “NLL Saturday Night Showcase” this weekend with Philadelphia battling New York starting at 7:30pm ET.

National Lacrosse League Opens Friday with NLL Faceoff Weekend: Ten Things to Know

The National Lacrosse League (@NLL), the largest and most successful professional lacrosse property in the world, opens its 37th season with five contests on “NLL Faceoff Weekend” with three games on Friday and two on Saturday.

Coming off a season of record-breaking attendance across the league and interest in the NLL and the sport of lacrosse at an all-time high, the off-season was an exciting one for the NLL, with storylines heightening the anticipation for 2023-24.

Here are 10 things to know about the NLL entering Week 1:

  • Fans can watch three of the five NLL Faceoff Weekend contests on linear broadcasts, beginning with the “NLL Game of the Week on TSN” doubleheader on Friday featuring the Saskatchewan Rush at Halifax Thunderbirds (7 p.m. ET / 8 p.m. AT), with broadcasters Pete Dalliday, Pat Gregoire, and Ashley Docking) followed by Panther City Lacrosse Club at Vancouver Warriors (10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT), with Teddy Jenner, Brad Challoner, and Shantelle Chand).
  • In the “NLL Saturday Night Showcase on ESPN,” the Philadelphia Wings visit the New York Riptide (7:30 p.m. ET). The Albany FireWolves vs. Las Vegas Desert Dogs contest (10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT) will also be seen locally in both markets (My4 in Albany, Fox 5 in Vegas).
  • The Buffalo Bandits, who open play on Dec. 9 at Albany, will be looking to repeat as NLL Champions, a feat that is rare in League history. The Rochester Knighthawks (now the Halifax Thunderbirds) were the last, pulling a threepeat with titles from 2012-14. The only other title defenses in League history were by the Toronto Rock (1999-2000) and (2002-03).
  • The Bandits’ championship last season was their 12th trip to the NLL Finals, the most in League history. The current Halifax Thunderbirds made ten appearances during their time as the original Rochester Knighthawks, and the Rock have made nine NLL Finals appearances.
  • All 135 regular season games and every playoff contest will be streamed live on ESPN+ and TSN+. The full schedule is available at https://www.nll.com/schedule/full-schedule/.
  • TSN will broadcast 20 Game of the Week contests, including at least one at each of the League’s five Canadian-based franchises. The schedule, subject to change, is available here: https://www.nll.com/news/2023-24-nll-game-of-the-week-on-tsn-schedule-announced/
  • In October, the NLL unveiled NLL UnBOXed™, the League’s new continent-wide grassroots campaign designed to bring the League’s fast-paced game to boys and girls in more communities across North America. The League also revealed the cities and branding for the nine non-NLL markets, available at https://www.nll.com/UnBOXed/.
  • The new NLL UnBOXed series will debut with the Toronto Rock and New York Riptide playing at Place Bell in Laval, Québec on Friday, February 16, 2024 in the first regular season game to be held in the province since 2002.
  • In September, the League unveiled new branding, including a refined primary logo, stylized wordmark, and for the first time, a French language “Ligue Nationale de Lacrosse” family of marks.
  • The 2023-24 NLL season will be the first under a new unified standings format and playoff structure which will feature a more balanced schedule across its 15 teams and a single-table, eight-team playoff qualification system that eliminates the geographical conferences.
  • Monday marked the debut of “War on the Floor: A Season with the San Diego Seals” on Prime Video, an all-access series that follows the expansion franchise throughout the 2021-2022 season. Search “War on the Floor” to watch the five episode series.
  • NLL.com’s news bureau has been busy with numerous features every week. The latest series is the “NLL Top 50,” counting down the league’s best at each position. Next up, the forwards. See links to the other positions at the bottom of that article.

