The beep test

NLL training camps will be starting in a month or so. This is the chance for the young players to strut their stuff and get noticed, the veteran players to get back into the swing of things after some time off (a month or so if they played in MLS/WLA/MLL, as many as six months if they didn’t), and the oldest players to see if they have just one more year left in their aching bodies.

During the camps, one thing you may hear about is the beep test. I had never heard of this until a couple of years ago, when numerous players being interviewed on various lacrosse podcasts kept talking about it. It turns out my sons had both done it a few times during their phys ed classes. If you are as unfamiliar with this as I was, allow me to enlighten you.

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The 2017 draft: Anthony, Jordan, Jake, Zack, Mitch, Mitch’s dad, Aaron, and Bryan

The 2017 NLL draft was this past Monday so as I always do, I made my way down the QEW to the TRAC to sit in the crowd. I’m sure Stephen Stamp will do a comprehensive write-up on IL Indoor before long on who went where, what teams did well, and what teams didn’t. I’ll touch on the draft results themselves a little bit but this article will mostly describe my experience there.

Anthony, Jordan

We had one trade announced before the draft started. BC boy Anthony Malcom was sent to Vancouver along with the 12th overall pick (Ottawa’s Ryan Fournier) from Buffalo, who received Ontario boy Jordan Durston. Both players now play closer to home, so they both win. As for the teams involved, the Stealth picks up a righty who averaged 3.4 points per game in 2017 while the Bandits get a lefty who averaged 2.4. I imagine Evan Messenger is quite pleased about the new opening on the left side that he may be able to fill. There was talk that the Bandits picking up a lefty immediately before the draft might indicate that they were going to pass on lefty Josh Byrne at #1. They didn’t, so after the very first pick, the Bandits had strengthened their left side with two players.

Jake, Zack

After Byrne went first, we all knew what was coming next. In the words of the commissioner: “With the second pick in the 2017 entry draft, the Rochester Knighthawks select… wait, what? Is this right? Curt, are you sure about this? Um… he’s nodding. OK then. The Knighthawks take Jake Withers” That may not be verbatim, I don’t remember exactly. There are always surprising picks in the draft but Rochester skipping over Zack Currier was one of the bigger ones. The biggest question prior to the draft was whether the Bandits would take Byrne or Currier first overall and the assumption was that the Knighthawks would take the other one second. To see Currier drop to third was surprising and I’m sure there were mini fist pumps all around the Roughnecks table.

KnighthawksDraftThe picture here features the three Knighthawks first round picks: Eric Fannell, Austin Shanks, and Jake Withers (left to right), all Ohio State boys. See the ghostly image behind the guy in green at the back? That’s me.

I mean no disrespect to Jake Withers, who was ranked #3 in Stamper’s list, so it’s not like the Knighthawks selected some nobody. But considering Currier’s performance in the Mann Cup just last week and the fact that his brother is already a Knighthawk, that seemed like a perfect fit. Then again, how many really dumb lacrosse decisions has Curt Styres made since taking over the Knighthawks? Not many.

Mitch, Mitch’s dad

I was sitting in the back row of the stands, and talked a little to the guy sitting next to me. He mentioned that his son was in the draft pool, and was hopefully a late-rounder. They were from BC and his son played for the Jr. Langley Thunder. The dad was clearly a big lacrosse fan and told me when certain teammates, former teammates, or opponents of his son were drafted. In most cases he had positive things to say but there were a few cases where he obviously wasn’t too impressed.

As the night went on and his name wasn’t called, his son got more and more anxious, texting his dad “This is tough” after hearing yet another teammate get picked. He came back to sit with his dad in the fifth round or so. I didn’t talk to him directly, but I started to feel bad for the kid. What if he doesn’t get picked at all? What do I say to them after the draft when I’m leaving? “Nice talking to you, have a good trip home, sorry your dreams didn’t come true”? I started to get a little nervous about what I’d say but remembered that however bad I felt, he’d feel worse.

