On the wrong Foote
There are some hurt feelings in Columbus these days, and they go beyond the fact players feel management threw in the towel too early.
No, what's really burning the folks in Ohio is Adam Foote's departure, something that was portrayed as a request but that Columbus Dispatch columnist Michael Arace says was more of a demand:
Jackets management wanted to continue negotiating with Foote. It wanted him here for the final stretch of the season. It was willing to lose him without compensation this summer, if it came to that — which is a testament to its soaring regard for the captain. But Foote wanted $4 million a year for two years, an exorbitant price — and if he didn't get it, his demand was to be moved to Colorado. And make no mistake, it was a demand.It's probably worth noting that Foote was playing on a three-year deal that paid him $4.6-million per season, so "exorbitant" is a bit over the top.
And you could argue he didn't exactly get the supporting cast in Columbus he was looking for when he signed that free-agent deal:
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. Don't profess to be shocked at a trade when you know there's a private jet waiting at the airport. And don't talk about "downsizing."After three playoffless years, Foote simply had had enough and wanted to go back to Colorado for a swan song.
Is there a good way to go about doing that? And isn't the Blue Jackets organization better off having the first-round pick for a 36-year-old defenceman that wasn't sticking around?
Of course, the real illusion at work is that Columbus still had a shot at the postseason, and that Foote sabotaged that chance, which frankly isn't true. It's a pipe dream to think they could have somehow run the table and snuck in on the low end of the playoff race, and it's a good thing GM Scott Howson went with the move he did.
Everyone else wanted to stay in Fantasyland.
UPDATE The Dispatch has revealed more details of the Foote situation, and it's not pretty.
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.Unreal. Unsurprisingly, Foote denies the allegations, so it's really a matter of who you believe.
Labels: Blue Jackets