Avalanche sign D Foote to 1-year deal

The Colorado Avalanche will have Adam Foote back after signing

their captain and mentor to a one-year deal Tuesday.

Foote was an integral part of Colorado’s turnaround in 2009-10

as he guided a youthful squad into the playoffs a season after

finishing last in the Western Conference. The Avalanche threw a

scare at the top-seeded San Jose Sharks before tumbling in six

games.

“This organization is definitely heading in the right

direction,” said Foote, who will turn 39 in July. “Having a young

group like we did last year come together and compete at a high

level was very special. We’re looking to carry that momentum into

next season.”

The hard-hitting defenseman finished the regular season with

nine assists in 67 contests.

However, his biggest contributions may have come away from the

ice. Foote invited rookie forward Matt Duchene to live in his

basement, serving as Duchene’s mentor and easing his transition

into the NHL.

Under the tutelage of Foote, Duchene quickly adapted to life in

the league, proving quite dangerous with the puck on his stick.

Duchene led all NHL rookies in points (55) and tied for most goals

(24) with John Tavares of the New York Islanders.

“Adam’s veteran leadership has been and will continue to be a

big part of our success,” Avalanche GM Greg Sherman said. “He

provided stability last season and set an example for our young

players right from the start of training camp.”

Former Avalanche captain Joe Sakic was pleased to hear the news

that Foote would return for another season. Sakic and Foote helped

the Avalanche win Stanley Cup titles in 1996 and 2001.

“He’s a great leader and had a great year last year,” Sakic said

after finishing up a round of golf in a pro-am event Tuesday before

the start of the Senior PGA Championship in Parker, Colo. “It’s

great he gets to stay here.”

Foote has played in 1,107 games in 18 seasons and amassed 1,501

penalty minutes suiting up mostly for Colorado but also spent three

seasons with Columbus.