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Defenseman Adam Foote returns to the Colorado Avalanche

 

The moment is beautiful, poetic, touching. Proof that sports have a soft side is unfolding on a television screen, a dramatic storyline filled with loss, gain, and everything in between.

After almost three full seasons (four if you count the lockout), Adam Foote is making his way, through the Saddledome hallways in Calgary, to the visiting Colorado Avalanche bench. He is wearing the Avalanche uniform, number 52 prominently displayed on his back. Mere hours have passed since Foote's status as a Blue Jacket came to an end when, upon learning the Blue Jackets were not planning on re-signing him, Adam Foote requested a return to Colorado.  From that point, everything rapidly spun into motion. A last minute flight, a National Anthem entrance, a hurried uniform change, and with 6:26 left in the first period, amidst much anticipation and excitement, Adam Foote is making his way to the Avs bench.

He seems to burst from the darkened hallway and quietly takes a seat next to Kyle Cumiskey and John Michael Liles. He looks uncertain at first, almost awkward. After all, most of the Avs’ bench knows Adam Foote only as Columbus' captain, a tough, competitive defensemen they meet four times a season.

There are maybe four or five players who know Adam Foote personally, four or five players who have played with Foote, not against him. There is only one player who knows Foote from the beginning, in Quebec. With no time before the game to meet their new teammate, there is an entire team that is about to get a crash course, in person, on number 52.

Cumiskey is the first to notice and glances over with an inquisitive expression just as Peter Budaj taps Foote on the chest with his glove. The momentum surrounding Foote's return starts to build. It takes a few moments before John Michael Liles notices Foote and almost immediately, Liles' face lights up and he slides closer, visibly excited. You can read Liles' lips: "Welcome back" he says, smiling.

Welcome back.

 

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Adam Foote is a wonderful picture of defensive leadership and an absolutely positive addition to the Colorado Avalanche, not only for who he is, but what he represents. Adam Foote’s return is an incredible infusion of grit and strength and history. Foote played a pivotal role in the two Stanley Cup wins Colorado has obtained, shutting down the opponent’s offense and shadowing star players into near non-existent productivity. With Brett Clark out for the season and Jeff Finger listed as day-to-day, Foote brings much needed presence back to the Colorado Avalanche’s defense.

Welcome…back…

There is no two-word compilation that better fits the situation. To Colorado, Foote’s return is the homecoming of an old friend, a champion, a force, a memory. To Colorado, Foote’s return could not come at a better time. To Colorado, Foote’s return means new hope and excitement…

…and to Colorado, Adam Foote is back home.

 

By Shaela Moen
ProHockey-fans.com Staff Writer

 

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