Schedule – Week 1 (All Times Eastern)

Friday

  • Saskatchewan Rush at Halifax Thunderbirds, 7 p.m., TSN, TSN+, ESPN+
  • Panther City Lacrosse Club at Vancouver Warriors, 10 p.m., TSN, TSN+, ESPN+
  • Albany FireWolves at Las Vegas Desert Dogs, 10 p.m., ESPN+, TSN+, My4, Fox 5

Saturday

  • Calgary Roughnecks at Rochester Knighthawks, 7 p.m., ESPN+, TSN+
  • Philadelphia Wings at New York Riptide, 7:30 p.m., ESPN2, ESPN+, TSN+

National Lacrosse League Returns to Montréal for its First Regular Season Game in Québec Since 2002

The National Lacrosse League (@NLL), North America’s premier professional lacrosse league, today announced the first-ever NLL UnBOXed™ Series marquee event game scheduled for Friday, February 16, 2024, at 7 p.m. ET in Laval, Québec, outside of Montréal. The League’s newest tentpole showcase features the NLL’s two largest markets as the Toronto Rock and New York Riptide will clash in a pivotal midseason showdown.

Place Bell, home of the Laval Rocket, the AHL affiliate of the NHL Montréal Canadiens, will host the 2024 NLL UnBOXed Series, marking the first regular season game in Québec since 2002 when the NLL Montréal Express played its final game at the then-Molson Centre.

Tickets for the 2024 NLL UnBOXed Series will officially go on sale on November 16th at noon ET at evenko.ca.

Today’s announcement follows last week’s unveiling of the NLL’s new multi-national grassroots initiative, NLL UnBOXed, including the launch of its Montréal area-specific programming under the “Castors de Montréal” brand.

“Interest in box lacrosse, from the grassroots to the professional level, continues to skyrocket in Québec, and we are proud to be able to take this next step in bringing the NLL and our elite athletes to Laval and the greater Montréal area,” said NLL Commissioner Brett Frood. “We are thankful to the leadership of the Canadiens, especially France Margaret Bélanger, in working with us to host the game at Place Bell, and to both the Riptide and the Rock for their enthusiasm to move to a neutral site so that we can expand our regular season audience in Montréal for the first time in more than 20 years.”

The NLL UnBOXed Series event platform will also include additional local activations throughout Montréal leading up to the game in Laval, including instructional clinics for young boys and girls, parents, and coaches, and gameday interactive fan experiences at Place Bell. Specific details will be announced at a later date.

“We are delighted to be working with the National Lacrosse League to bring the best in professional box lacrosse to Laval in February,” said Groupe CH president, sports and entertainment, France Margaret Bélanger. “The sport has a deep history in our province, and hosting this game is a great way to honor the past while looking to the future, as we give our fans a chance to see the Rock and Riptide play in an important regular season game at Place Bell.”

The inaugural NLL UnBOXed Series also will feature the first in-game use of the NLL’s new French-language brand identity unveiled this past July, further symbolizing the League’s long-term commitment to growing box lacrosse in Montréal, throughout Québec, and with all Canadians.

For fans outside of the greater Montréal area, the NLL UnBOXed Series game will be the nationally broadcast “NLL Game of the Week on TSN” throughout Canada, with French-language coverage available on RDS. ESPN+ will stream the game in the U.S.

Professional box lacrosse has had two franchises play in Québec in its history: the Montréal Quebecois played in 1974 and 1975 in the original NLL, followed by the Express in 2002. In recent years, Toronto hosted successful preseason games at Centre Bell in Montreal against the Rochester Knighthawks in 2012 and 2014.

The 2023-24 NLL season will commence with NLL Faceoff Weekend the first weekend of December.

ESPN To Broadcast 10 National Lacrosse League Games Across Linear Channels

The National Lacrosse League (@NLL), the largest and most successful professional lacrosse property in the world, and ESPN today announced the schedule of 10 games to be broadcast on its ESPN2 and ESPNU linear platforms during the 2023-24 season. The slate begins on NLL Faceoff Weekend when Philadelphia visits New York (7:30 p.m. ET/ESPN2).

The Defending Champion Buffalo Bandits will appear twice, including a rematch of the 2022-23 Finals against the Colorado Mammoth on April 5 at 9 p.m. ET/7 p.m. MT at Ball Arena.

“The continued success of our ESPN linear broadcasts demonstrates the appeal of our league across diverse demographics and fan bases nationwide,” said NLL Commissioner Brett Frood. “These carefully selected matchups highlight our world-class athletes and rivalries within our new Unified Standings format, and the exposure on ESPN2 and ESPNU helps us retain and grow new interest in our sport.”

