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WK
1
Fri, Dec 2
FINAL
Philadelphia
8
Halifax
18
Sat, Dec 3
FINAL
Vancouver
8
Toronto
19
Sat, Dec 3
FINAL
San Diego
15
New York
14
Sat, Dec 3
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11
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10
Sat, Dec 3
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16
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11
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6
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18
WK
2
Fri, Dec 9
20:30:00
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22:00:00
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Sat, Dec 10
19:00:00
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Rochester
Sat, Dec 10
21:30:00
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Calgary
WK
3
Fri, Dec 16
22:00:00
Calgary
Vancouver
Fri, Dec 16
22:30:00
Panther City
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Sat, Dec 17
19:00:00
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Sat, Dec 17
19:00:00
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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
Fri, Mar 3
21:00:00
Las Vegas
San Diego
Sat, Mar 4
11:30:00
New York
Philadelphia
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
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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
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Colorado
Sat, Apr 15
19:00:00
Philadelphia
Toronto
Sat, Apr 15
19:00:00
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Albany
Sat, Apr 15
19:30:00
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Buffalo
Sat, Apr 15
21:30:00
Halifax
Saskatchewan
Sat, Apr 15
22:00:00
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Vancouver
WK
21
Fri, Apr 21
20:30:00
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Panther City
Sat, Apr 22
18:00:00
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Sat, Apr 22
19:00:00
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Rochester
Sat, Apr 22
20:00:00
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Buffalo
Sat, Apr 22
21:30:00
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Saskatchewan
Sat, Apr 22
22:00:00
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San Diego
Sun, Apr 23
15:00:00
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Albany
WK
22
Sat, Apr 29
19:00:00
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Rochester
Sat, Apr 29
19:00:00
Buffalo
Albany
Sat, Apr 29
19:00:00
Halifax
Georgia
Sat, Apr 29
22:00:00
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San Diego
Sat, Apr 29
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Where Are They Now?: Nick Carlson

Welcome to NLL.com’s weekly feature, Where Are They Now? Every week we will be catching up with former NLL players to hear what they are up to. If you want to hear from any former players, send us a tweet @NLL.

This week we had the pleasure of speaking with Nick Carlson, 38, who played with the New York Saints in 2002-2003, and the Colorado Mammoth from 2003-2012, and again with the Mammoth during the second half of the 2013-2014 season. 

Carlson was drafted fifth overall in the 2002 NLL Draft by the New York Saints, and was on the 2006 Colorado Mammoth team that won the NLL Cup.

Carlson was born and grew up in Nanaimo, British Columbia and now lives in Evergreen, Colorado.
———————————————————————

NLL.com: What are you up to these days?

Carlson: I’m living in Evergreen, Colorado, which is about 30 minutes west of Denver. I’m married and I have two kids of my own and a stepdaughter, Riley, who is 11.


My other daughter who is about to turn five is named Aspen and I have a son, Harlan, who just turned three. I’ve been busy raising the family with my wife, Bresee.  

I’ve been working for a company called MedTronic, a Medical Technology company, and I’m in charge of their spine robotics navigation division in one of their territories here in Colorado.

NLL.com
: What does that job entail?

Carlson: I’m responsible for selling all the spinal implants for adult and pediatric spine issues. One of my hospitals is the Children’s Hospital of Colorado where I work 90% of the time. We operate on all the kids out there who have Scoliosis. We provide equipment for the surgeons to help their patients.

If someone breaks their neck or is in a serious injury, we provide the implants to help stabilize the spine. I’m in the operating room every single day as well as helping support the staff with our equipment.

NLL.com: How did you get involved with Medical Sales?

Carlson: After the 2006 season, the year we won the NLL Cup, I got to know our team physician (Dr. Phil Stull). I knew that lacrosse wasn’t going to pay all the bills and I realized I would have to start doing something else soon.

He knew a couple of these companies and I got the job through him. At first I was working a very basic form of the job, and over time the job was getting more and more demanding. Lacrosse was extremely important to me but it was a perfect segway into not being able to play anymore.

NLL.com: How are you still involved in lacrosse?

Carlson: Interestingly enough, the last two years I’ve been helping my college roommate who also played lacrosse for Calgary and San Jose (Travis Gillespie). I’ve been helping him coach the Chinese Taipei team. I helped coach in the world games in Israel last year as an assistant.

I’m going to Hong Kong for the Hong Kong lacrosse open to coach the team over Easter weekend. It’s been really fun. It’s been difficult to stay involved but it was my passion and it was everything I ever cared about growing up. I didn’t want to just say, “See you later lacrosse.”

