CALGARY, AB — Little did the Calgary Roughnecks know that a second round pick in 2002 would become such an integral member of the organization.
But since selecting Andrew McBride, the Ladner, BC. native became just that.
And now, after an illustrious 13-year career, McBride will hang up the lacrosse gloves.
“It is with great difficulty that I am today announcing my retirement from playing professional lacrosse,” said McBride. “I am very humbled to have played the sport I love professionally for as long as I have and feel fortunate to have played my entire 13-year career with the Calgary Roughnecks. It has been an honour to represent this organization and city, especially the last five years as captain, and I will cherish all the memories, particularly winning two championships.”
In 13 seasons, McBride compiled 19 goals, 68 assists, and 711 loose balls in 198 games — a Roughnecks franchise record. During his tenure, only twice did the team finish the regular season with a record under .500. However, the team still managed to make the playoffs in both those seasons.
In fact, McBride has been to the NLL Playoffs every year since entering the league. He is also the Roughnecks All-Time leader in playoff games played (29) and playoff penalty minutes (40).
He’s led in other facets, too.
When Tracey Kelusky was traded to the Buffalo Bandits prior to the 2011 season, it left the team without a captain. McBride was the choice to fill the role. And for five seasons as captain, McBride has been a leader on the floor and endeared himself to the fans and the city.
“If you had to choose a player to lead your team and represent your organization, it would be Andrew,” said Roughnecks head coach and assistant general manager Curt Malawsky. “He has had an outstanding NLL career and is the ultimate professional, on and off the floor, with a level of compete and a work ethic and passion that are unrivaled.
“The loyalty and dedication Andrew has given the Roughnecks organization and City of Calgary for well over a decade is something you do not come across often. I am very proud to have played and coached alongside such a great warrior and an even better person who will always be part of the Roughnecks family.”
Now living in Calgary, McBride has become rooted in the city and is very involved in growing the sport of lacrosse in the province of Alberta. Currently the technical director for the Alberta Lacrosse Association, he is involved in all levels of lacrosse and will remain involved with the Roughnecks organization.
McBride will continue to take charge with the Classroom Lacrosse program and will act as an alumni ambassador for the team.
Without him on the floor, though, there will be a hole on defence and in the leadership group.
Leaving some big shoes to fill.