The NLL has announced six finalists for the Hall of Fame Class of 2013 with first-time nominees in McCready, O'Toole and Toth. (Photo: Bill Wippert)
The National Lacrosse League has announced the six finalists on the ballot for the NLL Hall of Fame Class of 2013. The three new finalists are Pat McCready, Pat O'Toole and Kaleb Toth, while Chris Driscoll, Regy Thorpe and the 1993 Buffalo Bandits automatically return from last year's ballot. Brief summaries of each candidate’s accomplishments are listed below. Ballots are cast by the teams, current members of the NLL Hall of Fame and senior members of the league’s covering media.
Nominees for NLL Hall of Fame Class of 2013:
Pat McCready played 17 seasons in the league from 1996-2012 including eight seasons with the Buffalo Bandits and seven seasons with the Rochester Knighthawks. McCready recorded 384 points (141+243) over his career along with 1,593 loose balls, third-most in NLL history, and ranks third in the league all-time in penalty minutes (468) and seventh in games played (219). The 2011 NLL Defensive Player of the Year won three championships, two with the Knighthawks, first in 1997 and again in 2012 as the team's captain, along with one with the Bandits (2008). McCready added 37 points (7+30) and 189 loose balls in 31 career playoff games with eight Championship Game appearances (1997, 1999-2000, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012).
Pat O'Toole played 16 seasons in the league from 1995-2010 including 12 years with the Rochester Knighthawks after three seasons with the Buffalo Bandits. The 2003 NLL Goaltender of the Year made 6,464 saves, second-most in league history, in 204 regular season games, which are 10th-most in NLL history. Rochester's all-time leader in wins (102) and saves (5,756), O'Toole won two championships as a player, first with Buffalo in 1996 when he was named title game MVP, and again with the Knighthawks in 2007. O'Toole posted a career record of 115-56 with an 11.40 goals against average and .768 save percentage while adding an NLL-record three goals and 136 assists. O'Toole posted a 9-9 record in 23 career playoff games with six Championship Game appearances (1996-1997, 1999-2000, 2003, 2007).
Kaleb Toth played 13 seasons in the league from 2000-2012 including 11 years with the Calgary Roughnecks after his first two seasons with the Toronto Rock. Toth recorded 713 points (315+398) and 703 loose balls in 186 career regular season games and is Calgary's all-time leader in games played, goals, assists and points. Toth won two championships with the Roughnecks in 2004 and 2009 after winning a title with the Rock in 2000 when he scored the game-winning goal with one second left in the fourth quarter. On March 2, 2013, Toth became the first player to receive the "Forever a Roughneck" distinction with his banner raised to the top of Scotiabank Saddledome. Toth added 71 points (31+40) and 84 loose balls in 20 career playoff games with four Championship Game appearances (2000-2001, 2004, 2009).
Chris Driscoll played 19 seasons in the league from 1993-2011 including seven years with the Toronto Rock (2003-2009) and six seasons with the Rochester Knighthawks (1995-1999, 2011). The defenseman recorded 488 points (193+295) and 816 loose balls in 210 career regular season games. Driscoll reached the playoffs in 12 of his 19 seasons with 34 points (12+22) and 51 loose balls in 16 career playoff games while playing in the Championship Game four times, winning a combined three titles with Rochester (1997) and Toronto (2003, 2005). Driscoll won the league’s Sportsmanship Award in 2003 and was Second Team All-Pro in 1996.
Regy Thorpe played 15 seasons in the league from 1995-2009, all with the Rochester Knighthawks. The defenseman recorded 76 points (5+71) and 966 loose balls in 193 career regular season games. He reached the Championship Game six times, winning twice (1997, 2007) while making the playoffs in 14 of his 15 seasons with 14 points (0+14) and 102 loose balls in 24 career playoff games. Thorpe served as team captain during Rochester's 2007 championship season.
The 1993 Buffalo Bandits
The 1993 Buffalo Bandits were the first team to be nominated for the NLL Hall of Fame. The ’93 Bandits are the first and only team in league history to go through the regular season and playoffs undefeated. The Bandits went 8-0 in the regular season, outscoring their opponents 143-108. The team went 2-0 in the playoffs, including a 13-12 Championship Game win over a Philadelphia Wings team that came into the Championship with a season record of 8-1.
The 1993 team’s roster and staff included five future NLL Hall of Famers and individuals who continue to have an impact on the NLL to this day. The team was coached by the late Les Bartley, who won his second of seven championships as a head coach that season. Bartley was inducted posthumously into the NLL Hall of Fame as part of the Hall’s Inaugural Class in 2006.
Three of the team’s players are now in the Hall of Fame: Darris Kilgour, Rich Kilgour and Jim Veltman. John Tavares, the league’s all-time leading scorer, was on the ’93 Bandits team and was MVP of the Championship Game. One-third (three out of nine) of the league’s current head coaches were part of the ’93 Bandits team as Troy Cordingley, Bob Hamley, and Derek Keenan all played on the team. NLL Hall of Fame member and current Wings general manager Johnny Mouradian was the team’s GM.
(End of Nominees)
Voters may select up to three of the six nominees on the ballot. To win induction into the Hall of Fame, nominees must be selected on a minimum of 75 percent of the ballots cast.
The nominees were selected by the league’s Hall of Fame Committee. Once nominated as finalists, candidates remain on the ballot for a second year if they do not receive enough votes for induction in their first year. Nominees come off the ballot if they do not receive enough votes in the second year, but can be re-nominated by the Hall of Fame Committee in the future to return to the ballot. The Committee considered all of the individuals that were suggested by fans last month via the league’s Facebook page. The NLL Hall of Fame Class of 2013 will be announced next week.
The NLL Hall of Fame was established in 2006. The 20 current members are:
Class of 2006 (Founding Members)
Class of 2007
Class of 2008
Class of 2009
Class of 2010
Class of 2011
Class of 2012
Members of Media Recognized by Hall of Fame
Tom Borrelli (2007)
Neil Stevens (2008)