DULUTH, Ga. (July 28, 2022) – After a 15-year reign in net (five seasons with the Swarm) Mike Poulin officially announced his retirement from the Georgia Swarm and the National Lacrosse League. After being signed as a free agent in 2016 with the Swarm, Poulin quickly enamored himself with Swarm fans and became the franchise’s leader in wins (49), saves (2,973), and minutes played (4,519.78).
Although the five-year Georgia Swarm starting goaltender is parting from the field, he will remain with the organization as he transitions to the Georgia Swarm’s Assistant General Manager, Player Acquisition and Development.
“It’s been an honor to play in the NLL, the past 16 seasons have been an incredible journey that I will never forget,” said Mike Poulin. “I’ve happily decided it is time to walk away from playing lacrosse to spend more time at home with my family, but I look forward to staying involved with the Georgia Swarm in my new role. I am forever grateful to the organizations that gave me an opportunity to play in the NLL; the Buffalo Bandits, Toronto Rock, Boston Blazers, Calgary Roughnecks, and of course the Georgia Swarm.”
Poulin was drafted by the Buffalo Bandits during the 2005 NLL Entry Draft in the second round, 21st overall. He saw his first NLL action after being picked up as a free agent by the Toronto Rock in 2007.
The Kitchener, Ontario native was a part of five teams throughout this career (Buffalo Bandits; ’06, Toronto Rock; ’07-’08, Boston Blazers; ’09-’10, Calgary Roughnecks; ’10-’16 and Georgia Swarm; ’17-‘22 ) logging 9,860.93 minutes across 247 games which equates to 6.85 full days spent in net. During that time frame, Poulin saved 6,250 total shots.
“I want to thank Mike and his family for the amazing contributions to the Swarm organization” said Owner and General Manager John Arlotta. “Not only has he been a great player, but he has been the consummate professional and teammate who has led this organization both on and off the field. He will be sorely missed, but his contributions to our team and our culture will live on.”
Poulin retires as one of the best goalies to ever suit up in the NLL, ranking top-six in three different all-time statistical categories. He ends his career ranked fourth in goalie wins (102), fifth in goalie minutes (9,860.93), and sixth in goalie saves (6,250). Poulin is one of four NLL goalies to ever eclipse the centennial win mark, achieving it during his final season on March 12, 2022, against the Halifax Thunderbirds.
Although the Swarm was one game shy of clinching a playoff berth this season, Poulin still holds the third-place record in all-time playoff goalie saves (785) and playoff goalie minutes (1,236), while ranking fifth in playoff goalie wins (12).
Poulin notched his career high in saves during the 2018 season when he totaled 692, placing him seventh on the all-time NLL single-season saves list.
“I have so many wonderful memories of Mike in his six years with the Swarm organization” said Arlotta. “However, there are two that will stand out in my mind forever. The first was August 1, 2016, when we sat in a restaurant and discussed how we could work together to meet our mutual goal of an NLL Championship. His free agent signing that day turned us into a true championship contender. We were a good team before Mike Poulin, but we became a great team with Mike Poulin.”
“The second was June 10, 2017, the day we won the NLL Champions Cup,” said Arlotta. “Watching Mike’s teammates mob him and seeing him achieve his dream of winning an NLL Championship is something I will never forget. I’m elated he has decided to continue to help us pursue championships in his new role as Assistant GM, Player Acquisition and Development. I can’t think of a better person to help us win another NLL Cup.”
The decorated goaltender is retiring with one NLL Championship (Georgia; 2017), three NLL Teammate of the Year awards (2016, 2017, 2020), one NLL Goaltender of the Year honor (Calgary; 2012), and two NLL All-Pro Team accolades (2012 First Team, 2017 Second Team).
“Mike has not only been an excellent goalie and teammate in this league,” said Head Coach Ed Comeau. “He has also truly been a pleasure to coach. His desire to win, his commitment to doing whatever it took to continue playing at a high level, coupled with his ability to connect with everyone in the organization made him a great asset to the Swarm. His passion and his humor will be missed by everyone, and we wish him well as he retires and pursues his next chapter in lacrosse.”
Poulin played a major role in the team’s success on the field and will now transfer that mindset over to the front office as he becomes a valuable asset in the club’s player evaluation and acquisition of on field talent.
As Poulin retires, so does the iconic “You got nothing, we got Mike POOOUUULIN” chant which was bellowed by in-game announcer Tim Hanchey whenever Poulin would showcase one of his trademark big saves.
“I’ve been incredibly fortunate to be surrounded by great teammates and leaders throughout my career, too many to list, but I am thankful for every teammate I shared a locker room with,” said Poulin.
Poulin’s departure is bittersweet, as what he leaves on the turf will be translated into his new front office role with the Swarm.