On Friday morning, Colorado Avalanche captain Adam Foote announced his retirement from hockey at the conclusion of the 2011 season. It marks the end of 19-season career played for the most part with the Quebec Nordiques and the Colorado Avalanche, though a two-plus season stint with Columbus found its way into his career.
The Avalanche in starting the press conference, thanked Foote for his passion and determination and that he should be proud of the accomplishments he had during his career. The team then showed a video tribute, highlighting his career. It showed him as an aggressive youth on the ice through his years in the NHL. Foote joked that it probably took the length of his career to find the highlights of his goals.
With the video over, Foote delivered his remarks, saying that he discussed it with his family and they determined that after 20 years it was time to retire. Despite a tough last two months, he enjoyed his final season as an active player. He thanked Pierre Lacroix and the Avalanche for bringing him back to Colorado for his final few seasons and the chance to retire in burgundy and blue.
He went on to celebrate his kids for being able to see him play hockey and to experience an NHL locker room, which he called what the sport is all about. But now he can spend time with them every day. He also called his wife the rock and the foundation of their family. Before taking questions he thanked his fans from Whitby, Quebec City, Columbus, and, most importantly, Colorado, where he now calls home for his family.
A defensive defenseman, Foote will eventually be up for discussion to enter the Hockey Hall of Fame and join Joe Sakic and Peter Forsberg, both of who are basically locks to make it there when they become eligible. Foote will have a chance with his two Stanley Cup championships and his gold medal in the Winter Olympics.
Though the news isn't surprising for fans who have followed the Colorado Avalanche this season, it's still a somber moment as defenseman Adam Foote -- one of the true greats to ever don the burgundy and blue sweater -- has announced that he will retire from hockey at the end of this season.
With longtime teammate Peter Forsberg officially retiring earlier this year, Foote was the last active member of the original 1996 Stanley Cup team.
Foote, known earlier in his career as a shutdown defenseman and lockdown physical presence at the blue line, ahd morphed into a gritty warrior and team leader, the emotional barometer for the Avalanche. He played 20 seasons in the NHL, and all but 114 of his career 1153 games played were with Colorado. (Foote had almost two seasons with the Columbus Blue Jackets, before being traded back to Colorado in 2007.) Foote will retire second on the Avalanche leader board in games played with the franchise, behind Joe Sakic.
Foote's final season has not gone as planned, as he has suffered a multitude of leg and ankle injuries that have kept him sidelined. Though it's still possible that he could play this weekend -- one last time in front of the home crowd at Pepsi Center, perhaps? -- his ankle may not allow him to skate before his retirement becomes official.
Adam Foote has always been the heart and soul of his team. The captain leaves an enormous hole in the locker room that can hopefully be filled by the new crop of budding stars such as Matt Duchene, Paul Stastny, and his spiritual successor Erik Johnson.
The press conference has been scheduled for Friday morning at 11:00 a.m. MDT.