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Adam Foote's Embarrassing Threat

Mar 4, 2008 – 12:00 AM
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Greg Wyshynski

Greg Wyshynski %BloggerTitle%

In the love-fest surrounding Adam Foote's return to Colorado, it's easy to forget that there was another team that felt a tad differently about the defenseman at the deadline: The Columbus Blue Jackets. With the trade frenzy nearly a week old, news about the kind of hardball Foote played with his former team has come to light in The Columbus Dispatch, and it doesn't make the ex-captain look very good:
It's believed that Foote and his agent, Rick Curran, set their contract demands at a height they knew the Blue Jackets wouldn't accept. Proof: The Blue Jackets moved up from their first offer of two years, $6 million to two years, $7 million, but Foote and Curran refused to budge from their initial demand of two years, $8 million.

When Howson suggested to Foote that the sides continue negotiating beyond the trade deadline -- that the Blue Jackets' playoff hopes, faint as they are, deserve a hearty attempt -- Foote responded in a way nobody could have predicted.
According to numerous NHL sources, Foote threatened to be "a bad teammate, a bad captain and a bad player" the rest of the season if he weren't re-signed or traded to his preferred destination -- the Colorado Avalanche, where his best NHL years were spent.
The report went on to claim that when the Blue Jackets made one last offer, Foote responded by saying he "doesn't owe anybody anything." Foote has denied all of this alleged diva act, telling the paper that he told the team "it would be too stressful for my wife and I to stay without knowing for sure I was part of the future there."

Dispatch columnist Michael Arace landed a few more body blows, including discussion of the private plane that whisked Foote away to the Avs' game in Calgary last week. Arace wrote:
Foote regretted the day he signed a free-agent contract with the Blue Jackets in 2005. He always planned on retiring in Colorado, something he revealed this week during contract negotiations. No doubt, he will sign for less money than the Jackets were offering ($3.5 million a year) when he gets his final contract with the Avalanche this summer. Maybe a part of him wanted to finish the job here, but more of him wanted to get back to the high desert plain.

Fine. But at least be a man about it. When you're the captain and you dump your teammates and slight a city and its fans, be honest about your actions -- especially after you've cashed $12 million worth of checks. Don't hide behind a contract demand that was never going to be met.
Damn. Truth Serum of End of the Bench has mixed feelings about the accusations, noting that the Dispatch ran similar anonymous comments about Nikolai Zherdev threatening to be a "bad teammate" when he was in the firing line last season. Light the Lamp brings it a little harder against Foote:
As for Foote, your secret is out buddy. Your a sham, a fake and its pretty obvious what matters most -- and that's Adam Foote. You can bet your ass Foote takes less than the 3.5 mil a year the Jackets offered - just watch. Quite frankly if I'm Howson I'm contacting the NHL and having them look into some tampering here. Any way you slice this turd it comes up smelly.
Forget the contract demands -- that's business. But if Foote truly threatened to be "a bad teammate, a bad captain and a bad player," it's one of the single most childish and unprofessional things I've ever heard originate from the mouth of a National Hockey League player. It's so outlandishly selfish and boneheaded that you can't help but believe Foote when he denied saying it. But if he did ... boy, it doesn't get more pathetic than a 36-year-old player threatening to intentionally tank it in order to get his way.
Filed under: Sports