The National Lacrosse League has announced the six finalists for the NLL Hall of Fame Class of 2011. There are three first time nominees on the ballot: Pat Coyle, Steve Dietrich and Bob Watson. They join the three returning nominees: Troy Cordingley, Ted Dowling and Curt Malawsky.
Four of the six nominees carry ties to the Toronto Rock organization as either a player or a coach.
Following the 2011 season, fans were invited to offer their suggestions as to who should be considered for induction as part of the Class of 2011. All suggestions were considered by the League’s Hall of Fame Committee. Voting begins later this week, and the Hall of Fame Class of 2011 is expected be to announced on July 25th.
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.
Nominees for the NLL Hall of Fame, Class of 2011:
Troy Cordingley played nine seasons in the league, including seven with the Buffalo Bandits. Cordingley scored 312 points on 128 goals and 184 assists in the regular season and added 33 points on 15 goals and 18 assists in the playoffs. Cordingley played on two Championship winning teams (1993 & 1996 Bandits), including the ’93 Bandits team that completed the only perfect season (10-0) in league history. He became a head coach in 2008, and has won two championships (2009 Calgary & 2011 Toronto) and reached the championship game in three of the four seasons while compiling a regular season record of 40-24.
Pat Coyle, a defenseman, played twelve seasons in the league and won five championships (Toronto 1999, 2000, 02 & 03; Colorado 2006). He played in 156 career regular season games, picking up 940 loose balls and accruing 375 penalty minutes. Coyle also contributed offensively with 105 assists and 28 goals. If chosen, Coyle would become the first defenseman elected to the NLL Hall of Fame.
Steve Dietrich played 18 seasons in the league for seven teams, primarily with Rochester (1995-2001) and Buffalo (2002-2007). Dietrich won a championship with Rochester in 1997, and was named Game MVP in the 15-12 win over Buffalo. In 2006, Dietrich was the league MVP and had one of the best individual seasons for goaltenders in league history, posting a save percentage of .808 and a goals against average of 9.97, leading Buffalo to the Championship Game. He made 5,531 career saves while playing more than 8,300 minutes of career playing time.
Ted Dowling played 14 seasons in the league (1993-2006, Detroit, Boston, Buffalo, Rochester, Albany, Montreal, Colorado, Calgary, San Jose and Portland). He appeared in 148 regular season games, notching 335 goals to go with 262 assists for a total of 597 points. Dowling is currently ninth all time in goals scored in league history. His team’s made the playoffs in ten of his 14 seasons. In 16 career playoff games, Dowling scored 30 goals and added 18 assists for a total of 48 points. He won two championships, one with Buffalo in 1996 and another with Calgary in 2004.
Curt Malawsky had a twelve year playing career (1998-2009) in the league, appearing in 159 regular season games. Malawsky played for the Rochester, San Jose, Arizona and Vancouver before ending his career with the Calgary Roughnecks. He posted career totals of 260 goals and 277 assists, finishing with 537 total points. His best season was in 2002, netting 31 goals and 29 assists for 60 points for the Rochester Knighthawks. He was a fixture in the playoffs during his career, as his teams made the playoffs ten times in his 12 career seasons. He appeared in 20 playoffs games, putting together 30 goals and 19 assists for a total of 49 career playoff points. In 2009, he won his first NLL championship while playing for Calgary, while playing in his fifth career championship game. Now retired from his playing career, Malawsky has embarked on an NLL coaching career, serving as the Calgary Roughnecks’ Assistant Coach/Offense Coordinator.
Bob Watson played 15 seasons in the league, and won six championships as goaltender for the Toronto Rock. He was named Championship Game MVP twice (2003 & 2011) and is one of a select few goaltenders with more than 100 career wins. A clutch playoff performer, he posted a 16-4 record in playoff games. He’s won the most championships of any goaltender in league history, finishing his career with the sixth championship and a Game MVP performance in an 8-7 win over Washington this past season.