The ESPN linear schedule is as follows and is available on the NLL website (schedule subject to change, all times ET):

• Saturday, December 2, 2023: Philadelphia Wings at New York Riptide, 7:30 p.m., ESPN2 (broadcast team: Brendan Glasheen, play-by-play; Mitch Belisle, analyst; Ashley Miller, sideline)
• Saturday, December 30, 2023: New York Riptide at Toronto Rock, 4 p.m., ESPNU
• Friday, January 12, 2024: San Diego Seals at Las Vegas Desert Dogs, 10 p.m., ESPNU
• Sunday, February 4, 2024: Colorado Mammoth at San Diego Seals, 6 p.m., ESPNU
• Friday, February 9, 2024: Colorado Mammoth at Panther City Lacrosse Club, 9 p.m., ESPNU
• Friday, February 23, 2024: Georgia Swarm at San Diego Seals, 11 p.m., ESPNU
• Friday, March 1, 2024: Toronto Rock at Las Vegas Desert Dogs, 10 p.m., ESPNU
• Friday, April 5, 2024: Buffalo Bandits at Colorado Mammoth, 9 p.m., ESPNU
• Sunday, April 14, 2024: Albany FireWolves at Panther City Lacrosse Club,            5 p.m., ESPNU
• Saturday, April 20, 2024: Buffalo Bandits at Las Vegas Desert Dogs, 10 p.m., ESPNU

In addition to the ESPNU and ESPN2 schedule, every NLL game throughout the regular season and playoffs will be streamed on ESPN+ in the U.S. as well as TSN+ in Canada.

The 2023-24 NLL season will commence with NLL Faceoff Weekend on December 1-2. The full NLL regular season schedule is available at https://www.nll.com/schedule/full-schedule/.

National Lacrosse League and StringKing Expand Strategic Partnership with Multi-year Renewal

The National Lacrosse League (@NLL), the largest and most successful professional lacrosse property in the world, today announced that StringKing (@StringKing), has extended its partnership as an official lacrosse equipment supplier for the next three years. The renewal designates StringKing as a non-exclusive “Continental Partner” and “Official Equipment Provider” for the NLL.

“As the NLL continues to innovate its energetic game play, challenge the status quo, and lead the lacrosse industry towards the sport’s inclusion in the upcoming LA28 Summer Olympics, we want to strengthen our bonds with like-minded partners, and StringKing checks every box,” said Kurt Hunzeker, NLL Executive Vice President of Commercial Operations.

“This renewal represents a deeper commitment from both organizations to collaborate and provide the NLL’s elite players with premium lacrosse heads, shafts, and mesh kits they need to perform at a world-class level, while also exploring new opportunities to grow the sport with young boys and girls in communities across North America,” Hunzeker said.

StringKing is excited to partner with the best players in the world and have them use the brand’s top equipment. Players will be using StringKing’s Mark 2 family of heads, Type 5 mesh, and Metal 3 Pro and Composite 2 Pro Shafts. This partnership allows StringKing to get direct feedback from NLL players which is used in their product development for future products.

“The National Lacrosse League is a vital partner for our business, and we are proud to continue our partnership well into the future,” said Jake McCampbell, StringKing CEO. “The work the NLL does to reach both new audiences and the core lacrosse fans not just in-season but year-round is essential to the growth of our game, and we look forward to working with the teams, coaches and most importantly the athletes, to keep growing and improving all we do together.”

StringKing is a manufacturer of high-performance sports equipment. StringKing’s lacrosse products are recognized as some of the best in the game. They have gained the trust of top players because of the power, control, and consistency their products provide. StringKing will be supplying NLL teams with heads, shafts, and mesh for their sticks.

The 2023-24 NLL season will commence with NLL Faceoff Weekend the first weekend of December.

National Lacrosse League unveils NLL UnBOXed youth-focused grassroots initiative across No. America

The National Lacrosse League (NLL) today announced the launch of NLL UnBOXed™, the League’s new continent-wide grassroots campaign designed to bring the NLL’s fast-paced lacrosse game to more young boys and girls in more communities across North America.

