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Avalanche Introduces Foote, Salei

by Aaron Lopez / Colorado Avalanche
Photo Gallery

Press Conference Video
Joe Sakic
Ian Laperriere

Trade deadline acquisitions Adam Foote and Ruslan Salei practiced with the team Friday following Colorado’s five-game road swing.

After the skate, both players were officially introduced – or in Foote’s case, reintroduced – to the local media via a press conference.

Thus far, both players have made quite an impression on their Avalanche teammates since being picked up at the deadline. Coupled with the presence (and eventual on-ice addition) of Peter Forsberg, there’s quite a positive vibe in Colorado’s locker room.

“It feels great,” said Avalanche assistant captain Ian Laperriere, referring to the team’s recent success, as well as its new additions. “With Footey on board and even Peter was around, he was in the locker room and everything. Even in practice today everyone was jumping. These are big games for us and we know that. The organization made great moves, with Salei and everybody.”

Foote, wearing his familiar No. 52 sweater, made his return to the Avalanche Tuesday at Calgary. The defenseman appeared on the bench late in the first period before logging 18:30 of ice time in Colorado’s 3-2 overtime victory.

Salei was just as impressive in his Colorado debut the following night during a 3-2 shootout win at Vancouver. Salei skated for 23:37 and picked up an assist on Joe Sakic’s game-tying goal with 15 seconds remaining in regulation.

Colorado’s captain also chimed in on the effect of Forsberg’s addition to the roster.

“There’s a buzz. You’re getting one of the best players to ever play the game,” said Sakic. “Everybody knows what he can do. You acquire a guy like that and that gives you a big boost.”

Forsberg Update
Avalanche Executive Vice President and General Manager Francois Giguere also updated the media on Forsberg’s status during Friday’s press conference.

Giguere stated that just prior to the conference, the Avalanche had received word that Forsberg’s immigration issues had been resolved and that the club expected the forward to fly into Denver later today.

As for a possible return to the ice?

“That’s going to be a decision that Peter will have to make, and it’s going to be made with our coaching staff,” said Giguere. “I assume that he’s going to skate tomorrow. He and Joel will talk and that’s a decision they’ll have to make.”

It was also announced today that a large “Welcome Back” banner in honor of Foote and  Forsberg’s return to Colorado will be set up inside the Grand Atrium at Pepsi Center during the upcoming four-game home-stand that begins tomorrow night against the Los Angeles Kings at 6:00 pm.

Avalanche fans in attendance at any of the four games will have the opportunity to sign this banner that welcomes back to the team these two players who have played large parts in the history of Colorado Avalanche hockey.

Doors to the Grand Atrium will open at 5:00 pm tomorrow for fans to access the building for the 6:00 p.m. game.

On Tap
The Avalanche will look for its third straight victory following the league’s trade deadline when the club hosts the Kings. Tomorrow’s game will mark the fourth and final meeting between the teams this season, with the Avalanche holding a 2-1 advantage in the season series. The previous three contests all came in December, with the Avalanche winning the first two games at Staples Center and the Kings taking a 3-1 decision at Pepsi Center.
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