I realized the other day that a large number of goaltenders in the NLL have played with Anthony Cosmo. This is not surprising seeing as how he’s been around so long. Then I realized that both he and Mike Poulin are the only goaltenders left in the league who played alongside the great Bob Watson, so it turned into a little game – how many steps is each goalie from Bob Watson?
I’ve gone through the current goaltenders in the league and assigned them a “Whipper number”, defined thusly:
- Bob Watson has a Whipper number of 0.
- Anyone else has a Whipper number one greater than the lowest Whipper number of anyone they played with.
So if you played on a team at the same time as Watson, your Whipper number is 1. If you didn’t but played with someone with a Whipper number of 1, your Whipper number is 2, and so on. If you are familiar the “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” game or Erdős numbers in mathematics, it’s the same idea.
I decided to limit it to just goaltenders, so Tyler Richards playing with Colin Doyle who played with Whipper doesn’t count.
Anthony Cosmo played with Whipper on the Rock 2001-2004, and Mike Poulin did from 2007-2008.
Christian Del Bianco played with Mike Poulin in 2016, while Frank Scigliano did from 2012-2016. Davide DiRuscio played with Cosmo in 2016. Brodie MacDonald plays with Poulin in Georgia now (2017). Matt Vinc played with Cosmo in San Jose in 2006. Angus Goodleaf played with Cosmo in Buffalo from 2010-2012. Aaron Bold played with Cosmo on San Jose from 2007-2008, and Brandon Miller did from 2005-2006. Nick Rose played with Cosmo on Boston in 2010-2011 and also played with Poulin in Calgary for part of 2012.
Tyler Carlson has played with Aaron Bold on the Rush since 2015. Tyler Richards played with Bold on the San Jose Stealth in 2009. Evan Kirk played with Brandon Miller on the Wings in 2014. Steve Fryer played with Miller on the Wings in 2012 and the Rock in 2014 and 2016.
Tye Belanger played with Evan Kirk on the Black Wolves in 2015-2016. Doug Jamieson plays with Kirk on the Black Wolves now (2017).
Dillon Ward played with Tye Belanger in Colorado in 2014.
Alexis Buque has played with Ward in Colorado since 2015.
So 11 of the 18 goalies in the league (61%) either played with Whipper or played with someone who did. Like I said, this isn’t really surprising, since Watson has only been retired for 5 seasons and both Cosmo and Poulin have each been around for 10+ years and have played in a number of cities.
Next project: six degrees of Mat Giles. Giles played for 12 different teams in 15 seasons and retired in 2013 so I suspect 80% of the league has a Giles number of at most 2.