The NLL will expand its multi-national activation footprint to include approximately 60 North American communities by the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles when sixes lacrosse, similar to the NLL’s 6-on-6 box lacrosse game play style, returns as a medal sport for the first time since 1908.

“NLL UnBOXed is an innovative approach to introducing and fostering the love of box lacrosse’s unique style of play among young boys and girls across North America,” said Kurt Hunzeker, NLL Executive Vice President, Commercial Operations. “With NLL-style sixes lacrosse coming to the LA28 Summer Olympics, it is imperative that the League leads by example and establishes NLL UnBOXed to create meaningful connections with more communities from coast to coast.”

Nine new “NLL UnBOXed Lacrosse Communities” will join the 15 existing NLL teams for the 2024 launch of the multi-tiered campaign: Baltimore, Charlotte, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Montréal, Ottawa, Salt Lake City, Seattle, St. Louis, and the Tampa Bay area.

The NLL will practice innovation and unique activation when engaging these non-franchise markets and grassroots participants, by creating community-relevant “team names” and brand identities to illustrate the League’s commitment to growing box lacrosse across Canada and the United States.

The first of the new NLL UnBOXed Lacrosse Communities’ brand identities will be unveiled today at 1pm ET, beginning the week-long rollout of the NLL’s nine new activation markets across the NLL’s social channels.

The next phase of the initiative begins in 2024 with the start of “NLL UnBOXed At School™,” a physical education-centric lacrosse curriculum created by NLL Hall of Fame inductee Casey Powell and based on the successful SPEED Lacrosse® platform Powell developed after he retired from the NLL.

“I am thrilled to be a part of NLL UnBOXed At School,” Powell said. “The SPEED Lacrosse curriculum will not only introduce lacrosse to young students across North America but also provide them with a pathway towards a lifetime of enjoying the sport. I myself was introduced to lacrosse in my gym class, and SPEED Lacrosse offers the perfect format to sample the game, play it at its fundamental level, and accelerate the NLL grassroots initiative.”

Built specifically for elementary and middle schools, NLL UnBOXed At School also includes a lacrosse equipment endowment program as the NLL and its partners will provide an assortment of sticks, balls, and goals to participating schools’ physical education departments.

All elementary and middle school administrators, athletic directors, and/or physical education teachers can request to become an inaugural participating school by registering at NLL.com/UnBOXed.

“The NLL UnBOXed program offers greater opportunities for all players at any age and skill level to increase their competency at an accelerated rate in a fun and friendly environment,” said Brian Lemon, NLL Executive Vice President, Lacrosse Operations. “The SPEED Lacrosse curriculum incorporated into NLL UnBOXed provides an unrivaled foundation for players that transfers to all disciplines of our game. Players are going to love it.”

NLL UnBOXed further solidifies the League’s commitment to growing youth participation, as last week the NLL joined other U.S.-based lacrosse properties to form Elevate28 with a focused mission to double lacrosse participation in the U.S. to 4 million annual players by the end of the decade.

The 2023-24 NLL season will commence with NLL Faceoff Weekend the first weekend of December.

National Lacrosse League, TSN Set ‘NLL Game of the Week on TSN’ Schedule For 2023-24 Season

The National Lacrosse League (@NLL), the largest and most successful professional lacrosse property in the world, and TSN, Canada’s Sports Leader, announced the schedule of “NLL Game of the Week on TSN” broadcasts on TSN for the upcoming 2023-24 NLL regular season.

The lineup of 20 Game of the Week broadcasts – including at least one at each of the NLL’s five Canada-based franchises – begins with NLL Faceoff Weekend on December 1, featuring the Saskatchewan Rush at Halifax Thunderbirds (7 p.m. ET / 8 p.m. AT) followed by Panther City Lacrosse Club at Vancouver Warriors (10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT).

This season’s “NLL Game of the Week on TSN” slate also features a record four doubleheaders (Weeks 1, 14, 16, and 20), providing fans more fast-paced NLL action throughout the season.

