The National Lacrosse League has announced three finalists for the 2016 NLL General Manager of the Year award. The Georgia Swarm’s John Arlotta, Buffalo Bandits’ Steve Dietrich and New England Black Wolves’ Rich Lisk were the top trio of vote recipients for best general manager in the league this season.
Arlotta directed the Swarm back to the playoffs with an 8-10 third-place finish in the East Division to end a two-year postseason hiatus. As the Swarm’s Owner since 2008 and now doubling as General Manager, Arlotta oversaw a Georgia team that scored the second-most goals (238) in the NLL, went 6-6 in the East, and improved upon a 6-12 finish in 2015 while continuing its youth movement. The Swarm featured three of the top four rookies in goals, assists and points after drafting four players in the first round of the 2015 NLL Draft. Arlotta previously won the NLL General Manager of the Year in 2012 award and was also named the 2009 NLL Executive of the Year.
Dietrich is a finalist for the second-straight year after overseeing the Bandits to the league’s top record at 13-5 as East Division champions. The Bandits went 8-1 at home, 9-4 against the East and 4-1 versus the West. Buffalo set a franchise record for wins (13), scored a league-high 251 goals and allowed 214 goals, the fourth-fewest in the NLL. The team had the league’s top overall scorer, top penalty kill unit (60.2%) in the NLL, and finished with the second-best goal differential (+37) despite only one draft selection in the first two rounds. Dietrich, who served as Buffalo’s GM for four seasons following two years as an assistant coach with the Toronto Rock, was an NLL General Manager of the Year award finalist in 2015. The NLL Hall of Fame goaltender (Class of 2012) played 18 years in the league from 1992-2010, won league MVP in 2006 as the first and only goalie to win the award, and was a two-time Goaltender of the Year award winner (2005-2006).
Lisk helped lead the revival of the league’s most improved team as the Black Wolves finished second in the East Division with a 10-8 record after going 4-14 in 2015. New England had the third-best goal differential (+17) the NLL as the franchise made the postseason for the first time since 2013. The team posted a 6-3 home record, went 8-5 against the East, ranked third in the NLL in goals allowed (212) and scored the fourth-most goals (229). New England featured two of the league’s top 12 scorers, both acquired in offseason trades, and had one of the NLL’s top netminders, all after hiring a new head coach under Lisk’s direction.
The 2016 NLL Season Awards are determined by a vote of the league’s Board of Governors, General Managers and Head Coaches at the end of the regular season. The winners will be announced at the NLL Season Awards Ceremony on Tuesday, Sept. 27 in Toronto, Ont.
Schedule of finalist announcement for the remaining NLL Season Awards:
Wednesday, June 29: Rookie of the Year award finalists
Thursday, June 30: Most Valuable Player award finalists
Tuesday, July 5: Teammate of the Year award finalists
Wednesday, July 6: Air Canada Wingman of the Year award finalists
Thursday, July 7: Executive of the Year award finalists
Monday, July 11: Media Person of the Year (The Tom Borrelli Award) winner
Tuesday, September 27: 2016 NLL Season Awards Ceremony