|2012 NLL season|
|League||National Lacrosse League|
|Duration||January 8, 2012 - May 19, 2012|
|Number of games||16|
|Number of teams||9|
|Season MVP||John Grant, Jr.|
|Top scorer||John Grant, Jr.|
|Eastern champions||Rochester Knighthawks|
|Eastern runners-up||Toronto Rock|
|Western champions||Edmonton Rush|
|Western runners-up||Minnesota Swarm|
|Finals champions||Rochester Knighthawks|
|Finals MVP||Cody Jamieson|
The 2012 National Lacrosse League season, the 26th in the history of the NLL, began on January 8, 2012 and ended with the Championship game on May 19, 2012. The Rochester Knighthawks won their third NLL Championship, and first-ever in Rochester, defeating the Edmonton Rush 9-6 in the final game.
Mid-way through the off-season, the Boston Blazers announced that they would not be participating in the 2012 season due to problems in securing a facility in which to play. A dispersal draft was held and Dan Dawson, for the third time in his career, was the first overall pick, heading to the Philadelphia Wings. Kyle Rubisch was taken second by the Edmonton Rush, and the Minnesota Swarm chose Anthony Cosmo and Josh Sanderson with the third and fourth picks. The Swarm immediately traded Sanderson to the Toronto Rock. Casey Powell, after a knee injury in the MLL Championship game, wasn't chosen until the second round when the Rochester Knighthawks took a chance. Powell did not play in 2012 at all.
Both defending division champions got off to rough starts in 2012, as the Toronto Rock lost their first two and the Washington Stealth lost their first three. The Rock recovered and won their next three, eventually finishing atop the East division, but the Stealth had their worst season in franchise history, finishing 4-12 and the only team out of the playoffs. The Buffalo Bandits won their first two games but then went on a franchise-record six-game losing streak, during which head coach and GM Darris Kilgour called the team "stupid" and "pathetic", and said "I totally question the hearts of basically everybody but about four guys on our team". The Bandits won three of their last four games to finish in fourth place in the East and getting a first-round playoff game against the Toronto Rock.
The Colorado Mammoth only won 5 games in 2011 but in 2012, they had surpassed that total before losing a game. The Mammoth began the year winning 6 in a row and finished with an 11-5 record, good for second in the west behind the 12-5 Calgary Roughnecks. Despite having a league-high 12 rookies playing on the roster, the Minnesota Swarm surprised many finishing third with a 9-7 record.
The 2012 season will be known as a record-breaking year in the NLL. John Grant, Jr. was named league MVP for the second time in his career after scoring 116 points, breaking John Tavares' eleven-year-old single-season scoring record. Grant also scored his 500th career goal and 1000th career point during the season. Toronto Rock forward Garrett Billings finished only two points back of Grant but amassed 82 assists, breaking the old record of 74.
The Boston Blazers announced in September 2011 that they would not participate in the 2012 season. A dispersal draft was held on September 9, 2011, as the Philadelphia Wings took Blazers captain and top scorer Dan Dawson first overall.
|1||Toronto Rock – xy||16||9||7||.562||0.0||3–5||6–2||198||196||+2||12.38||12.25|
|2||Rochester Knighthawks – x||16||7||9||.438||2.0||5–3||2–6||191||197||-6||11.94||12.31|
|3||Philadelphia Wings – x||16||7||9||.438||2.0||3–5||4–4||176||207||-31||11.00||12.94|
|4||Buffalo Bandits – x||16||7||9||.438||2.0||4–4||3–5||198||204||-6||12.38||12.75|
|1||Calgary Roughnecks – xyz||16||12||4||.750||0.0||5–3||7–1||216||170||+46||13.50||10.62|
|2||Colorado Mammoth – x||16||11||5||.688||1.0||5–3||6–2||217||201||+16||13.56||12.56|
|3||Minnesota Swarm – x||16||9||7||.562||3.0||6–2||3–5||202||190||+12||12.62||11.88|
|4||Edmonton Rush – x||16||6||10||.375||6.0||4–4||2–6||167||175||-8||10.44||10.94|
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 Semifinal||Divisional Final||Champion's Cup Final|
A new weekly one-hour radio show called "Toronto Rock Total Access" about the Toronto Rock began on January 2, 2012 on TSN Radio. Rock Communications and Public Relations Coordinator Mike Hancock hosts the show, which airs at 8pm on Monday nights. The Rock also announced that 11 of their games would be televised on TSN or TSN2.