And then it happened. “With the 53rd selection, the Calgary Roughnecks select Mitch McDole”. The kid simply whispered “YES” and got up and headed to the front. Before I could even wish his dad congratulations, he was off following him, just like I would if it were my kid. Just like Jordan Kanscal two years ago (who also went to Calgary), I was excited when his name was called. Congratulations Mitch, I will be watching for you at the Calgary training camp.

Aaron

One other thing that Mr. McDole reported was that at the previous weekend’s combine, there was a 42-year-old goalie. He said he wasn’t very good… at all…. but hey, kudos to him for trying out. I agreed with that. The next day I found that the 42-year-old goalie was none other than Aaron Freeland, formerly known as Meathead on the IL Indoor message board. I met Aaron once in Rochester (he’d had a few large green drinks by that point so probably doesn’t remember), but have talked to him numerous times on the message board and on Twitter. He posted something on Facebook saying that he applied on a whim and fully expected to get rejected. When he didn’t, he decided to get out there anyway because why the hell not. Not everyone would have the guts to get out there at age 42 and face shots from 20-year-old lacrosse players, so I’m impressed. Nice job Aaron.

Other notes:

  • There were a few trades throughout the evening but other than the Malcom/Durston deal, none involved players. I believe every trade announced was team A sending the very next pick to team B for a pick in the same round in 2019 or 2020. Team B is now on the clock.
  • One of the reasons I love going to the draft is sitting near the families of players selected. Watching and hearing the parents, siblings, and girlfriends standing up, applauding, and cheering while the player walks to the podium is heartwarming.
  • That said, it’s really heartbreaking to see hatless kids sitting during the sixth round, as the possibility of their being drafted dwindles.
  • At 7:56pm, Nick Sakiewicz announced the 14th overall pick for the Rochester Knighthawks. A minute later, the NLL twitter account tweeted out the 4th pick. Way to keep up, guys.
  • The 2018 NLL Pronunciation Guide is already underway, thanks to first rounder Anthony Joaquim. His last name is not pronounced wa-KEEM as one might expect, it’s actually JOKE-em. No JOKE.
  • At the previous drafts, they broadcast Stephen Stamp’s and Andy McNamara’s analysis over the speakers but this year they did not. Instead, they had some classic rock playing quietly over the PA. They played Bryan Adams, Men At Work, the J. Geils Band, John Mellencamp (Black Wolves GM Rich Lisk is a fan), the James Gang, Tears for Fears, and a bunch more. Jack Goods even reported JT singing JB.

Various musings lacking statistical correlation

Today I’m going to take a page from Evan Schemenauer’s book blog. There are a number of issues relating to the NLL that I have yet to write about, so rather than post an article with a single focus, I’ll combine them all in a “random thoughts” article the way Evan does. Incidentally, if you aren’t reading Evan’s blog regularly, you really should. Now only does he have some great insights into the game itself but he frequently discusses the business aspect of the league as well. In addition to the NLL, he follows and writes about MLL, WLA, MSL, and junior lacrosse as well, which I generally don’t. And check out his story about when he helped create a lacrosse tournament in Bermuda – it’s quite long but really interesting. If you only read one lacrosse blog, read this one. But if you read two lacrosse blogs, the other one should be Evan’s.

I’m covering a number of stories here, some new and some not so new, so I’ll go in chronological order, oldest first.

John Grant retires

John Grant

Not exactly a shocker. In fact, the only way this story could really have been surprising is if it didn’t happen. The writing has been on the wall most of the season, since Grant only played in the Mammoth’s first two games, and there were very few injury updates throughout the season. I heard an interview with Steve Govett this past season where he was listing all the players he had on IR and when they might be back. He didn’t even mention Grant until the very end, almost as an afterthought. Grant announced his retirement from MSL almost a year ago and from the MLL back in April, and in both cases his reasons were that his body just couldn’t do it anymore. Given that, it was pretty much impossible that he’d return for another season in the NLL.