Designated “flex” games during the last three weeks of the NLL regular season allow the League and TSN to adjust broadcast schedules to air the most compelling games during the “NLL March to May” race to the postseason.

In addition, the popular “NLL Game of the Week on TSN” broadcasts are complemented by TSN’s continued live streaming coverage of every NLL regular season and postseason game for fans across Canada on its TSN+ digital streaming service.

The “NLL Game of the Week on TSN” schedule is as follows and is available on the NLL and TSN official websites (schedule subject to change, all times ET):

  • Friday, December 1, 2023: Saskatchewan Rush @ Halifax Thunderbirds, 7 p.m.
  • Friday, December 1, 2023: Panther City Lacrosse Club @ Vancouver Warriors, 10 p.m.
  • Saturday, December 9, 2023: Philadelphia Wings @ Toronto Rock, 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, December 16, 2023: Georgia Swarm @ Vancouver Warriors, 10 p.m.
  • Saturday, December 30, 2023: New York Riptide @ Toronto Rock, 4 p.m.
  • Friday, January 12, 2024: Toronto Rock @ Halifax Thunderbirds, 6:30 p.m.
  • Friday, January 26, 2024: Colorado Mammoth @ Vancouver Warriors, 10 p.m.
  • Saturday, February 3, 2024: Toronto Rock @ Calgary Roughnecks, 9 p.m.
  • Friday, February 9, 2024: Las Vegas Desert Dogs @ Halifax Thunderbirds, 6:30 p.m.
  • Sunday February 18, 2024: Halifax Thunderbirds @ Calgary Roughnecks, 7 p.m.
  • Friday, March 1, 2024: Georgia Swarm @ Halifax Thunderbirds, 7 p.m.
  • Friday, March 1, 2024: Buffalo Bandits @ Vancouver Warriors, 10 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 9, 2024: Colorado Mammoth @ Toronto Rock, 5 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 16, 2024: Toronto Rock @ Buffalo Bandits, 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 16, 2024: New York Riptide @ Saskatchewan Rush, 9:30 p.m.
  • *Friday, April 5, 2024: Saskatchewan Rush @ Calgary Roughnecks, 9 p.m. OR Halifax Thunderbirds @ Vancouver Warriors, 10 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 13, 2024: Rochester Knighthawks @ Toronto Rock, 7:30 p.m.
  • *Saturday, April 13, 2024: New York Riptide @ Vancouver Warriors, 10 p.m. OR San Diego Seals @ Saskatchewan Rush, 9 p.m.
  • *Saturday, April 20, 2024: Colorado Mammoth @ Halifax Thunderbirds, 6 p.m. OR Toronto Rock @ Saskatchewan Rush, 9 p.m. OR Panther City Lacrosse Club @ Calgary Roughnecks, 9 p.m.

*denotes flex dates

**The 20th NLL Game of the Week on TSN matchup will be announced prior to the start of the season.

The 2023-24 NLL season will commence with NLL Faceoff Weekend on December 1-2. The full NLL regular season schedule is available at https://www.nll.com/schedule/full-schedule/.

National Lacrosse League and FanCompass Announce Multi-Year Strategic Partnership

The National Lacrosse League (@NLL), the largest and most successful professional lacrosse property in the world, today announced a multi-year partnership with FanCompass to bring an upgraded and interactive user experience for NLL partners and fans everywhere.

“The partnership officially launches our digital transformation, as FanCompass will drive the league’s ability to deliver best-in-class fan platforms and branded online experiences starting with the upcoming season,” said Kurt Hunzeker, the NLL’s Executive Vice President of Commercial Operations. “FanCompass will make it easier and more efficient for the NLL and its partners on every level to understand and customize our collective ties to the NLL’s youthful and digitally savvy fan base as we move to expand, accelerate, and amplify our fan engagement initiatives.”

“Kurt’s vision powered by the full support and backing from their ownership group understand the value and demand for a next-level digital fan experience and the data it provides,” said Jamie Pardi, FanCompass Co-Founder and CEO. “The NLL is making its mark on the industry with this digital transformation and we are excited to be a part of it.”

