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WK
2
Fri, Dec 9
20:30:00
Las Vegas
Panther City
Fri, Dec 9
22:00:00
Saskatchewan
San Diego
Sat, Dec 10
19:00:00
Toronto
Rochester
Sat, Dec 10
21:30:00
Vancouver
Calgary
WK
3
Fri, Dec 16
22:00:00
Calgary
Vancouver
Fri, Dec 16
22:30:00
Panther City
Las Vegas
Sat, Dec 17
19:00:00
Buffalo
Toronto
Sat, Dec 17
19:00:00
Rochester
Albany
Sat, Dec 17
19:00:00
Philadelphia
Georgia
Sat, Dec 17
19:30:00
Halifax
New York
Sat, Dec 17
20:00:00
Colorado
Panther City
WK
5
Fri, Dec 30
19:30:00
Halifax
Buffalo
Fri, Dec 30
21:00:00
San Diego
Calgary
Sat, Dec 31
21:00:00
Panther City
Saskatchewan
WK
6
Fri, Jan 6
22:30:00
Philadelphia
Las Vegas
Sat, Jan 7
19:00:00
Panther City
Rochester
Sat, Jan 7
19:00:00
Halifax
Albany
Sat, Jan 7
19:00:00
Buffalo
Georgia
Sat, Jan 7
19:30:00
Toronto
New York
Sat, Jan 7
22:00:00
Vancouver
San Diego
Sun, Jan 8
0:00:00
Calgary
Colorado
WK
7
Fri, Jan 13
18:30:00
Albany
Halifax
Fri, Jan 13
21:00:00
Saskatchewan
Colorado
Sat, Jan 14
19:00:00
Halifax
Toronto
Sat, Jan 14
19:00:00
Panther City
Philadelphia
Sat, Jan 14
19:30:00
Georgia
Buffalo
Sat, Jan 14
21:00:00
San Diego
Calgary
Sat, Jan 14
22:00:00
Las Vegas
Vancouver
Sun, Jan 15
15:00:00
Rochester
New York
WK
8
Fri, Jan 20
19:30:00
Buffalo
Rochester
Fri, Jan 20
22:30:00
Vancouver
Las Vegas
Sat, Jan 21
19:00:00
New York
Albany
Sat, Jan 21
19:00:00
Toronto
Philadelphia
WK
9
Fri, Jan 27
18:00:00
Rochester
Halifax
Fri, Jan 27
19:00:00
Buffalo
Philadelphia
Sat, Jan 28
19:30:00
Buffalo
New York
Sat, Jan 28
20:30:00
Las Vegas
Saskatchewan
Sat, Jan 28
21:00:00
Toronto
Calgary
Sat, Jan 28
21:00:00
San Diego
Colorado
Sat, Jan 28
22:00:00
Panther City
Vancouver
WK
10
Fri, Feb 3
21:00:00
Georgia
Colorado
Sat, Feb 4
18:00:00
Calgary
Halifax
Sat, Feb 4
19:00:00
New York
Toronto
Sat, Feb 4
19:00:00
Albany
Philadelphia
Sat, Feb 4
19:30:00
Rochester
Buffalo
Sat, Feb 4
22:00:00
Panther City
San Diego
Sat, Feb 4
22:00:00
Saskatchewan
Vancouver
Sat, Feb 4
22:30:00
Colorado
Las Vegas
WK
11
Fri, Feb 10
19:30:00
Toronto
Georgia
Fri, Feb 10
21:00:00
Saskatchewan
Calgary
Sat, Feb 11
19:00:00
Halifax
Rochester
Sat, Feb 11
19:30:00
Albany
New York
Sat, Feb 11
20:00:00
Vancouver
Panther City
Sat, Feb 11
21:00:00
Colorado
Calgary
WK
12
Fri, Feb 17
22:00:00
Saskatchewan
San Diego
Fri, Feb 17
22:00:00
Calgary
Vancouver
Sat, Feb 18
19:00:00
Georgia
Toronto
Sat, Feb 18
19:00:00
Las Vegas
Albany
Sat, Feb 18
19:30:00
Philadelphia
Buffalo
Sat, Feb 18
20:00:00
Colorado
Panther City
Sun, Feb 19
13:00:00
New York
Halifax
WK
13
Fri, Feb 24
21:00:00
Panther City
Colorado
Fri, Feb 24
22:30:00
Calgary
Las Vegas
Sat, Feb 25
19:00:00
New York
Rochester
Sat, Feb 25
19:00:00
Albany