I can’t say I was ever a real fan of Junior’s. He’s unquestionably one of the most skilled lacrosse players in history, and I saw many games where it seemed that he could just score at will – no goalie could stop him when he was really on his game. But earlier in his career, it was sometimes possible to force him off of his game. Basically, if you pissed him off early and often enough, he’d retaliate or get flustered and that was it for him. Try that with John Tavares and he’d just score on you as revenge but Grant would take the odd dumb penalty or just lose his scoring ability to some extent. This happened less often as he matured. But Grant was either too arrogant or too aloof (or both) for my liking. While I acknowledged his skill, I didn’t really like him.

Once he got to Colorado, he started doing promotional videos for the Mammoth, and my tune changed a little. He had a bunch where he was shooting on a lacrosse net from crazy distances – the top level of the Pepsi Center, a cool rock formation in Colorado, and others; they brought to mind the “nothin’ but net” commercial with Michael Jordan and Larry Bird from back in the 90’s if you’re old enough to remember that. Another was one (couldn’t find it online) where he gave a tour of his apartment in Denver, complete with his lacrosse gear out on the balcony and his kitchen cupboard full of Kraft peanut butter “imported from Canada”. I have to say he seemed pretty likeable in those spots.

Then my opinion completely changed when I heard an interview he did with Teddy Jenner right after his retirement. He basically said that his whole life, he just wanted to play lacrosse and wasn’t interested in the spotlight at all. But he realized that given his talent, the spotlight was inevitable so he made the best of it. He came across in the interview as a down-to-earth guy, nor arrogant in the slightest, who just loves lacrosse. He also said that one of the advantages of retiring is that he can spend more time coaching kids, and how can you not like that? That interview made me want to apologize to him for not liking him in the past.

Even if you don’t like him for whatever reason, you cannot deny the skill. Like I said above, when he was on his game, nobody could dominate a game like Junior, and his behind the back (or one-hand behind-the-back underhand) shots are legendary. Mr. Grant, it was an honour to be able to watch you over the past seventeen years and I wish you all the best in your coaching career, be it with your high school team, the MLL, or possibly in the future, the NLL.

Adam Jones comes to the Rock

I honestly didn’t see this one coming though in retrospect, I should have. Jones is a teacher in Owen Sound, Ontario, a 2½ hour drive from Toronto (in good traffic/weather). Jones missed a number of Friday night games with the Mammoth and Rush because the travel was just too difficult. In the four years since the league went to 18-game seasons, Jones has yet to play in all 18 games. Playing half of his games in Toronto (and a bunch more in Buffalo and Rochester) means fewer travel hassles so fewer missed games and less stress on days where he does travel.

I wonder if some Rock fans might have bristled at the thought of giving up two first round picks for Jones, considering he’s only eclipsed 76 points once in his career. But for Jones, it’s not how many points, it’s when. Since 2014, only four players (Dickson, Dhane Smith, Shawn Evans, Dobbie) have more hat-tricks than Jones, and only Dickson has more four-goal or five-goal games. He’s tied with Dickson for the most six-goal games. Jones will have some 1-goal 2-assist nights but the first time the Rock win because he scored six goals in the third quarter, two first round picks may not seem quite as high a price.

San Diego: The new kid in town

The worst-kept secret in the NLL is finally confirmed: a multi-gazillionaire named Joseph Tsai has purchased an NLL expansion franchise that will play in San Diego beginning in the 2018-2019 season. This story was first broken back in July by Marisa Ingemi (my former “boss” at In Lacrosse We Trust – I wrote there for a couple of months in 2011). Tsai has hired former Mammoth president and GM Steve Govett to be the President (and GM?) of the new team. This is the biggest news to hit the NLL since… well, in a long time, and this is the first expansion team in the NLL since the Boston Blazers in 2009.

NLL fans have talked many times in the past about trying to get high-profile billionaires like Mark Cuban or Paul Allen to buy into the league, instantly raising its profile and, quite honestly, its legitimacy. As far as I know Mr. Tsai’s name never came up in those conversations but it could have – Tsai (who has Canadian citizenship, according to Wikipedia) played collegiate lacrosse at Yale, and is apparently quite a big lacrosse fan.

