Avalanche acquire Foote from Blue Jackets, Salei from Panthers
February 26, 2008
DENVER – The Colorado Avalanche won two Stanley Cups with Adam Foote and Peter Forsberg. They brought both aging stars back this week in hopes of just getting into the playoffs.The Avalanche acquired Foote from the Columbus Blue Jackets for conditional first- and fourth-round draft choices before the NHL trade deadline in Tuesday.On Monday, the Avalanche agreed to terms on a deal that brought 2003 NHL MVP Forsberg back to Denver for the rest of the season.The Avalanche also acquired defenseman Ruslan Salei from the Florida Panthers on Tuesday as they look for a combination to ignite a late-season surge. With 18 games remaining after Tuesday’s contest in Calgary, Colorado is four points behind Nashville for the eighth and final playoff spot in the NHL West.Foote, 36, was drafted by the Avalanche in 1989 when the franchise was still the Quebec Nordiques. He is third in games played with the franchise with 799 and second in scoring by defensemen with 234 points.He played in 154 playoff games with the Avalanche franchise, second only to captain Joe Sakic. Foote left the Avalanche after the 2003-04 season and signed a free agent contract with the Blue Jackets on Aug. 2, 2005.He became available to the Avalanche when negotiations for a new contract with Columbus broke down.Forsberg, 34, played nine seasons in Colorado. Foot and ankle injuries plagued him in the years that followed, but he said he is on the mend.To get Salei from Florida, Colorado gave up the rights to Karlis Skrastins and a third-round draft pick. Last season, the 33-year-old Salei had career highs with six goals and 26 assists.Salei has played 11 NHL seasons, the last two with Florida after nine with the Anaheim Ducks. He’s missed only four games in the past four seasons.Before joining the Panthers, he was the longest-tenured Anaheim player and held the franchise record for most games played by a Ducks defenseman. In 594 career games with Anaheim, Salei had 26 goals and 79 assists.The Belarus native has appeared in 40 playoff games and represented his country twice at the Winter Olympics (1998, 2002). He was chosen by Anaheim with their ninth overall pick in the 1996 draft.
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