18 June 2008
Despite it feeling like he was with us all season, he was not. Picked up from the trade deadline from Columbus for a first round pick (this season) and a 4th rounder next season if the Avs resign him this offseason.
Strengths: There's not much bad to say about Senior Foote. As I have mentioned before, he was the recipient of Mirtle's Langway award as the best defensive defenseman. He added a fire and edge to the Avs defense that they sorely lacked, (oh and with that fire and edge he added hits, a lot of them).
He also added leadership to a young, talented but inexperienced defensive core. Kurt Sauer seemed to improve immensely just by being on the ice with Foote. Leopold, Sauer, Clark, Finger, and Liles are all nice defensemen, to varying degrees, but none of them are ever going to be the type of leader that Foote is.
Weaknesses: Quite frankly it's his age. He'll start next season as a 37-year old man. Defensemen, especially that play Foote's style, can play at a high level into their 40's, if they want to, but it's no guarantee and it's more likely that his skills will start to deteriorate at some point.
There's a perception that he has lost a step and that causes him to take more penalties, but a quick glance at him PIM numbers for his career shows that in Columbus his PIM minutes seem to be about the same as any other season, so I don't buy that. It is possible he has lost a step though, but I just don't think so.
One place he has seemed to have lost a little is his offense, where his last 3 years point totals have fallen. He's never been a bastion of blueline point production so any kind of production loss is fairly noticeable. It's worth noting that those low point totals may not be the effects of skill deterioration, but of playing with Columbus.
Analysis: when the Avs traded for Foote, I said I thought the price they paid for him was too steep, unless they resigned him for at least 2 more years. I agree with that, but after thinking about it the last few days what if him being here causes us to lose a guy like Kurt Sauer, a similar style defenseman that is 11 years Foote's junior (and was 19th in the Langway award standings, not shabby). That would ultimately make the cost of Foote a 1st rounder, a 4th rounder, and Sauer (or more likely Liles). That's pretty steep for a 37-year old defenseman.
Nevertheless Adam Foote was a big reason Marion Gaborik disappeared against the Avs in the playoffs, and really Foote played extremely well against the Wings. If the Avs wanted a rental player last season they would have gone out and gotten Campbell, they brought Foote back to stay.
Verdict: Foote is still a top flight defenseman, and deserves to be paid as one. Brian Rafalski is getting $6M/year, Brent Burns is getting approximately $3.75 (Clark still getting $3.5M/year). Let's average those two together and say Foote $5M/year for 2 years.
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