ILIndoor Top 50: Colin Doyle #10

Doyle does more than just score points. He's the embodiment of what a leader should be.
Doyle does more than just score points. He's the embodiment of what a leader should be.

There had been talk in recent years about the game of Colin Doyle and whether his 36-year-old legs could keep pace with today’s National Lacrosse League. Whether or not Doyle heard that talk, we don’t know, but he most certainly sent a message in 2013. Not only is he not done, but the 6-foot-3, 215-pound left-hander out of Kitchener, Ont., remains one of the game’s elite talent. Points-wise, he had his best NLL season with the Rock in 4 years and in the summer, he helped lead the Six Nations Chiefs to a Mann Cup victory by not only scoring points, but by stopping them as well. His stint in goal for the Chiefs will only add to his legend as a player willing to do whatever it takes to help his team win and that’s just one of the many reasons he’s on ILIndoor’s Top 50 list.

Long known as one of the game’s best offensive producers, Doyle got back on track in 2013 with the Rock after a couple of seasons that weren’t very Doyle-like. He scored 84 points on 26 goals and 58 assists to rank second on the team, his best offensive output since also scoring 84 points in 2010. Toronto’s season didn’t reach the height it expected to with a crushing playoff loss to Minnesota, and that seemed to light a fire for Doyle.

He played all 18 regular-season games in the summer for Six Nations, leading the team with 76 points (28-48) as the Chiefs finished first on the Major Series Lacrosse table. The 76 points was his highest summer point total since scoring 84 points (31-53) with Coquitlam in 2000. In 9 MSL playoff games, he was second on the team with 35 points (12-23) and as it turned out, he was just getting started.

In the Mann Cup finals against Victoria, he had 18 points (4-14) in 6 games that included 2 game-winning goals. But in Game 5, when both Six Nations goalies were ejected for illegal equipment, Doyle manned up and padded up to jump in goal. He made 6 saves on 9 shots and even picked up an assist in the final 11 minutes of the game as the Chiefs won to take a 3-2 series lead.

That’s the sort of thing team players do, and it’s the sort of thing champions do. Doyle’s offensive capabilities were never in doubt, but the example he set by volunteering to jump between the pipes when his team needed him the most speaks even louder to the legend that he is, and will continue to become.

ILIndoor’s take

“Doyle is a tremendous leader and a great locker room guy, and he can still play. Doyle has outstanding floor vision and lacrosse IQ, seeming to always be aware of where people will be and when to get them the ball. His playmaking tends to make people forget just how good of a shooter he is, too. And, of course, he’s the master of the seemingly impossible shot — somehow finding a way to put the ball in the net when he’s falling to the floor with his back to the goal or some other equally unpromising situation.” – Stephen Stamp

“Doyle will always be remembered for his offensive skills, but his leadership skills are often taken for granted. He’s not a fighter in the traditional sense, but the occasional scrap reminds us that in addition to goals and assists, he’s not one to back down and is willing to spark momentum with some fisticuffs. His stint in goal at the Mann Cup, though, should really give people an idea of the sort of team guy he is because when it comes down to it, winning is the reason the game is played and that’s what Doyle does. Win.” – Bob Chavez

“I had the pleasure to play against Doyle. The first time was in 1995 when Doyle was a call up for the Fergus Thistles in the OLA playoffs. Doyle was also the best player on that team in those games where he cut the middle often and he was only 17. Fast forward to almost 20 years later and the story line is similar except for the age thing. Popeye has entertained us for two decades now as he entered the NLL in its inaugural season. Another all-time great who is responsible in large part to many championship rings over the years in Hogtown. Doyle has spent his entire adult life as a headlining NLL player.” – Marty O’Neill

Top 50

No. 50: Aaron Bold
No. 49: Brad Self
No. 48: Jesse Gamble
No. 47: Rory Smith
No. 46: Kiel Matisz
No. 45: Lewis Ratcliff
No. 44: Johnny Powless
No. 43: Tyler Hass
No. 42: Sid Smith
No. 41: Brett Mydske
No. 40: Stephan Leblanc
No. 39: Kevin Ross
No. 38: Jeff Moleski
No. 37: Drew Westervelt
No. 36: Jeff Gilbert
No. 35: Ryan Ward
No. 34: Cory Vitarelli
No. 33: Kyle Sorensen
No. 32: Corey Small
No. 31: Shawn Williams
No. 30: Scott Ranger
No. 29: Mark Steenhuis
No. 28: Casey Powell
No. 27: Josh Sanderson
No. 26: Brandon Miller
No. 25: Mike Grimes
No. 24: Chris Corbeil
No. 23: Kevin Crowley
No. 22: Geoff Snider
No. 21: John Tavares
No. 20: Mark Matthews
No. 19: Dan Dawson
No. 18: Andrew Suitor
No. 17: Jordan MacIntosh
No. 16: Adam Jones
No. 15: Callum Crawford
No. 14: Tyler Richards
No. 13: Ryan Benesch
No. 12: Dane Dobbie
No. 11: Brodie Merrill

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