San Diego

This is huge news. Yes, the NLL has played in SoCal before, with the Anaheim Storm in 2004-2005. But their team was terrible, finishing a combined 6-26 over those two seasons. That certainly didn’t help the attendance, which hovered around 4500 per game. I know zilch about the ownership group of the Storm but suffice it to say that losing money hand over fist was likely a problem for them. The fact that Tsai is a billionaire doesn’t mean he’ll be happy to lose money forever, but it does mean that it won’t be a problem if the team doesn’t make a profit right away.

Tsai is the co-founder and executive vice chairman of the Alibaba Group, a huge Chinese company that runs various online stores and is one of the most profitable companies in the world. According to WIkipedia, Alibaba’s sales in 2016 added up to almost half a trillion US dollars, more than all online sales from all US companies combined. I think we’re safe in assuming that Mr. Tsai knows a thing or two about prudent investments and how to run a successful company. A proven businessman like Tsai investing in the NLL should give other potential investors some serious confidence in the stability and profitability of the league. It’s unlikely that he’s just pulled $5 million out of his couch cushions on a whim; he’s done research on the league and made the decision to invest in it.

Steve Govett had been with the Colorado Mammoth since they were the Washington Power. No fly-by-night “let’s throw $5 million at this thing and see what happens” kind of owner would likely be able to pull him away from there. I don’t imagine Govett would leave the Mammoth for anything less than an absolutely committed owner. The team doesn’t have a name or logo yet and the total number of employees is probably still in single digits, but Tsai already has a right-hand man who knows the league, the game, and the players as well as anyone. Assuming Govett will also be acting as GM, the San Diego Whatevers may not have the less-than-auspicious start that the Storm had. They could be a pretty good team within a couple of years.

Expansion rumours

The rumours started months ago when a Philadelphia reporter named John Barchard tweeted some NLL expansion plans that he credited to “Sources”. He talked about Baltimore, Long Island, and Montreal for 2018, then Philly, DC, Edmonton, and Miami for 2019, and San Francisco for 2020. There were eight other cities with “mild interest”, but San Diego was not among them. It turned out this was mostly his or someone else’s speculation, not actual plans.

The rumours I’ve heard more recently (yesterday) included teams in Philly, Halifax, Miami, and Edmonton. While both Philadelphia and Edmonton have failed in the NLL in the past, I think they could be successful with the right ownership. Both teams had success on the floor and at the gate, though in the case of Edmonton they mostly didn’t happen at the same time.

I’m not sold on Halifax. Sure, there are no other major pro sports teams within several hundred kilometers so they may be starving for pro sports out on the east coast, so that might be good for community support and thus attendance. However it means at least a two hour flight from pretty much anywhere NLL players live (and 5½ from Vancouver, and 8½ from San Diego via Toronto) for all players on both teams, unless the team convinces some players to move there. The arena in Halifax holds 10,000 so they better be filling it every night to pay for the extra travel costs.

I don’t know much about Miami but I know that both the Panthers (NHL) and Marlins (MLB) have struggled with attendance. The Florida Launch are based in Boca Raton, just north of Miami, so in a parallel universe where the NLL and MLL work together for mutual benefit, that may be a good place to start in terms of advertising and building up a fan base. In this universe, however, I’m not sure it will matter.

MLL data breach

This only tangentially affects the NLL itself but does affect a bunch of NLL players. The MLL announced that there was a data breach last week, where information on (I believe) every current and former MLL player, as well as others who registered in the player pool even if they never played, was accidentally made available on the internet. The information included innocuous things like height, weight, occupation, and date of birth, but also included Social Security numbers which, when combined with some of the innocuous stuff, could easily be used for identity theft. The players are livid and rightly so. There have been no confirmed reports of identity theft as of now, but that’s hardly the point.

The big question that many people are asking is “how could this happen?” But I’d like the details – logistically, how did this happen? The players are asking why the file was not encrypted or password-protected, which is an excellent question. But my question is why was it there at all?

The fact that the Excel spreadsheet containing the personal data was available on the internet means that it must have been copied to the machine running the league’s web site, whether that’s their own machine or one run by a hosting company (like GoDaddy, for example). Why would anyone copy the file there? You don’t copy a data file to a web server unless you want to serve it to the web.

