ICYMI: 2019 Offseason Recap
The 2019-20 NLL season will be the 34th for the NLL and the 17th for the Colorado Mammoth. All eyes will be focused on the Mammoth’s home opener versus the Saskatchewan Rush in a rematch of the thrilling 2019 West Division Semifinal, as the first regular season game of the new year across the league on Friday, November 29. Before the opening faceoff, let’s look back at what happened during this offseason to get to this point.
- Pat Coyle was named GM of the Mammoth after being the interim GM during the 2018-19 season. Brad Self announced his retirement from playing in the NLL and was appointed as Assistant GM for the Mammoth.
- The NLL extended Commissioner Nick Sakiewicz’s contract through the 2022 season. In his tenure with the NLL, Sakiewicz has expanded the league to 13 teams, negotiated a media deal with Turner Sports and B/R Live for fans to be able to watch all NLL games across the nation, and total announced attendance across the league during the 2018-19 season was 958,547, a 28% increase among other important milestones.
- During the 2019 NLL Expansion Draft, the new Rochester Knighthawks and New York Riptide selected their first players. For 11 rounds, they swapped picks and would pick two players total from each of the other NLL teams that were not on protected lists. Forward Shawn Evans was selected with the 1st overall pick by Rochester. Colorado’s players selected were goalie, Steve Fryer with the first pick in the 9th round as well as forward Chris Wardle with the first pick in the 10th round, both by Rochester. Wardle was then traded back to Colorado in exchange for defenseman Julian Garritano and forward Mike Mallory. Full results of the NLL Expansion draft can be found here.
- The World Indoor Lacrosse Championships were hosted in Langley, British Columbia in September. Six Mammoth players were playing on rosters during the tournament. Dillon Ward, Dan Coates, Robert Hope and Eli McLaughlin all won gold medals representing Team Canada. Taylor Stuart and Tim Edwards represented the United States taking home a bronze medal.
- The NLL named former NHL Executive Jessica Berman Deputy Commissioner and Executive Vice President of Business Affairs, the first woman to hold the title of Deputy Commissioner at any professional sports league in North America
- The Jr Mammoth win the Bantam Division at the Jr NLL Tournament in Toronto, Ontario in late August. It was the first time that Colorado has won the Bantam title at the Jr NLL Tournament.
- With the expansion to 13 teams for the 2019-20 season, the NLL announced division realignment and playoff format to support the growth of the league. There are now three divisions, West, North and East.
Eight teams will qualify for the playoffs. The three division winners will now automatically receive the top three seeds in the playoffs, based on their records. The three second-place teams in each of the three divisions will receive the fourth through sixth seeds in the order of their records. The seventh and eighth “wild card” seeds will be awarded to the next two best records from any division. The first two rounds of the playoffs will remain single-elimination. The NLL Cup Finals will remain a best-of-three series.
- During the 2019 Entry Draft on September 16, the Mammoth selected seven players to add to the roster. Below is a complete list of Colorado’s selections:
- Round 1, Pick 6 – Warren Jeffrey (D)
- Round 2, pick 23 – Will Malcom (F)
- Round 2, pick 26 – Brett Craig (T)
- Round 2, pick 31 (compensatory) – Jake McNabb (F)
- Round 3, pick 39 – Dylan Kinnear (DT)
- Round 5, pick 69 – Dan Bucaro (T)
- Round 6, pick 82 – Liam Osborne (F)
- The Mammoth signed goalie Dillon Ward to a four-year extension through the 2023 season
- The Mammoth’s away contest versus the San Diego Seal’s on February 1 will be played in Las Vegas at Orleans Arena. A historic regular season game and the first ever NLL game to be played in Las Vegas.
The 2019-20 NLL season starts with the Mammoth game on Friday, November 29 at 7:30 PM MT at home versus the Saskatchewan Rush. The game marks the 3rd Annual Teddy Bear Toss at the Loud House. Tickets for the game are on sale and can be purchased at AltitudeTickets.com With any questions about the toss or ticket packages, please call 303.405.1101