Toronto -The National Lacrosse League held their annual Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Tuesday evening at the Don Valley Hotel in Toronto. Legendary Rock goaltender Bob Watson was fittingly the lone inductee.
It’s fitting for many reasons, but the biggest one of all, is because he stands alone as the greatest goaltender to ever suit up in the National Lacrosse League’s 25-year history.
“Being inducted into the Hall of Fame, it’s an honour and privilege to be included in that group of elite players,” said Watson. “To be with former teammates Jim Veltman and Dan Stroup, it’s a real honour.”
Watson is the NLL all-time saves leader, he’s won over 100 games, and he’s got six championships under his belt. However, his ability to step up in big games is what sets him apart from the rest.
“He’s simply the best big game goaltender we’ve ever seen in our league,” said Rock Head Coach Troy Cordingley. “He was a tremendous presence in our dressing room and he was a great teammate. In a one-game winner take all situation, I want Bob Watson playing goal for me every time.”
The best example of his clutch goaltending may have been in the 2011 NLL Championship Game where he held the visiting Washington Stealth to just 7 goals as the Rock grinded out an 8-7 win for the teams’ record tying sixth NLL Championship. Every one of those titles were won with Watson guarding the Rock goal in brilliant fashion.
His 16-4 playoff record and 6-2 championship game record speak volumes about his dominance in the post-season.
“The thing I’m going to miss the most is just being one of the boys,” said an emotional Watson in front of his family, friends and fans that gathered to pay tribute to the lacrosse great.
Toronto Rock Captain, long time teammate of Watson’s and his roommate on the road, Colin Doyle spoke at the Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
“I have six rings on my fingers in great part to you,” said Doyle. “The things you did for me, I’m going to take those with me and pass them on to the younger players.”
Wednesday night, the Rock will shape a piece of their future that for the first time in franchise history will not include Bob Watson as the NLL Entry Draft unfolds. The draft begins at 7pm, also at the Don Valley Hotel. The event is open to the public and can also be viewed live online on The NLL Network at NLL.com.