I don’t know what happened, but here’s a likely scenario. I imagine that like many companies, the MLL has internal web sites (an “intranet”) as well as the public site. The internal ones are used by MLL employees and are only available from within the MLL corporate network. It’s possible (though not likely) that both sites are run from the same machine, in which case a badly written web page or email could easily link to the wrong file, or the file could accidentally be copied into the wrong directory. What’s more likely is that someone wanted to make the file available on the intranet (not the internet) but copied the file to the wrong server.

MLL's Chief Security Officer

But as someone who has worked for a database software company for twenty years (my job title even includes “security expert” though that’s kind of a stretch), I can tell you that any database or file that includes personal information (especially Social Security numbers) really should be encrypted and protected. If I’m an MLL employee and I don’t absolutely need to have the SSNs, there should be no way for me to get them. The people who do need to have that information must be trained on proper handling of sensitive information. If you must copy the file somewhere, you make damn sure that you’re copying it to the right place and that it’s removed from that place once it’s no longer needed.

With this breach, the league has opened themselves up to lawsuits from anyone whose data was leaked. Since that’s all of their players, this could be very bad. In the worst case, the lawsuits bankrupt the league and it folds entirely. That’s probably unlikely but even if the league does survive, it will take a very long time to regain any measure of trust from the players. It may also have long-term ramifications in the form of players who decide not to join the MLL because of this incident. The league may have lost out on a future Tom Schreiber because he’s worried about the security of his personal information.

It’s also possible that players may decide to divorce themselves from the MLL entirely, which could be good news for the NLL. Could we see the return of former NLL players like Joe Walters and Paul Rabil if they are unhappy with the MLL?

Ten surprises from the 2017 season

Ten things that happened this past season that I did not see coming. No particular order because I’m lazy.

1. Tom Schreiber. Would he be a very good player? Probably. Would he score a bunch of goals? Probably. Would he lead the Rock in scoring and finish in the top 10 in the league? Well, that’s overly optimistic, don’t you think?

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Review of the new NLL.com

The NLL unveiled its new web site last week. We talked about it on the most recent episode of Addicted to Lacrosse, and of course I’ve spent some time perusing it this week. Here are some thoughts on the pros and cons of the new site.

Pros

It looks great. The menus and the team standings thing on the right are slick. The images and overall look of the page are professional.

I like how the black-and-white team logos at the top are colourized when you hover over them.

Clicking on the team logos at the top gives you a page summarizing that team – record, goals for and against, division rank, news stories, roster, schedule, and staff (GM and head coach). There are links to the team’s web site and social media accounts, and links for buying ticket and merch. The NLL logo at the very top changes colour depending on the team you pick – nice touch.

Each of the news stories on the front page has a little icon in the corner telling you whether it’s a video or text.

The pages I use to download game stats into my database (nll_stats.stats.pointstreak.com/boxscore.html) have not changed, which means I don’t need to rewrite the script I use to fetch and parse them. This is a big deal for me personally, though I imagine nobody else cares. But for myself, thanks NLL!

When you have a table of stats and click on a column heading, it re-sorts the list in place with Javascript rather than having to reload the page. Clicking it a second time reverses the search.

nll.com

Cons

The list of games on the bottom of the main page scrolls left and right similar to the one on the old site but there’s no scroll bar or link to a particular week. To go back or ahead a month or two, you have to use the arrows on the left and right and just keep clicking until you get there. To get from the end of the season (where we are now) to the beginning takes 25 clicks. Sure, you can click on the Schedule menu. then select Week 1 from the WEEK dropdown and click Apply, but that’s still three clicks. Used to be one click for any week of the season.

On this same list, games in progress are listed as “Live” with no indication of what quarter.

Historical stats are gone. Career stats seem to begin no earlier than 2005. If a player retired before 2005, he’s just not anywhere.

