The Boston Blazers were an indoor lacrosse team in the National Lacrosse League (NLL). The Blazers were based in Boston, Massachusetts, and began play in the 2009 NLL season. They are also an AAU basketball team based out of Massachusetts.
|Based in||Boston, Massachusetts|
|Colors||Red, White, & Black|
|Head coach||Matt Sawyer|
|General manager||Doug Reffue|
The team was owned by Tim Armstrong, the former President of Advertising and Commerce for Google. who is currently CEO of AOL. NLL veteran Tom Ryan was the team's head coach until being dismissed on December 23, 2010. Ryan was replaced on December 28, 2010 by former Toronto Rock assistant coach Matt Sawyer. On April 7, 2008, the Blazers named veteran New England marketing executive Doug Reffue to the position of team president.
The team was not associated with the former Boston Blazers, who played in the MILL (predecessor to the NLL) from 1992 to 1997. However, the name was chosen "in part due to the popularity and nostalgia associated with the former Boston Blazers franchise".
On August 30, 2011, the team announced that it would be temporarily suspend operations for the 2012 season as they sought a new home facility for the 2013 season. However the team has yet to resume operations by 2019.
The Blazers were originally scheduled to begin play in the 2008 NLL season. On July 31, 2007 the league held an expansion draft and the Blazers selected a number of players. In preparation for the season, the team also made a number of trades. On October 16, 2007, the NLL announced that the 2008 season had been cancelled due to the failure of the league and the Professional Lacrosse Players' Association to reach a new collective bargaining agreement. However, the negotiations continued, and on October 25, the league announced that a new seven-year agreement had been reached, and that the season would be played. A new schedule was announced on November 2, 2007, but only included 12 of the expected 14 teams; the Blazers and the Arizona Sting had been removed. The reasons that the Blazers and Sting opted out of the season were not given, just that it was "due to a number of business issues", and that both teams would return in 2009. A dispersal draft was held on November 5, 2007.
The 2009 NLL season was the Boston Blazers' first season playing in the league. In order to field a team for the season, the Blazers participated in the three separate drafts: the Arizona Sting dispersal draft, the expansion draft on July 24, and the entry draft in September.
On June 30, in the Arizona Sting dispersal draft, the Blazers selected Dan Dawson first overall and forward Peter Veltman with the first pick of the second round. On July 24 the team picked 12 additional players for their roster in the 2008 expansion draft, including goaltender Mike Poulin with the first overall selection.
|Mike Poulin||Toronto Rock||Goaltender|
|Mitch Belisle||New York Titans||Defenseman|
|Matt Lyons||Rochester Knighthawks||Forward|
|Kyle Laverty||Buffalo Bandits||Defenseman|
|John Gallant||Colorado Mammoth||Defenseman|
|Jake Bergey||Philadelphia Wings||Forward|
|Devan Wray||Calgary Roughnecks||Defenseman|
|Kyle Ross||Minnesota Swarm||Defenseman|
|Tom Johnson||San Jose Stealth||Forward|
|Matt Holman||Chicago Shamrox||Forward|
|Michael Kilby||Portland LumberJax||Defenseman|
|Cam Bergman||Edmonton Rush||Transition|
On July 30, the Blazers, San Jose Stealth, and Calgary Roughnecks completed a 3-way trade that sent Tom Johnson, Travis Gillespie, and Boston's 3rd-round pick in the 2009 NLL Entry Draft to San Jose, Devan Wray to Calgary, and forward Sean Morris (another UMass alum and Marshfield, MA native), defenseman Steve Panarelli, Calgary's 3rd-round pick in the 2009 NLL Entry Draft, and San Jose's 2nd-round pick in the 2010 NLL Entry Draft to Boston.
Only weeks before the season began, the Chicago Shamrox suspended operations, and another dispersal draft was held. The Blazers had the first overall pick, and chose former Goaltender of the Year Anthony Cosmo.
|Final Boston Blazers roster|
|Active (21-man) roster||Inactive roster||Coaches|
All time RecordEdit
|2009||Eastern||10-6||3rd||4-4||6-2||181||168||Tom Ryan||Lost Division Semifinal|
|2010||Eastern||8-8||4th||5-3||3-5||161||162||Lost Division Semifinal|
|2011||Eastern||8-8||4th||5-3||3-5||166||155||Matt Sawyer||Lost Division Semifinal|
|Total||26 – 22||14 – 10||12 – 12||508||485|
|2009||Division Semifinal||Boston 8||Buffalo 11|
|2010||Division Semifinal||Boston 11||Orlando 12|
|2011||Division Semifinal||Boston 10||Buffalo 11|
Awards and honorsEdit
|2009||Dan Dawson||Most Valuable Player|
NLL Entry DraftEdit
First Round Selections
- "Google exec bets on niche sports like lacrosse". Reuters. October 23, 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-24.
- "Boston team name: Blazers". NLL.com. October 4, 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-04.
- "Blazers to Move Operations for 2013 Season". NLL.com. August 30, 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-30.
- "Pat Merrill Selected First Overall By Boston". NLL.com. July 31, 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-01.
- "Boston Deals Langtry Back To Colorado". NLL.com. July 31, 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-02.
- "Boston Sends Croswell to Toronto". NLL.com. July 31, 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-02.
- "Toronto / Boston Trade Revoked". NLL.com. August 28, 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-05.
- "2008 Season Cancelled". NLL.com. 2007-10-16. Archived from the original on 2007-10-17. Retrieved 2007-10-16.
- "NLL, PLPA Reach Seven-Year Deal". NLL.com. October 25, 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-10-31. Retrieved 2007-11-02.
- "League Releases New 2008 Schedule". NLL.com. November 2, 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-11-06. Retrieved 2007-11-02.
- "Dawson selected first overall by Portland". NLL.com. November 5, 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-11-07. Retrieved 2007-11-07.
- "Dawson joins Boston Blazers". NLL.com. June 30, 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-07-02. Retrieved 2008-06-30.
- "Boston selects Poulin first overall". NLL.com. July 24, 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-07-28. Retrieved 2008-07-25.
- "Boston Adds 12 in Expansion Draft". NLL.com. July 24, 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-07-28. Retrieved 2008-12-13.
- "Blazers and Knighthawks Swap Defenders". NLL.com. July 29, 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-13.
- "Five Players Swapped in Three-Way Deal". NLL.com. July 30, 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-13.
- "Cosmo Selected First Overall By Boston". NLL.com. December 12, 2008. Archived from the original on April 17, 2009. Retrieved 2008-12-13.