Locally, I help out as much as I can with Matt Brown and his whole Denver Elite Box Lacrosse Program. I try to get out to some of those games and practices and help them coach. They want me to do it more, but it’s tough with juggling family.   

I still bring the kids and family down to Mammoth games all the time. We are probably at five games per year.

NLL.com: What is your most fond memory of playing in the NLL?

Carlson: It’s cliche and probably what everyone has said, but it’s winning the NLL Cup in 2006.

(2006 Mammoth head coach Gary) Gait was my idol growing up. I watched him play when I was younger, and me and my friends thought he was the best thing ever. He was one of the reasons I signed with Colorado. He was still playing and he said to me, ‘You could play with me for a few seasons’ and I said Yeah I’d like to do that (laughs). He ended up coaching us in 2006. That’s the best memory. The championship was icing on the cake, but that whole season was just amazing. We had such a great run at the end of the year and I remember Steve Govett was a great GM to play for. It was a magical year.



NLL.com: Do you still keep in touch with any of your teammates and if so, which one (s)?

Carlson: The main one is Tom Effington. We started playing for the Mammoth the same year and we stopped at the same time. He lives in Denver and he was a DU kid. He’s one of my best friends.

I talk to Jamie Hanford a lot, as well as Gavin Prout and Jay Jalbert. Those are the main guys I stay in touch with. Scott Stapleford as well.

NLL.com: What was the hardest part about retiring and hanging up the cleats?

Carlson: It just took a little shot of your pride out. You go, ‘I guess I’m too old.’ I follow the NHL and NFL and I looked at it so differently when I was younger. I thought you could play forever unless you were hurt. But you get to that point of losing a step. You’re a split second slower and then there’s a nagging injury that bothers you more than you used to. You’re more sore after games.

Lacrosse is one of those things that I did my whole life. I played since I was five. It was everything I ever wanted to do as a kid and it comes to an end real quick. It’s a slap in the face.

It was super hard the first week after retiring, but at the time I had a long term girlfriend who I wanted to be my wife one day and you start looking around and you realize that life is not all about lacrosse and that there’s a lot more to this world than the game.

When you’re playing, that’s all that it is. Eat, breathe, sleep lacrosse and that’s all that’s on your mind.

NLL.com: You won the NLL championship with the Mammoth in 2006. Can you describe how tough it is, and what it takes to get through three rounds of the playoffs on your way to the championship?

Carlson: It’s a grind. It’s mentally and physically challenging. Especaily in the NLL where your team isn’t together the whole week. It’s how do you stay a close team and remain tight over those five or six days when you’re not playing so that when you come back to practice, you’re firing on all cylinders. And then of course you have to go out and perform.

In 2006, the one thing Gary and the coaching staff did was basically, we all bought in to the system and it was this is your role, don’t try and do more than that. We focused on that all season.

It’s a lot of being mentally tough and saying Okay, I gotta get through the week, eat right, sleep right and be hydrated so that when we show up for practice we’re ready to go and Saturday night is go time. It was do or die. There were no series back then.



NLL.com: What do you think the biggest difference is with today’s lacrosse game compared to when you played?

Carlson: I think there is more talent. Or the volume of talent is more. There are always the super talented lacrosse players, but now when I watch games I see there are more kids playing at a younger level and the interest in getting to the pro level is there and the competition is better which is why I think the league is expanding. Philadelphia, San Diego, New York….

When I played, an expansion team would win maybe two games, but there weren’t as many good players to make up a whole team.  Now, every team is competitive every single night.

On other side of it, the younger kids – the 21 year olds coming out college – they are all bigger, stronger, faster, and more conditioned. You don’t really find the 5’9 guy anymore. They are all 6’2 or bigger.

NLL.com: Who was the toughest player you ever went up against?

Carlson: I played a transition/defense role mainly. The guy I always had a super tough time with is probably Dan Dawson. I was a lefty D guy so I’d match up with him sometimes and I’d be like ugh, here we go. He was tall, lanky and smart – which is probably why he’s still playing. That’s one that comes to mind. I think there could be a really long list there. Tracey Kelusky and Kleb Toth, both with Calgary, were tough to handle too as well.

NLL.com: Favorite sport and team to follow besides lacrosse?

Carlson: It’s hard living in the United States and not follow the NFL. It’s impossible. I was a huge hockey fan growing up but with the exposure of football it’s hard not to follow. You could say the Broncos but I also like the Patriots. I like the dynasty programs, Tom Brady of course. I love watching those guys at their highest level and watching how the hall of famers approach the game on a Sunday.

It was great watching Peyton Manning every week a couple of years ago in Denver and watching what he does differently to prepare for his game.

NLL