No one expected John Tavares of the Buffalo Bandits to have a long wait to join the National Lacrosse League Hall of Fame. He took the next-to-last step toward that status on Thursday.
Tavares has been named one of five finalists for the Class of 2016 ballot. The other new nominee to the list is Josh Sanderson, who has retired after a long NLL career. They join three finalists who are returning from 2015 - ex-Bandit Tracey Kelusky, Kevin Finneran, and Gavin Prout.
Tavares owns many important records in league history, including seasons, games, goals, assists and points. He won four championships, and was a three-time NLL Most Valuable Player. Tavares was selected as an All-Pro a league record 19 times. He currently serves as an assistant coach for the Bandits.
Sanderson played 19 seasons in the NLL, with stops in Toronto, Rochester, Albany, San Jose, Calgary and Boston. He won two titles, and is fourth in career scoring in league history. Sanderson is a nine-time All-Pro.
Voting will be done by teams, Hall of Fame members, and senior members of the league media. Nominees must receive 75 percent of ballots cast. Winners will be announced later in the year.