After 11 seasons in the NLL, you’d think Pat Maddalena would be ready for a break.
Sure, the player who was last seen with the 2011 NLL Champion Toronto Rock has retired, but in a recent interview with NLL.com, Maddalena is excited for the next phase in his life which is just beginning. At the same time, Pat reflected on a career that few veterans can match.
Like many young lacrosse fans growing up in the 90’s, Pat Maddalena idolized John Tavares. “I would go home after the games at night time, and I would mimic the goals he scored.” Maddalena realized his dream of being a Bandit when he was drafted in the 2nd round, 15th overall, by Buffalo in the 1999 NLL Entry Draft. “I wanted to be a Buffalo Bandit. It was an honor to get drafted and play with him. He’s someone that I still respect greatly in the game. By far, he’s the best player I’ve ever played with.”
Over Maddalena’s 11 seasons in the NLL, he scored 685 pts (318G, 367A) while collecting 778 loose balls. Despite his final season being shortened by injuries, Maddalena pointed to that championship as the highlight of his professional playing career.
“When I had that injury (injured in the 2011 preseason), initially, I was very frustrated.” Maddalena admitted. “I realized my role that year was to be positive, provide good leadership, and make my teammates better.” His job was made easier that season, he continued, by the atmosphere and dedication of Rock head coach Troy Cordingley and assistant coach/general manager Terry Sanderson. “I’ve never been a part of a training camp that intense, with the guys so focused…It was something to be excited about.”
With his playing days behind him, Maddalena reflected on the friendships that were created, including Casey Powell, John Tavares, and Dan Dawson. Now growing his new medical practice, Accelerated Health & Wellness Centre in St. Catharines, Ontario, Maddalena talked about giving back to the game of lacrosse, saying “I’m focused on helping more athletes get better from their injuries safely and as quickly as possible”. He hopes to be able to work directly with lacrosse players as a coach or practitioner in the future.
For now, Pat Maddalena is happy to just say thanks to his fans, teammates, coaches, and to the NLL for making his career dreams a reality. “It’ll be sad not to play”, he lamented, “but I’m ready to move on with my life.” For now, Pat’s focus at home is to be the best dad he can to his daughters Jaylee and Mia. “I want to be there for them, like my dad was there for me.”
Even in retirement, Pat Maddalena shows no signs of slowing down.