Greetings from Calgary

…and can we please move on past the Adam Foote thing?

The talk in the Dispatch that Foote dishonestly orchestrated his trade back to Colorado has ignited something of a kerfuffle about whether or not Foote is a bad person. Bob McKenzie weighed in on Foote’s side. Here in Calgary, Bruce Dowbiggin made a broader point that I agree with (that owners look out for #1, so players should feel justified in doing the same), but took some unnecessary shots at the Columbus franchise in doing so — i.e., “dead-end franchise”. Messageboards have erupted in Columbus vs Colorado catfights.

Meanwhile, there’s a hockey season to finish, and a Jackets team that still hasn’t entirely laid down and died. Could we please focus on that for a change?

I wasn’t the world’s greatest Foote fan while he was here. The post-lockout emphasis on speed, and especially the crackdown on hooking and holding in front of the net robbed him of some of the tools that had made him such an effective shutdown defenseman over his career, and led to a maddening propensity to take frequent and costly penalties. Age and accumulated injuries had taken their toll as well. And his much-vaunted leadership skills didn’t always seem to be clearly in evidence on a Jackets’ team that appeared rudderless before this season. Add in the big contract, and it was difficult for me to be a Foote booster.

All that said, he was having something of a renaissance this season, and was about the only veteran presence on a young defensive core, so I was okay with the idea of Howson re-signing Foote. But not for too much money.

That’s the bottom-line for me: Foote wanted too much money to stay in Columbus, so Howson was correct to trade him now rather than see him walk for nothing. The NTC gave Foote control over where he went, and considering that he was apparently only willing to go to Colorado, I feel the Jackets made out quite well in the deal getting a first round pick in return. Whether or not the contract talks were all a ruse, part of Foote’s master plan to return to the Avs, I just can’t care that much. Yeah, maybe it doesn’t speak well for Adam Foote’s character if it is true, but that’s Colorado’s problem now, not ours. Let’s look forward and not back. And that goes triple for the Dispatch.

On that note, I’m ensconced here in my satellite world headquarters in Alberta, looking ahead to the Jackets game against the Flames tonight. More after the game.

ETA: It seems once again that I’m sharing a brain with the EOB guys: Truth Serum weighs in on the Foote controversy, and I pretty much agree with everything he has to say on the topic.

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