July 16, 2012

'93 Bandits up for NLL Hall of Fame as a Team

from staff reports

Can a whole team be inducted into the Hall of Fame? The National Lacrosse League's nominating committee thinks so, as the 1993 Buffalo Bandits were announced among finalists for induction into the league's 2012 class Monday. It's the first time in NLL history that a team is among the nominees.

Former Bandits goalie Steve Dietrich and forward Chris Driscoll are also finalists, along with Pat Coyle, Curt Malawsky and Regy Thorpe.

The 1993 Bandits were the first and only team in league history to go through the regular season and playoffs undefeated. The Bandits went 8-0 in the regular season, outscoring their opponents 143-108. The team followed this feat up by going 2-0 in the playoffs, including a 13-12 championship game win over a Philadelphia Wings team that entered the game with a record of 8-1 in the regular season and playoffs.

The 1993 team's roster and staff included five future NLL Hall of Famers and individuals who continue to have an impact on the NLL today. The team was coached by the late Les Bartley, who won his second of seven championships as a head coach that season. Bartley was inducted posthumously into the NLL Hall of Fame as part of the Hall's inaugural Class of 2006.

Three of the 1993 Bandits team's players are now in the Hall of Fame: Current Bandits Head Coach Darris Kilgour, Assistant Coach Rich Kilgour and Jim Veltman. John Tavares, the league's all-time leading scorer, was on the 1993 Bandits roster and was named MVP of the Championship Game. Five of the league's nine current head coaches were part of the 1993 Bandits team. Toronto's Troy Cordingley, Colorado's Bob Hamley, Edmonton's Derek Keenan and Darris Kilgour played on the team. Johnny Mouradian, the team's general manager, was inducted into the NLL Hall of Fame in 2008.

While current NLL Hall of Fame Rules do not specifically provide for election of a team, the Hall of Fame Nominating Committee has put forth their nomination with the understanding that a vote for the 1993 Bandits is in essence voting for a waiver and/or modification of the rule. Other halls of fame, such as the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, have recognized entire teams with induction.

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