Finding historical players is a bit of a pain. To find John Tavares, for example, I have to go to the Players menu, select a season he played in, select Forward, and select Bandits (the latter two are optional but filter things much more quickly). If I want to find a historical player but I don’t remember what years he played or what teams he played for, it could take a long time to find him.

When listing players, there’s no search field. If I want to find Mark Matthews, for example, I have to either scroll to the end, wait for the next page to load, then continue repeating that until his name shows up (this takes ten iterations), or I can filter with position and team. But if I could just type “Matth<enter>”, that would be faster. Even better if the ‘<enter>’ was optional.

There are little progress bars on many images, showing you how long until the image changes to the next one in the “slideshow”. If something is actually loading, this is helpful but if it’s just a timer before the image changes, it’s not necessary.

The game recap page has a few issues:

  • The times for goals, shots, turnovers, etc. are backwards, telling you how much time is left in the quarter rather than how much time has elapsed. The first face-off in Q1 is listed as 15:00 rather than 0:00.
  • The turnovers and caused turnovers don’t have a name associated with them.
  • The times are also incorrect in some cases – in Toronto’s 12-5 win over Rochester, we have Kyle Jackson and Brodie Merrill taking a shot on net and Billy Hostrawser and Merrill picking up loose balls all at 11:55 of the second quarter.
  • When a goal is scored, no shot on goal is listed corresponding to that goal.
  • The page is drawn as a small window above the main window but escape doesn’t close it.
  • This also makes scrolling weird – using the mouse wheel scrolls the list in the window until you hit the top or bottom of the list, then it scrolls the main page behind the window.
  • The tooltips for the twitter and star icons at the top say “Preferred_1” and “Preferred_2”.
  • Clicking “Return to scoreboard” takes you right off the NLL page, over to stats.pointstreak.com.
  • When trying to look at a game recap while the game is going on, the page refreshes itself automatically, changing pages as it does. Very annoying if you’re trying to look at something other than the “Plays” view.

Really picky things

On the news page, the season filter is sorted ascending (i.e. most recent season at the bottom). Everywhere else it’s descending (i.e. most recent season at the top).

I go to the 2015 stats and click on John Tavares, it lists his age as 48, which is his current age, not the age he was in 2015. That’s easy to calculate but which date do you pick? Do you display the age he was at the beginning of the season or the end?

When I click on the search icon, I have to click on the text box that pops up before I can type anything. The text box should get focus automatically.

The font on the transactions page is big and ugly.

On the stats page it lists some team records, eg. goals for or against. For each record you see the top three teams along with, for some reason, their home arena. But the arena names are inconsistent. For the Bandits, it just says “KeyBank Center” but for the Rush it says “Sasktel Centre – Saskatoon”. From a quick Google search, there is only one SaskTel Centre. The Mammoth one says “Pepsi Center – NLL” and the Roughnecks says “Scotiabank Saddledome NLL”.

Do great players make great coaches?

In many sports, some players go on to become coaches once they hang up their skates, cleats, or whatever other footwear they happen to use. Sometimes these transitions work out well, other times they don’t. But one thing I’ve noticed over the years is that in the NHL, the really great players frequently don’t make great coaches, and great coaches were generally not great players. Wayne Gretzky is the obvious example of the former – arguably the greatest hockey player ever was at best a mediocre NHL coach. On the flipside, Don Cherry played a single game in the NHL. Pat Burns never did, nor did Scotty Bowman, Ken Hitchcock, John Tortorella, or many of the current NHL coaches. Patrick Roy is one counterexample – he’s the only one of the thirty current NHL head coaches who was a truly great player. Patrick Roy hasn’t coached in the NHL since last season. Not sure how I missed this.

It’s funny how different this situation is in lacrosse.

Think of two of the best NLL players ever: Gary Gait took the Mammoth to the championship in his first season as an NLL coach, and has been coaching women’s college lacrosse for many years. John Tavares has been an assistant coach of the Bandits for a year and a half and by all accounts is doing a great job.

