Toronto – The National Lacrosse League announced on Monday that Toronto Rock goaltender Bob Watson will be inducted into the NLL Hall of Fame this fall. Watson was named on 86 percent of the ballots cast by NLL Governors, Hall of Fame Members and NLL media and will be the only member of the Hall of Fame Class of 2011.
Others on the 2011 NLL Hall of Fame ballot included former Rock defender Pat Coyle, former Rock goalie and current Rock assistant coach Steve Dietrich and current Rock Head Coach Troy Cordingley. Those three along with Curt Malawsky and Ted Dowling failed to receive the necessary votes to enter the NLL Hall of Fame. Nominees must appear on 75 percent of the ballots to be considered for induction into the Hall of Fame.
Watson is arguably the greatest goaltender to ever play in the NLL and the argument is a strong one in favour of the six-time Champion’s Cup winner. Watson also won the NLL Goaltender of the Year Award in 2001 and 2008 and was named MVP of the NLL Championship Game in 2003 and 2011.
“It’s a no brainer,” said Rock Owner and President Jamie Dawick. “In my opinion, he is the best goalie to ever play the game. He didn’t play for individual awards and I know he cherishes those six championship rings above everything else. There is no one more deserving.”
Watson also surpassed the 100 career win mark in 2011 along with breaking the all-time NLL career saves record in Toronto’s final regular season game in Edmonton.
His career began in Baltimore back in 1996 where he played for just one season. In 1998 he played for the Ontario Raiders and then on to Toronto in 1999 playing 13 seasons with the Rock where he won all six of his championships. That included a run of 5 championships in seven seasons between 1999 and 2005. He also took the Rock to the NLL title game in 2001 and 2011.
“Entering the Hall of Fame right away after a brilliant career and representing the Toronto Rock is a proud moment for the franchise,” expressed Dawick. “He embodies everything the Toronto Rock organization is about.
“Being the only inductee this year is really a fitting tribute to Bob. He never looks for it, but he deserves the spotlight. It’s going to be a night where the entire NLL and the lacrosse community as a whole can share in the writing of the final chapter of his storybook career.”
The National Lacrosse League Hall of Fame was established on June 16, 2005, and inducted its charter members in 2006. The Hall of Fame currently has 16 members, and has also recognized two members of the media. For more information on the Hall of Fame, please visit NLL.com/HallofFame.
The 2011 NLL Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place in the fall with the date and location to be announced in the very near future.