The 2012 All-Star Game was held at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo on February 25, 2012. The West came back from a 9-2 deficit in the second quarter to win the game 20-18. The Calgary Roughneck's Geoff Snider was named Game MVP, scoring 4 goals and 2 assists, and winning 22 of 26 faceoffs.
|Eastern Division starters||Western Division starters|
|John Tavares, Buffalo||John Grant, Jr., Colorado|
|Cody Jamieson, Rochester||Adam Jones, Colorado|
|Brodie Merrill, Philadelphia||Andrew Suitor, Minnesota|
|Billy Dee Smith, Buffalo||Rory Smith, Colorado|
|Pat McCready, Rochester *||Kyle Rubisch, Edmonton|
|Mike Thompson, Buffalo (goalie)||Chris Levis, Colorado (goalie)|
|Eastern Division reserves||Western Division reserves|
|Luke Wiles, Buffalo||Gavin Prout, Colorado|
|Dan Dawson, Philadelphia||Rhys Duch, Washington *|
|Garrett Billings, Toronto||Ryan Benesch, Minnesota|
|Kevin Crowley, Philadelphia||Callum Crawford, Minnesota|
|Josh Sanderson, Toronto||Shawn Williams, Edmonton|
|Colin Doyle, Toronto *||Jeff Shattler, Calgary|
|Johnny Powless, Rochester||Geoff Snider, Calgary|
|Max Seibald, Philadelphia||Curtis Manning, Calgary|
|Chris White, Buffalo||Paul Rabil, Washington **|
|Sandy Chapman, Toronto||Jordan MacIntosh, Minnesota|
|Mike Kirk, Rochester||Chris Corbeil, Edmonton *|
|Matt Roik, Toronto (goalie)||Aaron Bold, Edmonton (goalie)|
|Scott Self, Buffalo (replacing Doyle)||Lewis Ratcliff, Washington (replacing Duch)|
|Mike Accursi (replacing McCready)||Matt Beers (replacing Corbeil)|
* - Not playing due to injury
** - Not playing due to holdout status
|Most Valuable Player||John Grant, Jr.||Colorado Mammoth|
|Goaltender of the Year||Mike Poulin||Calgary Roughnecks|
|Defensive Player of the Year||Kyle Rubisch||Edmonton Rush|
|Transition Player of the Year||Andrew Suitor||Minnesota Swarm|
|Rookie of the Year||Adam Jones||Colorado Mammoth|
|Sportsmanship Award||Johnny Powless||Rochester Knighthawks|
|GM of the Year||John Arlotta||Minnesota Swarm|
|Les Bartley Award||Joe Sullivan||Minnesota Swarm|
|Executive of the Year Award||Andy Arlotta||Minnesota Swarm|
|Tom Borrelli Award||Jake Elliott||Minnesota Swarm|
The NLL gives out awards weekly for the best offensive player, best transition player, best defensive player, and best rookie. The "Best Overall Player" award is no longer being given out.
|January||1||Dane Dobbie||Curtis Manning||Geoff Snider||Jesse Gamble|
|2||John Grant, Jr.||Mike Thompson||Jordan Hall||Kevin Crowley|
|3||John Grant, Jr.||Brandon Miller||Brodie Merrill||Adam Jones|
|4||Josh Sanderson||Aaron Bold||Andrew Suitor||Jordan MacIntosh|
|February||5||Rhys Duch||Matt Roik||Paul Rabil||Johnny Powless|
|6||Dan Dawson||Tyler Carlson||Brodie Merrill||Evan Kirk|
|7||Dan Dawson||Pat McCready||Geoff Snider||Kevin Crowley|
|8||Kasey Beirnes||Kyle Rubisch||Geoff Snider||Evan Kirk|
|March||9||John Grant, Jr.||Kevin Croswell||Andrew Suitor||Derek Hopcroft|
|10||Shawn Evans||Tyler Richards||Peter McFetridge||Adam Jones|
|11||John Tavares||Scott Self||Mark Steenhuis||Kevin Crowley|
|12||John Grant, Jr.||Nick Rose||Brodie Merrill||Adam Jones|
|13||Garrett Billings||Evan Kirk||Geoff Snider||Jamie Lincoln|
|April||14||Shawn Evans||Anthony Cosmo||Tyler Hass||Johnny Powless|
|15||Stephan Leblanc||Kyle Rubisch||Jordan MacIntosh||Johnny Powless|
|16||Rhys Duch||Frankie Scigliano||Mark Steenhuis||Jay Card|
|17||Lewis Ratcliff||Matt Vinc||Jordan MacIntosh||Stephen Keogh|
Awards are also given out monthly for the best overall player and best rookie.
|January||John Grant, Jr.||Adam Jones|
|February||John Grant, Jr.||Evan Kirk|
John Grant, Jr.
|April||Garrett Billings||Jordan MacIntosh|
Bold numbers indicate new single-season records. Italics indicate tied single-season records.
|Goals||John Grant, Jr.||Colorado||50|
|Points||John Grant, Jr.||Colorado||116|
|Penalty Minutes||Andrew Suitor||Minnesota||74|
|Shots on Goal||Lewis Ratcliff||Washington||195|
|Loose Balls||Geoff Snider||Calgary||232|
|Save Pct||Evan Kirk||Minnesota||.807|