Georgia
Sat, Feb 25
20:00:00
Vancouver
Saskatchewan
WK
14
Fri, Mar 3
18:30:00
Buffalo
Halifax
Sat, Mar 4
11:30:00
New York
Philadelphia
Sat, Mar 4
16:00:00
Las Vegas
San Diego
Sat, Mar 4
19:00:00
Rochester
Toronto
Sat, Mar 4
19:00:00
Georgia
Albany
Sat, Mar 4
20:00:00
Saskatchewan
Panther City
Mon, Mar 6
19:00:00
Toronto
Philadelphia
WK
15
Fri, Mar 10
19:30:00
Halifax
Buffalo
Fri, Mar 10
21:00:00
Calgary
Colorado
Sat, Mar 11
19:00:00
Albany
Toronto
Sat, Mar 11
19:30:00
Philadelphia
New York
Sat, Mar 11
20:30:00
San Diego
Saskatchewan
Sat, Mar 11
22:30:00
Vancouver
Las Vegas
Sun, Mar 12
16:00:00
Rochester
Georgia
WK
16
Fri, Mar 17
21:00:00
Saskatchewan
Calgary
Fri, Mar 17
22:00:00
San Diego
Vancouver
Sat, Mar 18
11:00:00
Georgia
Philadelphia
Sat, Mar 18
18:00:00
Toronto
Halifax
Sat, Mar 18
19:30:00
Albany
New York
Sat, Mar 18
19:30:00
Colorado
Buffalo
Sat, Mar 18
20:00:00
Las Vegas
Panther City
Sun, Mar 19
15:00:00
Philadelphia
Rochester
WK
17
Fri, Mar 24
20:30:00
San Diego
Panther City
Sat, Mar 25
19:00:00
Toronto
Albany
Sat, Mar 25
19:00:00
Halifax
Philadelphia
Sat, Mar 25
19:30:00
Georgia
New York
Sat, Mar 25
21:30:00
Calgary
Saskatchewan
Sat, Mar 25
22:00:00
Buffalo
San Diego
Sat, Mar 25
22:00:00
Colorado
Vancouver
Sat, Mar 25
22:30:00
Rochester
Las Vegas
WK
18
Fri, Mar 31
20:00:00
New York
Georgia
Fri, Mar 31
21:00:00
Las Vegas
Colorado
Fri, Mar 31
22:00:00
Calgary
San Diego
Sat, Apr 1
19:00:00
Buffalo
Toronto
Sat, Apr 1
20:00:00
Albany
Panther City
Sat, Apr 1
21:30:00
Vancouver
Saskatchewan
Sun, Apr 2
13:00:00
Georgia
Halifax
Sun, Apr 2
18:00:00
Rochester
Philadelphia
WK
19
Sat, Apr 8
19:00:00
Albany
Rochester
Sat, Apr 8
19:00:00
Saskatchewan
Georgia
Sat, Apr 8
21:00:00
Panther City
Calgary
Sat, Apr 8
21:00:00
Vancouver
Colorado
Sat, Apr 8
22:30:00
San Diego
Las Vegas
WK
20
Fri, Apr 14
21:00:00
Las Vegas
Calgary
Fri, Apr 14
21:00:00
San Diego
Colorado
Sat, Apr 15
19:00:00
Philadelphia
Toronto
Sat, Apr 15
19:00:00
Georgia
Albany
Sat, Apr 15
19:30:00
New York
Buffalo
Sat, Apr 15
21:30:00
Halifax
Saskatchewan
Sat, Apr 15
22:00:00
Panther City
Vancouver
WK
21
Fri, Apr 21
20:30:00
Calgary
Panther City
Sat, Apr 22
18:00:00
New York
Halifax
Sat, Apr 22
19:00:00
Georgia
Rochester
Sat, Apr 22
20:00:00
Toronto
Buffalo
Sat, Apr 22
21:30:00
Colorado
Saskatchewan
Sat, Apr 22
22:00:00
Las Vegas
San Diego
Sun, Apr 23
15:00:00
Philadelphia
Albany
WK
22
Sat, Apr 29
19:00:00
Philadelphia
Rochester
Sat, Apr 29
19:00:00
Buffalo
Albany
Sat, Apr 29
19:00:00
Halifax
Georgia
Sat, Apr 29
22:00:00
Colorado
San Diego
Sat, Apr 29
22:00:00
New York
Vancouver
Sat, Apr 29
22:30:00
Saskatchewan
Las Vegas
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Stories/Op-Ed

