Former NHL defenceman Adam Foote named coach of Kelowna Rockets

Far left, Michel Goulet, assistant to the executive vice president of the Colorado Avalanche, hands a silver stick to Colorado Avalanche defenceman Adam Foote, far right, as Foote's sons Cal, second from left, and Nolan, fourth from left, join their mother, Jennifer, during a ceremony to honour Foote for playing in his 1,000th career games. (David Zalubowski/AP)

Former NHL defenceman Adam Foote has been hired as coach of the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets, the team announced Tuesday.

Foote’s youngest son Nolan is a forward on the team and his older son Cal, a defenceman, graduated to the AHL from the Rockets after last season.

“I’m excited,” Foote said in a press release. “Kelowna is a great organization, and there are exciting times ahead. I’m lucky to have played on a lot of good teams with great players throughout my career. I’ve gathered a lot of information over the years and plan to apply it to the development of Rockets players.”

Foote, 47, was a first-round pick by the Quebec Nordiques in the 1989 NHL Draft. He played 16 of his 19 NHL seasons with the Quebec-Colorado franchise, winning two Stanley Cups and an Olympic gold medal with Team Canada in 2002.

The stay-at-home defenceman also played three seasons for the Columbus Blue Jackets and skated in 1,154 games over his career, scoring 66 goals and 308 points. He also collected 1,534 penalty minutes.

Foote takes over from former NHL defenceman Jason Smith, who was let go by the Rockets on Monday after starting his third season behind the bench with a 4-10-0-0 record.

“Our hope is that Adam can come in and take over a team that is in transition,” Rockets general manager Bruce Hamilton said in a press release. “Because we host the 2020 Memorial Cup, we know a number of personnel moves will have to be made. We are confident Adam will be able to help us move forward, not just this year but next season also.”

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