Clark & Kelusky, with Veltman in the background

But the list of current and former coaches who aren’t just former players but were great players is surprising: Tavares, Gary Gait, Paul Gait, Darris Kilgour, Rich Kilgour, Troy Cordingley, Jim Veltman, Tracey Kelusky, Glenn Clark, Blaine Manning, Dan Ladouceur, Dan Stroup, Chris Gill, Pat Coyle, Curt Malawsky, Derek Keenan (short career, but he did win Rookie of the Year), Kaleb Toth, Jimmy Quinlan, and I’ve probably missed some. Pretty much everybody I just listed was at one time one of the best at his position on his team, if not the league.

At one point just a couple of years ago, four of the nine head coaches in the NLL (Darris Kilgour, Cordingley, Keenan, Bob Hamley) were members of the 1993 Bandits, which also included future coaches Tavares, Veltman, and Rich Kilgour. Similarly, current coaches Stroup, Gill, Coyle, Veltman, Clark, Ladouceur, Campbell, and Keenan were all members of the 1999 Rock.

Who will we be talking about as the great NLL coaches in ten years? Colin Doyle? Brodie Merrill? Mark Steenhuis? Dan Dawson?

Left as an exercise for the reader: Why is this situation so different in hockey than in lacrosse?

The NLL Pronunciation Guide 2017

I wrote this article the first time as a bit of a joke, because I got annoyed hearing NLL players’ names being mispronounced by play-by-play guys all the time. Then it kept happening with new players, so I’ve written a new version every year since. I sometimes think maybe the situation is getting better, evidenced by the fact that I didn’t feel compelled to write this article quite as much this year as in previous years. But then the other day I heard the New England announcers say Joey Cupido’s last name as KOO-pid-o and then discuss how it should be pronounced, decide (correctly) on koo-PEE-do, and then proceed to say it wrong the rest of the game. So here we are.

Names are organized alphabetically within teams.

Buffalo

Ryan Benesch – buh-NESH

Bryce Brochu – BRO-shoe

Kevin Brownell – brow-NELL. brow rhymes with “cow”.

Davide DiRuscio – DAY-vid dih-ROOSH-ee-o

Alexander Kedoh Hill – Kedoh sounds like KID-o

Steve Priolo – pree-O-lo

Blaze Riorden – REER-dun

Dhane Smith – DANE

Mark Steenhuis – STAIN-house

Nick Weiss – WEES

 

Calgary

ka-TONE-eeHolden Cattoni – ka-TONE-ee

Christian del Bianco – dell bee-AHN-ko

Dane Dobbie – DOUGH-bee. Not like Dobby.

Greg Harnett – har-NET

Jon Harnett – coincidentally, also har-NET

Karsen Leung – lee-UNG

Riley Loewen – LOW-en. LOW is like the word “low”, not rhyming with “cow”.

Tor Reinholdt – RINE-holt

Frank Scigliano – shill-ee-ANN-o. And it’s Frank now, not Frankie.

 

Colorado

Keegan Bal – KEE-gan BALL

Alexis Buque – boo-KAY

Callum Crawford – CAL-um. Not CAY-lum.

Joey Cupido – koo-PEE-do. Not KYOO-pid-o or KOO-pid-o

Ilija Gajic – ILL-ee-ya GUY-ch

Jordan Gilles – GILL-ess. Not the same as Brad Gillies on Rochester.

Zach Herreweyers – HAY-wires. I know, right?

Stephen Keogh – KEY-o

Eli McLaughlin – E-lie muh-GLOCK-lin

Nick Ossello – aw-SELL-o

Creighton Reid – CRAY-ton

Jacob Ruest – roo-EH (or if you’re Canadian, it’s roo, eh?)

 

Georgia

Mitch Belisle – buh-LYLE

Alex Crepinsek – CREP-in-seck

Kiel Matisz – KYLE muh-TEEZ

Mike Poulin – POO-lin

Randy Staats – STOTS. Rhymes with “slots”. Not STATS.

Leo Stouros – STORE-os

 

New England

Kevin Crowley – KROW-lee. Not like the bird. KROW rhymes with “cow”.

Ryan Hotaling – ho-TAL-ing

Derek Searle – SERL. Rhymes with pearl.

