I remember the day Foote was signed by the Blue Jackets- it was an exciting time because Foote was considered a top shutdown defenseman, two and a half years removed from a stint on Team Canada at the Olympics, and coming off a career year offensively with the Avalanche. He was the first big signing for the Jackets post-lockout, and was named captain after Luke Richardson removed himself from the capacity.
While he was well-liked during his first two seasons of his contract, many still expected more from Foote offensively, even though that wasn`t his game. The trouble started in his third and final season with the Jackets, the last of his contract. Near the trade deadline, the Jackets were in the middle of what many thought was a potential playoff race. The Jackets attempted to re-sign him to an extension, but he wouldn`t accept any of the offers put forth by management. He said if the Jackets couldn`t pay him his asking price, he wanted a trade, and only to Colorado.
Apparently he set his financial demands high, knowing what the Jackets would be able to afford. He essentially demanded a trade, and that left the Jackets and their fans feeling let-down by the captain. He bailed on them when they needed him the most.
The Jackets got the last laugh however, as the return the Jackets for for Foote at the deadline (a conditional first rounder, and a conditional fourth rounder), were used to acquire R.J. Umberger and to draft high-end prospect David Savard, respectively.
I was never outspoken with the situation, I did feel let down however and I thought the timing was suspect, given the fact that Foote could have signed with the Avalanche in four months anyway. What it amounted to was that Foote was clearly unhappy in Columbus, and wanted very badly to return to Colorado.
I`m just glad that now that Foote is retiring, we won`t have to wonder if he`s healthy enough to play any time the Jackets and Avs face off.