Farewell, Ginger Ninja
January 16, 2017
The history of this franchise is peppered with club favorites being traded away. Giovanni Savarese in 1999. Mike Petke in 2002. Amado Guevara in 2006. Dave van den Bergh in 2009. Joel Lindpere in 2013.
Trading away Dwayne De Rosario in 2011 did not fall in the above category. After all, he was on the team for all of three months. That being said, it was hard to find a more polarizing trade. De Rosario was one of the best players in league history. The team was giving up on him before giving him a chance to hit his stride. And what did we get in return? Someone who was exposed in the expansion draft the previous offseason?
That someone became Dax McCarty, who, after early jitters in the Hans Backe regime, became the heart of the club, a two-time Supporters Shield winner, its captain, and its all-time leader in games played. Trading him away will forever rank with the departures above; perhaps on the top line.
That top line is shared with Petke; it's amazing how the two legacies are intertwined. Petke was the club's icon in its early years; McCarty was for the last half-decade. Petke's hair was dyed blond; McCarty's red locks burned in the summer sun. Both wore their heart on their sleeve. Both were true Metros. Petke left the team with 197 games played in all competitions; McCarty with 198. In league play, they tied with 169. Oh, and Petke coached McCarty to that first, elusive Shield.
We just discussed Dax in the same breath as perhaps the club's greatest icon. On that day in 2011 when McCarty came to Metro, who would have thought he would get to this point? Yet, his place in the club's pantheon leaves no doubt. We'll miss you, Dax. You'll be a Metro forever.
That trade in 2011? The one despised by most from the onset? That might just have been the best Metro trade ever.
The one today? It hurts.
Farewell, Ginger Ninja.