Veltman To Join Watson And Doyle In The Scotiabank Arena Rafters

Five NLL Championships in six appearances. One NLL MVP award. One NLL Sportsmanship Award. Induction into the NLL Hall of Fame in 2009 and the Toronto Rock Hall of Fame in 2014.

And before Friday night’s 7:30 p.m. game vs. New England, Veltman’s jersey will be lifted to the rafters at Scotiabank Arena. The induction can be watched on B/R Live ahead of the game in both the United States and Canada.

Since Veltman retired in 2008 as a 43-year-old, the Rock have retired goalie Bob Watson’s number 29 and Colin Doyle’s number seven.

Now, it’s time for the former captain to join them.

“To me, everything is about timing,” said Toronto Rock owner Jamie Dawick. “When Jim was done with his playing career it was right about when the new ownership was taking over. Bob’s (Watson) retirement came first and then we were on to Colin’s (Doyle) retirement. Now seemed like the right time to retire Jim’s jersey.”

The process of retiring a player’s jersey doesn’t take as long as one may think. Veltman got a call from Dawick only three weeks ago. Once he saw who was calling, he questioned what the call may be about.

“I didn’t expect it, which made it better,” said Veltman. “When he told me (about the jersey ceremony) I was really happy. It was one of those things that doesn’t sink in right away but after I hung up the phone, I sat back and I was flooded with memories about what it was like playing in Toronto.”

Though Veltman won five NLL titles with the Rock, serving as team captain for all 10 of those years, his NLL career began right over the US-Canada border with the Buffalo Bandits in 1992 when the league was still known as the Major Indoor Lacrosse League.

When Veltman was with the Bandits, the franchise won Championships in both 1992 and 1993. In 1994, they lost in the Finals before making it back in 1996, defeating the defending champion Philadelphia Wings, 15-10.

His first five years in Buffalo didn’t solely feature team success. “V” was named a Second Team All-Pro in 1992 and starting in 1993, he was named First Team All-Pro four consecutive years. Veltman was also named first team All-Pro in 1999, 2000 and 2004 and was named Second Team All-Pro four other years.

After the 1996 season, Veltman took a break from lacrosse. No, it wasn’t the early career success that stymied his hunger for winning the way Michael Jordan retired from basketball after winning three consecutive NBA titles. This break was far bigger than lacrosse. Veltman took off for Uganda on a humanitarian mission in June of 1996.

“My wife and I were working so hard at the time (both as teachers),” said Veltman. “We were recently married. We both said is this what the rest of our life is going to be, working all the time? So, we said to each other that we want to spend more time together and volunteer elsewhere. We always had an affinity for developing countries, volunteering wherever we can.”

He had no phone, no internet, and no way to communicate with anybody. It was just he and his wife, Teresa.

“The only way to access information was accessing fax machines at the local post office,” recalled Veltman.

“One day I was told I had a fax. It was Marty Cooper, the general manager of Buffalo. He said, ‘Jim I know you have been in Uganda for a while. We just want you to know you are still our property and we can’t wait for you to get back.’ The next week another guy says to me you have a fax again.”

“This time it’s John Mouradian. He said ‘Look, we wanted to let you know that we started a team in Ontario and we’re going to select you first in expansion.’

“I was all mixed emotions like what is going on? I didn’t have any way to speak to anyone, so I let it be till I got home. I then got in contact with the PLPA and told them that I was contacted by two teams.

“They let me choose between which teams I wanted to go to. It was a tough choice because Buffalo was very established. They had big crowds, and they were financially viable. But my friendship with Les (Bartley) and my trust with what he was able to build let me think ‘Let me play closer to home.’ Ontario was an hour closer to home (than Buffalo).”

Les was Jim’s coach in Buffalo for all five years and again for his first five years in Toronto.

I think Les really sold him on the idea that they were going to build the team around him,” said Georgia Swarm head coach Ed Comeau, who was an assistant coach under Les in Buffalo and Toronto, and briefly served as the Rock head coach in 2004. “They spent a lot of time together talking about the game of lacrosse and life.”

The first year in Ontario was a bumpy one. The Raiders finished 6-6 but they had a nucleus of young players. There was Chris Gill, Colin Doyle, Pat Coyle, Bob Watson and Dan Stroup.

At the end of the year, Bill Watters spearheaded a group of investors to buy the team. The next year, they were in Toronto and playing in Maple Leaf Gardens.

It didn’t take long for the Rock fanbase to emerge. During their inaugural game at Maple Leaf Gardens, the opening faceoff was delayed because there weren’t enough bodies in the ticket booth to sell tickets. The Rock were expecting 7,000 fans. 11,000 showed up.

When did Veltman know the Rock had a special team in Toronto?

“After the first championship,” recalled Veltman. “We didn’t have to win with any big names. We prided ourselves on being a team and it required everyone buying in. The changes every year didn’t impact us because we bought into the team aspect, similar to the New England Patriots.”

“I was given the captaincy, but in no way was I the only leader of that team. We had different people step up all the time. There were a bunch of collective leaders.”

The rest is history. Five straight championship appearances in the Rock’s first five years in Toronto. Five NLL titles. Two goals in the second half of the 2003 NLL Finals against Rochester. The most loose balls in league history (2,517) that earned him the nickname “Scoop.” And a legendary career by one of the game’s finest players and, more importantly to many, one of the game’s finest people.

Jim was an outstanding player and a great leader, but most importantly a great person,” said Comeau. “Everyone looked up to him on the team. He led by example in the way he played. I can’t imagine too many players or coaches that don’t have good things to say about V. That was one of the nicknames we called him. You’ve made it when your nickname is just a single letter.”

 

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