2004 NLL season
The 2004 National Lacrosse League season is the 18th season in the NLL that began on December 26, 2003, with the Arizona Sting hosting the Vancouver Ravens. That game was the Sting's first-ever game and the first event held in the new Glendale Arena (now Gila River Arena) in Glendale, Arizona. The season concluded with the championship game on May 7, 2004. Over 19,000 fans, the second largest crowd ever at an NLL game, packed the Pengrowth Saddledome (now Scotiabank Saddledome) to watch the Calgary Roughnecks defeat the Buffalo Bandits 14–11. This game was the first NLL championship game since 1998 that did not feature the Toronto Rock.
|2004 NLL season|
|League||National Lacrosse League|
|Duration||December 26, 2003 – May 7, 2004|
|Number of games||16|
|Number of teams||10|
|Season MVP||Jim Veltman (Toronto Rock)|
|Top scorer||Gary Gait (Colorado Mammoth)|
|Eastern champions||Toronto Rock|
|Eastern runners-up||Rochester Knighthawks|
|Western champions||Colorado Mammoth|
|Western runners-up||San Jose Stealth|
|Finals MVP||Curtis Palidwor (Calgary)|
The collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between the league and the Professional Lacrosse Players' Association expired before the 2004 season, and the lack of a new agreement caused a 12-day players strike in December 2003. On December 17, the NLL and PLPA announced that the previous CBA had been extended by one year, guaranteeing that the 2004 season would be played without strikes or lockouts.
2004 was a season of turmoil for the NLL – two franchises disappeared while three others moved cross-country, causing a division realignment. Gone was the three-division format that had been used in the preceding two seasons; the league was now split into East and West divisions. The Ottawa Rebel and New York Saints franchises both folded, and the following teams moved:
- the Columbus Landsharks moved to Glendale, Arizona, becoming the Arizona Sting
- the New Jersey Storm moved to Anaheim, California, becoming the Anaheim Storm
- the Albany Attack moved to San Jose, California, becoming the San Jose Stealth
These three joined Colorado, Calgary, and Vancouver in the West division, while perennial rivals Toronto, Buffalo, Rochester, and Philadelphia were left to fight over three playoff spots in the East.
- January 9: The Anaheim Storm play their first ever home game, losing to the Arizona Sting 19–18 in the first triple overtime game in NLL history. Mark Shepherd scored the teams first regulation goal.  This is a record not likely to ever be broken – before the 2005 season, the NLL changed overtime periods to 15 minutes from five. Since then, no games have even seen double overtime.
|1||Toronto Rock – xy||16||10||6||.625||0.0||5–3||5–3||202||176||+26||12.62||11.00|
|2||Rochester Knighthawks – x||16||8||8||.500||2.0||6–2||2–6||173||186||-13||10.81||11.62|
|3||Buffalo Bandits – x||16||8||8||.500||2.0||4–4||4–4||205||198||+7||12.81||12.38|
|1||Colorado Mammoth – xyz||16||13||3||.812||0.0||7–1||6–2||223||173||+50||13.94||10.81|
|2||San Jose Stealth – x||16||11||5||.688||2.0||7–1||4–4||204||201||+3||12.75||12.56|
|3||Calgary Roughnecks – x||16||10||6||.625||3.0||4–4||6–2||214||187||+27||13.38||11.69|
x: Clinched playoff berth; c: Clinched playoff berth by crossing over to another division; y: Clinched division; z: Clinched best regular season record; GP: Games Played
W: Wins; L: Losses; GB: Games back; PCT: Win percentage; Home: Record at Home; Road: Record on the Road; GF: Goals scored; GA: Goals allowed
Differential: Difference between goals scored and allowed; GF/GP: Average number of goals scored per game; GA/GP: Average number of goals allowed per game
|Divisional Semifinals||Divisional Finals||Championship|
