Kelowna Rockets have hired Adam Foote as their new head coach.
The former NHL defenceman, who captained the Colorado Avalanche and Columbus Blue Jackets, will make his debut tonight as the Rockets host the Swift Current Broncos.
Foote’s son Nolan plays for the Rockets, and his other son, Cal, is a former Rocket now with the Syracuse Crunch in the AHL.
“I’m excited,” said Foote. “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.”
He was most recently a defensive coach with the Colorado Avalanche from 2011 through last season.
“Our hope is that Adam can come in and take over a team that is in transition,” said Rockets General Manager Bruce Hamilton. “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.”
Foote is a former OHL player, having played for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. He was drafted 22nd overall by the Quebec Nordiques in 1989. He had 308 points (66g, 242a) and 308 penalty minutes during his 19-year career in the NHL. He won two Stanley Cups with the Avalanche in 1996 and 2001 and a gold medal with Team Canada at the 2002 Winter Olympics.
Foote and his wife Jennifer have two sons: Cal is a former Rockets captain and first-round draft pick of the Tampa Bay Lightning who is currently playing for the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League, and Nolan, an assistant captain in his third season with the Rockets.
Foote joins assistant coaches Kris Mallette and Travis Crickard on the Rockets bench.
Jason Smith was let go by the Rockets Monday after two seasons as head coach, and with the team off to 4 and 10 start.