Cal Foote returns home to Colorado, trying to steal Stanley from dad’s Avs
DENVER—Cal Foote has put on a Colorado Avalanche sweater many times in his life, growing up in Colorado, the son of just the second captain of the team’s history in Denver.
Adam Foote spent 13 years in Denver, serving as the team’s captain after the now General Manager Joe Sakic hung up his skates. Foote was a bruising defenseman who hoisted two Stanley Cups in Colorado and won an Olympic Gold with team Canada.
His sons, both first-round picks, were born in Colorado and grew up wearing burgundy. The eldest, Cal, can equal his father with a second Stanley Cup, but only if he knocks off the organization his father gave so much to.
“It’s cool to be back,” the hometown kid turned Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman said on Stanley Cup Media Day. “It’s cool to look to the stands where I sat growing up. But when it comes to game time, it’s like no other game.”
Foote won the cup last year with the Bolts. This season he’s only played in 13 of their 17 playoff games, as Jon Cooper juggles his team’s lineup.
At the turn of the century, his dad was a staple of the dominant Avs teams, getting No. 52 retired in his honor at Ball Arena.
“It’s very special looking up there a couple of times; it’s pretty cool,” Tampa’s No. 52 said. “My dad was a special player. Definitely on the ice looking up here and there. So it’s it’s pretty cool to have that out there.”
Foote said his dad’s biggest responsibility over the coming days would be to handle the many ticket requests his friends and family in Colorado are making.
But Foote’s not alone in the Avs connection. In every round of this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Avalanche have had to face a friend turned foe.
The Avs took out Matt Duchene’s Nashville Predators, Ryan O’Riley’s St. Louis Blues and most recently, Tyson Barrie’s Edmonton Oilers. Next up is Pierre-Édouard Bellemare’s Tampa Bay Lightning.
“I didn’t think about being back, it’s the playoffs, and I’m just focused,” Bellemare said. “It’s strictly business at this point. I had a great time here but it’s the Cup Final; I have to focus on what I’m going to do.”