The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced Tuesday that it has acquired defenseman Adam Foote from the Columbus Blue Jackets. In exchange for his services, the Avalanche gives up the rights to a conditional first-round draft choice in 2008 or 2009 and a conditional fourth-round choice in 2009.
“We’re extremely pleased to announce to our fans that Adam Foote is returning to the Avalanche,” said Avalanche Executive Vice President and General Manager Francois Giguere. “His veteran presence and proven leadership abilities will be a tremendous boost to our entire team as we head into a crucial time of our season. His presence on our blue line gives us an increased physical presence for the stretch drive.”
“Colorado has always been a special place for me and my family,” said Foote. “I have some amazing memories of my time there and the fans have always been great. I’m looking forward to getting back and helping the team compete for a playoff spot.”
Drafted originally by the Quebec Nordiques (22nd overall) in the 1989 Entry Draft, Foote, 36, played 13 seasons with the franchise. His 799 games played with the organization ranks him third on the all-time list. Foote’s 234 points is second among franchise defensemen. He played in 154 playoff games with the organization, second most behind Joe Sakic.
The club also announced that it has acquired defenseman Ruslan Salei from the Florida Panthers organization. In exchange for his services, the Avalanche gives up the rights to Karlis Skrastins and a third-round draft choice in the 2008 Entry Draft.
“Ruslan Salei gives our club a solid and reliable asset on the blueline,” said Giguere. “We feel he can assume a major role within our defensive corps and provide some added stability in that area.”
Salei, 33, is a veteran of 11 NHL seasons, the last two with Florida after spending nine with the Anaheim Ducks organization. The 6’1”, 213-pound native of Minsk, Belarus was selected ninth overall by Anaheim in the 1996 Entry Draft. He appeared in all 65 games with Florida this season and has missed just four games total over his last four NHL campaigns. He’s coming off a 2006-07 year which saw him post career-highs in goals (6), assists (26) and points (32). Over his 11 NHL seasons, Salei has averaged over 23 minutes of ice-time per game.