All Star GameEdit
|Eastern Division starters||Western Division starters|
|Colin Doyle, Toronto||Gary Gait, Colorado|
|Blaine Manning, Toronto||Tracey Kelusky, Calgary|
|John Tavares, Buffalo||Gavin Prout, Colorado|
|Pat Coyle, Toronto||Jim Moss, San Jose|
|Mike Hasen, Rochester||Andy Ogilvie, Vancouver|
|Pat O'Toole, Rochester (goalie)||Gee Nash, Colorado (goalie)|
|Eastern Division Reserves||Western Division Reserves|
|Mike Accursi, Buffalo||Ted Dowling, Calgary|
|Jake Bergey, Philadelphia||Mark Shepherd, Anaheim|
|Paul Cantabene, Philadelphia||Jay Jalbert, Colorado|
|Glenn Clark, Toronto||Rob Kirkby, Calgary|
|Kyle Couling, Buffalo||Mike Law, Anaheim|
|Steve Dietrich, Buffalo (goalie)||Pat Maddalena, Arizona|
|Derek Malawsky, Rochester||Mike Miron, Arizona (goalie)|
|Tom Marechek, Philadelphia||Casey Powell, Anaheim|
|Jeff Ratcliffe, Philadelphia||Josh Sanderson, San Jose|
|Mark Steenhuis, Buffalo||Dan Stroup, Vancouver|
|Andrew Turner, Rochester||Kaleb Toth, Calgary|
|Jim Veltman, Toronto||Cam Woods, San Jose|
|MVP Award||Jim Veltman||Toronto|
|Rookie of the Year Award||Taylor Wray||Calgary|
|Les Bartley Award (Coach of the Year)||Paul Day||Rochester|
|GM of the Year Award||John Mouradian||San Jose|
|Executive of the Year Award||Steve Govett||Colorado|
|Defensive Player of the Year Award||Cam Woods (tie)||San Jose|
|Goaltender of the Year Award||Gord Nash||Colorado|
|Sportsmanship Award||Gary Gait (tie)||Colorado|
|Championship Game MVP||Curtis Palidwor||Calgary|
The NLL gives out awards weekly for the best overall player, best offensive player, best defensive player, and best rookie.
|1||No awards given|
|2||Gary Gait||Gary Gait||Mike Miron||AJ Shannon|
|3||Ted Dowling||John Grant, Jr.||Matt King||Randy Daly|
|4||Blaine Manning||Blaine Manning||Andy Ogilvie||Craig Conn|
|5||Mike Regan||Mike Regan||Brandon Miller||Nick Patterson|
|6||John Tavares||Shawn Williams||Curtis Palidwor||Steve Hoar|
|7||Dallas Eliuk||Derek Malawsky||Dallas Eliuk||Taylor Wray|
|8||John Tavares||Jeff Ratcliffe||Pat O'Toole||Ryan Ward|
|9||Dan Teat||Mark Shepherd||Cam Woods||AJ Shannon|
|10||Curtis Palidwor||Shawn Williams||Curtis Palidwor||Scott Evans|
|11||Mike Miron||Pat Maddalena||Mike Miron||Cam Bergman|
|12||Jim Veltman||Jim Veltman||Dwight Maetche||Scott Evans|
|13||Shawn Williams||Shawn Williams||Peter Lough||Chris Cercy|
|14||Jim Veltman||Colin Doyle||Dallas Eliuk||Ryan Ward|
|15||Shawn Williams||Shawn Williams||Pat O'Toole||Curtis Smith|
|16||Shawn Williams||Shawn Williams||Pat O'Toole||Brad MacDonald|
Awards are also given out monthly for the best overall player and best rookie.
|Jan||Gavin Prout||Craig Conn|
|Feb||John Tavares||Craig Conn|
|Mar||Jim Veltman||Taylor Wray|
Bold numbers indicate new single-season records. Italics indicate tied single-season records.
|Assists||Josh Sanderson||San Jose||61|
|Penalty Minutes||Troy Bonterre||Arizona||73|
|Loose Balls||Jim Veltman||Toronto||179|
|Save Pct||Gee Nash||Colorado||79.0|
- Philly, R.A. (May 7, 2004). "Capacity crowd cheers Calgary to Cup". Outsider's Guide to the NLL. Archived from the original on August 18, 2007. Retrieved February 6, 2007.
- "Re-Lax! League Players Reach Agreement". NLL.com. December 17, 2003. Retrieved February 4, 2007.
- Tucker, Seth (January 10, 2004). "Sting outlasts Storm, 19–18, in triple OT". Outsider's Guide to the NLL. Archived from the original on August 18, 2007. Retrieved February 4, 2007.
- Philly, R.A. (December 28, 2004). "League announces various rule changes". Outsider's Guide to the NLL. Archived from the original on August 18, 2007. Retrieved February 4, 2007.
- "National Lacrosse League - 2004 Regular Season - Standings". NLL.com. Retrieved May 3, 2012.