For more than a decade, FanCompass has been a leading provider of digital fan engagement solutions in the global sports industry. Its platform, FC CORE, offers a suite of digital tools for engaging fans, capturing valuable data, and generating digital sponsorship opportunities.

The NLL will roll out the FC CORE platform across the entire NLL portfolio of teams with a full-service league dashboard for customizable league-wide campaigns. FanCompass had previously been working with two NLL clubs, the Georgia Swarm and Rochester Knighthawks, and the successful work there helped lead to this league-wide partnership.

The NLL will hold its 2023 Draft on September 16 in Oakville, Ontario, and training camps will open the weekend of October 28-29. The 2023-24 season will commence with NLL Faceoff Weekend on December 1-2. The full schedule will be announced in the coming weeks.

National Lacrosse League Announces Key Dates for Fall 2023

The National Lacrosse League (@NLL), the largest and most successful professional lacrosse property in the world, today announced key dates leading up to its season start in early December, including the dates for the 2023 NLL Draft and the 2023 NLL Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, both of which will be held the weekend of September 15 in the Toronto metropolitan area.

“We are building off the momentum of a record-breaking season and these key dates officially point us firmly toward a transformative 2023-24 season,” said NLL Commissioner Brett Frood. “There is no better way to connect the past, present and future of our league and the sport of box lacrosse by bringing the NLL Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and the NLL Draft together for an exciting weekend, kickstarting our upcoming season.”

The NLL’s key dates in the coming months include:

Sept. 15: NLL Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in Burlington, Ontario
Sept. 16: 2023 NLL Draft in Oakville, Ontario
Oct. 28-29: NLL Training Camps officially open
Dec. 1-2: 2023-24 NLL Faceoff Weekend

The NLL will induct 10 new members into the NLL Hall of Fame. Among the honorees are eight former players and two referees, under the Builders category:

Roy Condon, NLL Official
• 23-season career: 1989 through 2011
• Three NLL Championship Games: 1994, 1995, and 1999

Colin Doyle, Forward
• 19-year career: Ontario Raiders, San Jose Stealth, and Toronto Rock
• 6-time NLL Champion: Toronto (1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2005, and 2011)
• 3-time NLL Championship Game MVP: Toronto (1999, 2002, and 2005)
• 2005 NLL MVP Award
• 1998 NLL Rookie of the Year
• 4-time NLL All-League First Team and 7-time NLL Second Team honoree
• 2-time NLL scoring champion in 2005 and 2009
• Finished fourth all-time in goals (527), assists (857) and points (1,384) and tied for fifth all-time in games played (266)

Kevin Finneran, Forward
• 13-year career: Detroit Turbos, New England Blazers, Philadelphia Wings, and Toronto Rock
• 5-time NLL champion: four with Philadelphia (1994, 1995, 1998, and 2001) and one with Toronto (2003)
• NLL All-League First Team in 1998 and 2-time Second Team honoree (1994 and 1996)
• Retired as the all-time league leader with 143 games played, sixth all-time in goals (235), third all-time in assists (329), fifth all-time in points (564), and 11th in loose ball recoveries (631)
• Held the record for longest consecutive games played streak at 139 games and was the all-time leading scorer by an American prior to Casey Powell breaking his record.

Bill Fox, NLL Official
• 20-season career: 1992 through 2011
• Six Championship Games: 1993, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2003, and 2010

John Grant Jr., Forward
• 17-year career: Rochester Knighthawks and Colorado Mammoth
• NLL Champion in 2007
• 2007 NLL Championship Game MVP
• 2-time NLL MVP: 2007 and 2012
• 2000 NLL Rookie of the Year
• 6-time NLL All-League First Team and 3-time NLL Second Team honoree
• 4-time NLL Scoring Champion: 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2012
• Selected first overall in the 1999 NLL Draft
• Retired in the top 10 all-time with 668 goals (second), 778 assists (sixth), and 1,446 points (second), and was 12th all-time with 1,202 loose ball recoveries
• Set the record for points in a season in 2012 at 116, which has since been surpassed and now ranks tied for fourth-highest in NLL history, and his 37 goals as a rookie are still tied for fourth best
• Averaged 8.29 points per game in 2012, an NLL record with at least four games played

