The National Lacrosse League announced today that Rochester Knighthawks general manager and vice president of lacrosse operations Dan Carey has been named the General Manager of the Year for the 2022-23 season.
“It’s an honor to be recognized as General Manager of the Year,” said Carey. “Ultimately, this is a total team effort from our staff and players. We have a tremendous group of people that I am lucky to work with on a daily basis. I’m proud of our group and the growth that we have shown and I’m excited for what’s ahead of us, but we still have a lot of work to do to achieve our goal of winning a championship.”
Carey, along with head coach Mike Hasen, engineered one of the most incredible, yet unexpected transformations by an NLL franchise this past season. The 2022-23 campaign was one of significant change and remarkable growth for the Knighthawks, who after combining for just six wins through their first two years of the expansion-era, finished the season fourth in the Eastern Conference standings with a 10-8 record, culminating with the organization’s first-ever playoff berth.
Rochester opened the season with an unprecedented six consecutive wins, including the first in team history over both Buffalo and Toronto, two of the NLL’s established and prominent organizations, and won their first five straight at home. It marked the longest win streak in team history and tied for the second-longest in the NLL this season with both Buffalo and Georgia. Rochester’s five-game home win streak was also the second-best with only the Toronto Rock having a better run.
Carey, who wins the award for the first time in his career, has been the key architect of the team’s rebuild, most notably with the acquisition of one of the NLL’s top scorers in forward Connor Fields.
A native of East Amherst, New York, Fields enjoyed a record-setting season and was the catalyst to Rochester’s extraordinary rise up the NLL standings. He closed out the year second in the NLL with 52 goals behind only New York’s Jeff Teat and finished fifth with 112 points despite one missing one game. Fields, who set the Knighthawks single-season franchise records for goals, assists and points, became only the third American-born player in NLL history to record 100 points in a season.
Carey is also responsible for drafting and developing other key players, including three-time Knighthawks Defensive Player of the Year Ryland Rees, former All-Rookie Team selection Ryan Smith and highly touted goaltender Rylan Hartley, this year’s Unsung Hero who started all 18 games and was one of only four netminders to play more than 1,000 minutes. He was instrumental in orchestrating the return of veteran defenseman Brad Gillies, who played his first six seasons with the previous Knighthawks franchise.
Carey will serve as general manager of Team Canada at the upcoming 2023 World Lacrosse Men’s Championship in San Diego. The premier international event, which occurs every four years, kicks off on Friday, June 21 as the reigning champion and host United States takes on Canada at Snapdragon Stadium at 7 p.m. The 12-day, 30-team tournament will conclude with the gold-medal game on Saturday, July 1.
Carey joined the Knighthawks prior to the team’s inaugural 2019-20 campaign and was tasked with building the organization from the ground up. His aggressive and steadfast approach of bringing top-level talent to Rochester was evident from the start following the acquisitions of forwards Shawn Evans and Holden Cattoni with the team’s first two picks of the 2019 NLL Expansion Draft.
Carey was equally aggressive in each of the past three NLL Entry Drafts, landing All-Rookie Team selection and transition man Ryland Rees second overall in 2019 before selecting Robert Morris University standout Ryan Smith, one of the most decorated lacrosse players in school history, with the third overall pick in 2020. Most recently, Carey added another offensive weapon to the Knighthawks’ arsenal by adding in forward Thomas McConvey with the first overall pick in 2022. McConvey, who transferred to the University of Virginia as a graduate student after four years at the University of Vermont, is projected to join Rochester for the 2023-24 season.
Carey came to Rochester following three years with the NLL’s Colorado Mammoth, most recently serving as general manager. Named just the second general manager in Colorado franchise history on July 13, 2017, Carey was instrumental in assembling a Mammoth roster that posted two straight winning seasons, culminating in back-to-back postseason appearances. During the 2018 season, Colorado finished second in the Western Division with an 11-7 record, marking its second runner-up finish in three years, while advancing to the NLL’s Champion’s Cup Playoffs for an unprecedented eighth straight season.
The 41-year-old was elevated to general manager from his role as the team’s director of player personnel, a position he assumed in October 2015. In that role, Carey was responsible for overseeing all collegiate, club and professional scouting activities and operations, and worked closely with the coaching staff and team management to address the team’s on-field needs. He originally joined the organization as the team’s eastern scout following five seasons with the Mammoth as one of the most prolific and decorated players in team history.
A native of Peterborough, Ontario, Carey was the Mammoth’s first-round selection (seventh overall) in the 2005 NLL Entry Draft. He was named an NLL All-Star in each of his first three seasons in the league, and as a rookie, was instrumental in Colorado winning the Champion’s Cup in 2006. In 60 career regular-season games with Colorado, Carey scored 89 goals and assisted on 147 others before adding 25 points in 12 games with the Toronto Rock during the 2012 campaign to close out a six-year professional playing career. He posted his best season in the NLL in 2007 when he tallied career-highs in goals (32), assists (44), points (76) and points-per-game (4.75) before being named the recipient of the 2008 NLL’s Sportsmanship Award a year later.
Carey spent one season playing collegiate lacrosse at nearby Canisius College, leading the team with 30 goals and ranking second with 35 points during the 2005 campaign. He joined the Griffs after a stellar two-year career at Herkimer County Community College (HCCC), leading the Generals to the NJCAA national championship in 2003 and a national runner-up finish in 2004. As a senior, Carey scored 54 goals and recorded 95 points in 17 games while serving as team captain. For his efforts, he was named the 2004 HCCC Male Athlete of the Year and won league Most Valuable Player honors. Carey was also named an NJCAA All-American as well as an Academic All-American during his time at HCCC.
Carey is also a three-time Mann Cup champion with his hometown Peterborough Lakers. He helped the Lakers to three titles over a four-year span (2004, 2006, 2007) and was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2006 Mann Cup, Canada’s top prize in senior men’s box lacrosse.
Internationally, Carey also won a gold medal with Team Canada at the 2007 World Indoor Lacrosse Championship and took home silver while serving as team coordinator for the Canadian men’s national team at the 2018 World Lacrosse Championship. In August of 2020, Carey was named general manager of Team Canada by the Canadian Lacrosse Association for the 2021 Men’s U-19 World Lacrosse Championship.