In about a week, The Colorado Avalanche will play the LA Kings in their home opener for the
2012 – 2013 Season. In recent seasons, that first home game of a new year has been the game the Avalanche organization has set aside to honor players like Joe Sakic (2009) and Peter Forsberg (2011) by raising their numbers to the rafters in a ceremony prior to the game.
Since Adam Foote’s retirement in the spring of 2011, I’ve just taken it for granted that #52 would be up next. Now that the league and players have come to their senses and signed a new CBA, where’s the announcement that January 22nd would be Adam Foote‘s day?
I get that it’s fairly likely there may have been too many logistics to work out to make January 22 work, given the short turnaround the team has to get this season going. Perhaps you can chalk this up as yet another victim of what I like to call “The Pointless Lockout of 2012″ – alongside 24/7, the 2013 All Star Game, the 2013 Winter Classic and 34 regular season games for each NHL team.
But even if that is the case, why haven’t they made another night later in the season Adam Foote’s night? How about April 15th, when the Columbus Blue Jackets come to Denver? After all, he did captain those Blue Jackets and is *sarcasm* “well respected” /*sarcasm* among
all ten Columbus fans.
Or why didn’t the Avs retire #52 at some point last season? It’s not like this lockout came out of nowhere – surely Avs management had a pretty good idea last season that a lockout was probably unavoidable.
I can’t help thinking that if it was Sakic or Forsberg in this same situation, they may have handled the situation much better. I’m not saying that Footer was on the same level as a Sakic or Forsberg, but then again, who is? And if that’s going to be the standard going forward, then we may not see another number raised in the Pepsi Center again.
Foote clearly deserves to have his 52 retired by this team. He is a boarderline Hall of Famer who won 2 Stanley Cups with the Avalanche. He played 17 of 19 NHL seasons with the franchise and was the 2nd captain in Avalanche history during is last two seasons in the NHL. But he was more than that.
It was Adam Foote’s forehead that was cut open by a dirty hit from Detroit’s Slava Kozlov in Game 3 of the 1996 Western Conference Finals – a hit that was the first salvo in one of the greatest
hockey sports rivalries ever.
It was Adam Foote’s goal in Game 6 of the 2001 Stanley Cup Finals in New Jersey that swung the momentum, and ultimately the series, bringing Ray Bourque his first, and the franchise its second championship.
It was Adam Foote who, after forcing the Blue Jackets to trade him back to Colorado (allegedly), said “As corny as it may sound, I bleed the Avalanche. It’s in my blood. Not every player gets to play where they want to be, and I’m very happy about that.”