Pat McCready, Forward
• 17-year career: Charlotte Cobras, Rochester Knighthawks, Buffalo Bandits, and Toronto Rock
• 3-time NLL Champion: twice with Rochester (1997 and 2012) and once with Buffalo (2008)
• 2011 NLL Defensive Player of the Year
• Retired as the third all-time in loose ball recoveries (1,593), second in penalty minutes (470), and seventh in games played (219)

Casey Powell, Forward
• 11-year career: Rochester Knighthawks, Anaheim Storm, New York Titans, Orlando Titans, Boston Blazers, and Colorado Mammoth
• 2010 NLL MVP (the only American to win this honor)
• All-time leader in points by an American in NLL history
• Selected first overall in the 1998 NLL Draft
• Retired 10th all-time with 33 playoff goals in only 13 playoff games

Regy Thorpe, Defenseman
• 15-year career: all with the Rochester Knighthawks
• 2-time NLL Champion: 1997 and 2007
• Rochester franchise leader with 193 games played, 966 loose ball recoveries, and 385 penalty minutes

Steve Toll, Defenseman
• 15-year career: Ontario Raiders, Toronto Rock, Rochester Knighthawks, San Jose Stealth, Colorado Mammoth, and Edmonton Rush
• 5-time NLL Champion: four with Toronto (1999, 2000, 2002, and 2003) and one with Rochester (2007)
• Named the first winner of the NLL Transition Player of the Year Award in 2007
• Retired in the top 10 all-time with 1,562 loose ball recoveries in the regular season and an additional 160 in the playoffs
• Played in 188 consecutive games between 2000-2011, which ranks tied for the third longest streak of all-time

Shawn Williams, Forward
• 17-year career: Ontario Raiders, Toronto Rock, Buffalo Bandits, Rochester Knighthawks, and Edmonton Rush
• 2-time NLL Champion: one with Toronto (1999) and one with Rochester (2007)
• NLL All-League First Team in 2004 and NLL Second Team honoree in 2007
• Retired as one of eight players to accumulate 1,100 career points
• Finished in the top 10 all-time in games played, goals, and assists

The Class of 2021 will represent the first additions to the NLL Hall of Fame since 2016, with the inaugural members having been inducted in 2006.

Additional details regarding the NLL Draft and other preseason announcements will be unveiled in the coming weeks.

National Lacrosse League Announces Four Strategic New Hires

The National Lacrosse League (@NLL), the largest and most successful professional lacrosse property in the world, today announced an expansion of its front office staff with the addition of four industry veterans to newly created full time positions.

Jenni Brozena joins as Director of Business Development, Ed Derse as Senior Vice President, Technology and Broadcast Operations, Scott Turken as Director and Executive Producer, Digital Content, and Scott Zolotorow, as Coordinating Producer, Broadcast Production.

“We welcome Jenni, Ed, Scott Turken, and Scott Zolotorow to the our dynamic front office, whose additions are a reflection of the growth of the NLL business, broadcast, and content divisions under Kurt Hunzeker and Joel Feld, respectively,” said NLL Commissioner Brett Frood. “Having just completed a season of record attendance and engagement in all areas of media, we are now poised to take another large step forward in the business of lacrosse, and we couldn’t have four better professionals to help us get there.”

Jenni Brozena joins the NLL from Sportradar where she served as the Director of Business Development spanning the North American continent and throughout Latin America. Brozena has also advised and mentored startup tech companies, helping lead them to capital investment wins and eventual exit sales to large, multi-national tech giants. The Pennsylvania native has a bachelor’s degree from West Chester University (PA) and a master’s from California University (PA).

Ed Derse is the new Senior Vice President, Technology and Broadcast Operations, and will lead efforts to discover and implement new technology platforms that evolve NLL’s product offerings while continuing to manage all broadcast technical operations. Derse has more than 30 years of experience in technology, broadcast production, and operations. He has served as Senior Vice President, Digital Media, and Strategic Partnerships at Universal Sports Network, and Managing Director of the Rugby Channel. For the past seven years, Derse has run his own consulting business and served the NLL as a consultant to the broadcast operations area since November 2020.