Jay Thorimbert – THOR-im-burt. I would have guessed THOR-im-bare (and had it that way on this list in previous years) but that’s wrong.

 

Rochester

Tyler Ferreira – fur-AIR-uh

Brad Gillies – GILL-ees. Not the same as Jordan Gilles on Colorado.

Graeme Hossack – HOSS-ack. I’m only listing his last name because you all know how to say his first name, right? RIGHT? OK fine, it’s GRAY-um.

Luc Magnan – LUKE MAG-nun. I would have expected man-YON but I’ve never heard it pronounced that way.

Joe Resetarits – res-uh-TARE-its

Matt Vinc – like the name “Vince”. Not VINK.

Cory Vitarelli – vit-uh-REL-ee

HOSS-ack

 

Saskatchewan

Nik Bilic – bee-LEETCH but many people say BIL-itch. Definitely not BIL-ik.

Chris Corbeil – cor-BEEL

Brett Mydske – MID-skee

Kyle Rubisch – ROO-bish

Adrian Sorichetti – sore-i-KET-ee

 

Toronto

Kasey Beirnes – BEERns. Not BEER-ness and not BURNS.

Phil Caputo – ka-POO-toe

Latrell Harris – la-TREL. If you’re the ACC announcer, stretch it out so that it takes you 15 seconds to say Latrell.

Rob Hellyer – HELL-yer

Billy Hostrawser – HO-straw-zer

Bradley Kri – KREE

Stephan Leblanc – STEFF-in luh-BLONK. Not steh-FAWN and not luh-BLANK.

Dan Lintner – LINT-ner. There are two N’s in there, not LINT-er or LIT-ner.

Kieran McArdle – KEER-un muh-KAR-dl

Reid Reinholdt – REED RINE-holt

Tom Schreiber – SHRY-ber. I’d be surprised if anyone reading this can’t pronounce this name, considering how often his name has been mentioned this season among NLL folks.

 

Vancouver

Tye Belanger – buh-LAHN-jay

Brandon Clelland – CLELL-and

Rhys Duch – REES DUTCH

Thomas Hoggarth – HOE-garth

Chris O’Dougherty – O DORT-ee. Or O DOUGH-erty if you say it slowly.

James Rahe – RAY

Logan Schuss – SHUSS (rhymes with BUS). Not SHUSH, SHOOSH, or SHOOS.

 

Coaches & Execs

Aime Caines – AMY CANES.  Swarm assistant coach.

Ed Comeau – KO-mo. Swarm head coach.

Jamie Dawick – DOW-ick. DOW rhymes with “cow”. Owner & GM of the Rock.

Steve Govett – GUV-it. President & GM of the Mammoth.

Mike Hasen – HAY-zen. Not HAN-sen. Knighthawks head coach.

Tracey Kelusky – kuh-LUSS-key. Not kuh-LOOS-key. Black Wolves assistant coach.

Darris Kilgour – DARE-iss KILL-gore. Not DARE-ee-us. Former Bandits coach/GM.

Curt Malawsky – muh-LAW-skee. Roughnecks head coach.

Nick Sakiewicz – sic-KEV-itch. NLL commish.

Kaleb Toth – KAY-leb TOE-th, not TAW-th. Stealth assistant coach.

 

Other

Steve Bermel – BERM-ull. Rhymes with “thermal”. Bandits beat writer.

Melissa Dafni – DAF-nee. One of my co-hosts on Addicted to Lacrosse.

Tyler Fitch – TY-ler FITCH. My other co-host on Addicted to Lacrosse.

John Fraser – FRAY-zer. Not FRAY-zher (i.e. not pronounced like the TV show Frasier). Rush play by play dude.

Casey Guerin – GARE-in. Rush broadcaster.

Marisa Ingemi – muh-RISS-a in-JEM-ee. In Lacrosse We Trust writer.

Graeme Perrow – GRAY-um PAIR-o. Yours truly.

Craig Rybczynski – He told me it’s rib-CHIN-skee but he himself frequently says it as “rib-ZIN-skee”. Knighthawks broadcaster.