A number of teams and players are edging close to various milestones in the 2016 season. Most of them are arbitrary – is 500 career goals significantly different from 499? No, but we humans seem to like nice round numbers. Others are less arbitrary, for example a player passing another player on the all-time scoring list.
Here is a list of the milestones that could be reached during the upcoming season. All of these represent regular season numbers only.
Wins & losses
Buffalo needs 7 wins to reach 200, while Rochester needs 15.
Colorado’s next loss will be their 100th, while Calgary needs 3.
Toronto needs to win all 9 home games this year to hit 100 wins at home.
Four different teams could hit 50 home losses: Calgary needs 1, Rochester 2, Colorado 6, and Toronto 7.
Buffalo needs 40 goals to get to 4500, and Rochester needs 131 to reach 4000. Calgary and Toronto can both reach 3000 goals; Calgary needs 68 while Toronto needs 42. Colorado is only 4 goals against away from 2500.
Mark Steenhuis (you’ll be reading that name a lot in this article) needs 4 goals to reach the 400 mark.
Four players could reach 300 career goals: Ryan Benesch needs 10, Shawn Evans needs 20, Dane Dobbie needs 30, and Rhys Duch needs 35.
Two players are sure to reach 200 goals and two more are possible. Curtis Dickson needs 2 to reach 200, while Stephen Leblanc needs 5. Cody Jamieson needs 36 and Garrett Billings needs 37.
A bunch of players are within striking distance of 100 goals: Kevin Buchanan and Jordan MacIntosh are both 7 away, Johnny Powless is 10, Cory Conway is 14, Stephen Keogh is 15, and Dhane Smith is 17.
Mark Steenhuis (there’s that name again) needs 36 assists to become only the 12th player in NLL history to reach the 500 plateau.
Four players could reach 400: Ryan Benesch needs 13, Callum Crawford 32, Rhys Duch 42, and Garrett Billings needs 54.
Another four could reach 300: Kasey Beirnes is 21 away, Chad Culp 31, and Cody Jamieson and Darryl Veltman both need 37.
Defender Bill Greer only needs one assist to hit 100 for his career, while Cliff Smith and Sandy Chapman are 6 away from the century mark.
Only one player has ever reached 1400 career points in the NLL (one guess who that is), and he’s also the only member of the 1500 club, the 1600 club, and the 1700 club. But three different players could hit 1400 this year: John Grant needs 34 points, Colin Doyle needs 61, and Josh Sanderson needs 85.
Dan Dawson needs 78 points to reach 1200 while Mark Steenhuis (!) is 39 away from 900.
Shawn Evans needs 11 to hit 800 points, Ryan Benesch needs 23 to get to 700, Callum Crawford needs 24 for 600, and Stephen Leblanc needs 45 to get to 500.
At one point a few years ago, Jim Veltman’s career total of 2224 loosies seemed completely unbreakable. But this season, two players could easily join Veltman and John Tavares (2065) as the only members of the 2000 club, and one more good season from either of them could break the unbreakable record. Geoff Snider needs 143 loose balls to reach 2000 while Brodie Merrill needs 166. Snider has only finished with fewer than 143 once in his career, though that was last year. However, seeing as he’s currently without a team, Snider’s chances are hard to predict. Merrill didn’t reach 166 LBs in three of his last four seasons, but he blew that number away in his first six.
Mark Steenhuis need 65 to reach 1300.
Three players could hit 1100: John Grant needs 32, Josh Sanderson 34, and Scott Self 65.
Shawn Evans is 75 away from an even 1000, and Jeff Shattler needs 78 to reach that mark.
Colin Doyle is only 2 away from 900.
Kyle Laverty hasn’t played in the NLL in three years and has been the career penalty minutes leader with 627 for at least that long. But not only could that lead vanish this year, Laverty could be in fourth place by the end of the season. Geoff Snider needs 18 minutes to reach the 600 minute mark, and 45 to reach Laverty’s record. Patrick Merrill needs 42 for 600, and 69 to take over the lead, while Billy Dee Smith is only 10 back of Merrill. These four players will still form the top four at the end of the season, but the ordering is anybody’s guess.
At 257 games played, Josh Sanderson is currently tied with Shawn Williams for second on the all-time list, an amazing forty nine behind John Tavares’ 306. Colin Doyle is only a game behind Josh and Willy.
Two players could hit 200 games played, and both are on the Toronto Rock: Patrick Merrill needs 12 while Billy Greer needs 14.
Three other players will likely hit 100 this season: Stephen Leblanc and Brett Mydske will get there in their season debuts, while Scott Carnegie needs 6. Nick Rose is on that list as well, needing 10 games to reach 100, but that’s a little misleading since as a goalie, he seems to get credit for a game played even when he never leaves the bench.
On the career points list, Mark Steenhuis (haven’t talked about him for a while) is 64 points away from 9th place overall, pushing Gavin Prout down to 10th. Steenhuis could even push himself into 8th place, needing 98 points to pass Lewis Ratcliff.
Shawn Evans could also move up a few spots, needing 34 points to pass his new Black Wolves coach Tracey Kelusky for 13th place, 4 more to pass Mike Accursi, and 6 more after that to pass Blaine Manning.
Bandits star Ryan Benesch is currently in 21st place overall, but with a 100-point season he could vault into 14th. Benny is only a point away from Ryan Ward, 2 away from Derek Malawsky, and 8 away from Pat Maddalena.
Anthony Cosmo is on his way to a record-setting season. Coz should pass the 10000 minute mark early in the season, since he’s only 113 minutes away. He needs 392 minutes to pass Pat O’Toole and 553 to pass Bob Watson for first place on the all-time list.
Matt Vinc needs 627 minutes to reach 8000. Mike Poulin needs 265 to get to 5000, and Aaron Bold needs 379 to reach 5000.
Cosmo may not want to be at the top of this list, but with a career this long, it’s not unlikely. His 29th goal against this season will be his 1800th. Allowing 169 will push him past Bob Watson and 183 will pass Pat O’Toole. Since Cosmo gave up 191 in each of the last two seasons, this is certainly reachable. The all-time lead is likely safe for one more season, as Cosmo would have to give up 210 to pass Dallas Eliuk.
Brandon Miller needs 22 to reach 1500, and Matt Vinc is 38 away from the same mark.
Again, Cosmo is poised to set the all-time record. He needs 73 saves to pass Eliuk, 180 to pass O’Toole, and 187 to pass Watson for the overall lead in saves.
Matt Vinc is 1001 behind Cosmo, which means that barring injuries, Vinc will become the all-time leader if his career continues two years after Cosmo retires.
John Grant will be 41 when the season starts and is now the oldest player in the NLL. Josh Sanderson, Colin Doyle, and Anthony Cosmo (in that order) are next at 38.
Grant is also now the active points leader at 1366 with Colin Doyle 27 behind him and Josh Sanderson 24 behind Doyle.