Lacrosse Editorial – Dan Dawson Making History

For over 20 years, Dan Dawson has been a winner on every level.  In his next NLL game, Dan should etch his name in two more NLL records.  The first record will be the most NLL games played in history, and the second will be the most assists in NLL history. 

Dawson will be playing in his 307th career game breaking the old record of 306 set by John Tavares.  With one assist in Saturday’s game with Vancouver, Dan will also break Tavares’ record of 934 assists all time. 

Dawson’s Career:

As a junior in 2002 Dan played for the Brampton Excelsiors Jr. A club but jumped to the Brampton Excelsiors Senior A team (MSL) that same year, winning the Mann Cup. He was signed by the Victoria Shamrocks in 2005 and helped lead them to their 8th Mann Cup victory as well. 

All together, Dan won Eight Major Series Lacrosse championships, two Western Lacrosse Association championships, and five Mann Cups in his career.  Dawson also won the Bill Ellison Award as the MVP of the 2005, and 2006 WLA playoffs.

In Field Lacrosse Dan won one championship with the 2009 Toronto Nationals.

Dawson in the NLL:

Drafted in the sixth round (68th overall) in 2001 by the now defunct Columbus Landsharks, Dan was able to hit the ground running, getting into eleven games that year.  By his second year, Dan was starting to put up solid numbers (28g, 24a, with 51 loose balls).  By the time he was playing with the Arizona Sting (2004-2007), his numbers had almost doubled.

Over the years, Dawson has won three NLL Championships, two with the Rochester Knighthawks, and one with the Saskatchewan Rush, and is hoping to add one more before he retires.

A first ballot hall of fame vote down the road awaits him, whenever he finally decides to hang up his cleats.

International Lacrosse:

Dawson has played for Team Canada since 2004.  A win at the Heritage Cup in 2004, winning the World Indoor Lacrosse Championships in 2007, 2011, and 2015, while finishing runner-up in 2010.  Dan donned the “C” for the Heritage Cup in 2017 with Team Canada beating the USA handily.

Outside of Lacrosse:

Dawson is a firefighter with the Brampton Fire Services.  There are many similarities in the two careers, from the need to be physically fit – wearing a hundred pounds of firefighting gear helps on the lacrosse floor later – to being part of a team.

“The two feed each other,” says Dan.

The future:

“I’m year-to-year right now,” said Dawson, adding he really wants one more championship, although even hoisting another trophy might not signal retirement.

“I don’t need to be the guy every night,” he said. “. . . I just need to play at a level consistently.”

“My family life, my body and my job. Those are three of the determining factors on how long I’ll continue to play,” said Dawson.  “As soon as one of those things begins to suffer, I’ll need to make that tough decision.  My family loves going to the rink, my boys are involved in lacrosse and love going to games.  It’s all something we reevaluate on a yearly basis.  We like to think we can play forever, but I am aware that we cannot.   If I can’t maintain that level of play, I’ll have to walk away.”

I wish Dan many more healthy seasons in lacrosse.  When playing finally does come to an end, I’m quite sure a coaching job awaits for him somewhere.

Gary Groob
Gary Groob

Gary Groob has been involved with Lacrosse for the majority of his life, whether playing, coaching, or covering the sport for the media.

An avid fan, with a real drive about helping to “grow the game”, Gary became part of podcasts about the game in 2010. Through the podcasts, Mr. Groob was given an opportunity to write about lacrosse, and the rest as they say, is history.

Through many miles (flying and driving) Gary has made inroads with the National Lacrosse League, Major Series Lacrosse League, the Ontario Lacrosse Association, as well as the Arena Lacrosse League, covering the leagues, their teams, and players, working for, and in concert with all of them.

In the year 2020, Mr. Groob was made the media person for the Arena Lacrosse League, voted onto the board of directors of the Brampton Excelsiors Lacrosse Club, as well as being made administrator of the Lacrosse page “Global Lacrosse” with a membership of 9000 members in over 90 Countries. Gary was also made an administrator of Lacrosse History Past Present and Future in 2022.

Mr. Groob co-hosts a weekly Lacrosse show on Spanglish Sports World, and ZingoTV channel 250, as well as writes a weekly lacrosse column for La Portada Canada News (both in print, and online).

Gary also hosts a Lacrosse talk show and podcast for The Edge of Philly Sports Network, seen live Sunday nights at 9pm (ET), and archived on the Edge of Philly YouTube page, as well as Spotify.

Mr. Groob’s other sports interests include Hockey, Football, Boxing, Wrestling, and Baseball, competing competitively in Boxing and Wrestling for many years.