Scott Turken takes over as Director and Executive Producer, Digital Content, tasked with setting the strategic direction of the NLL’s digital content offerings, and leading a team of content creators and publishers who are responsible for producing all digital assets on the league’s social channels and NLL.com. Turken, a multiple National Sports Emmy Award winner, has spent more than 25 years in sports media, including 22 years at ESPN. Since the 2019-20 season, Turken has served the league directing and managing the game night highlights team as a consultant.

Scott Zolotorow is now the Coordinating Producer, Broadcast Production, charged with managing all facets of the NLL’s live game productions in partnership with the league media rights partners, ESPN and TSN. Zolotorow is an accomplished live sports producer, previously covering lacrosse, football, and basketball games for ESPN, CBS Sports Network, and the Big Ten Network. For the past two seasons, Zolotorow has served the league in a part time role.

About the National Lacrosse League

The National Lacrosse League (NLL) is North America’s premier professional lacrosse league. Founded in 1986, the NLL ranks third in average attendance for pro indoor sports worldwide, behind only the NHL and NBA. The League is comprised of 15 franchises across the United States and Canada: Albany FireWolves, Buffalo Bandits, Calgary Roughnecks, Colorado Mammoth, Georgia Swarm, Halifax Thunderbirds, Las Vegas Desert Dogs, New York Riptide, Panther City Lacrosse Club (Fort Worth, TX), Philadelphia Wings, Rochester Knighthawks, San Diego Seals, Saskatchewan Rush, Toronto Rock, and Vancouver Warriors.

For the latest scores and developments in the National Lacrosse League, please visit: NLL.com and find the NLL on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok.

In Support of National Indigenous History Month in Canada NLL Launches ‘Every Child Matters’ Auction

The National Lacrosse League (@NLL), the largest and most successful professional lacrosse property in the world, today announced its continued and expanded support for the “Every Child Matters” movement during National Indigenous History Month in Canada.

“Every Child Matters” is an initiative bringing awareness to the forcible placement of Indigenous children in residential and boarding schools by the Canadian and United States governments from the 19th century to as recently as 1996 in Canada so that these mistakes are not repeated.

Fans and anyone who wants to support the initiative can bid on team-signed merchandise from NLL teams starting today through Friday, June 30, 2023, at 5pm ET. To bid on the items, fans can visit https://www.nll.com/auctions.

All funds raised from the “Every Child Matters” auction will be split evenly between the NLL’s two non-profit partners, the Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack Fund in Canada, and the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition in the United States.

Available items range from team-signed “Every Child Matters” t-shirts to the Vancouver Warriors’ First Nations Night theme jersey.

The “Every Child Matters” logo was designed by Indigenous artist, Justin Gilbert of Kuvua Designs. The Warriors’ uniform, worn during its January 28th game against the Panther City Lacrosse Club, was designed by Heiltsuk artist, K.C. Hall.

The 2022-23 season marked the second consecutive year the NLL prominently featured the “Every Child Matters” movement across North America. For three weeks in January and February, every NLL team wore “Every Child Matters”-themed warmups and added a campaign-branded helmet decal for games. During halftime of each broadcasts, special segments ran discussing this topic and others relating to Indigenous populations across Canada and the United States.

Fans can still purchase “Every Child Matters” t-shirts through the NLL’s official online stores, NLLShop.com and NLLStore.ca powered by Fanatics. For every t-shirt sold, the NLL will donate a portion of the proceeds to the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund and The National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition.

About the National Lacrosse League
The National Lacrosse League (NLL) is North America’s premier professional lacrosse league. Founded in 1986, the League is comprised of 15 franchises across the United States and Canada: Albany FireWolves, Buffalo Bandits, Calgary Roughnecks, Colorado Mammoth, Georgia Swarm, Halifax Thunderbirds, Las Vegas Desert Dogs, New York Riptide, Panther City Lacrosse Club (TX), Philadelphia Wings, Rochester Knighthawks, San Diego Seals, Saskatchewan Rush, Toronto Rock, and Vancouver Warriors.

For more information, visit NLL.com and find @NLL on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok.

Image Courtesy NLL/Vancouver Warriors