Let’s not pretend for a second there’s a surname witticism he hasn’t
In fact, any new material pertaining to his last name is probably as rare
as him conceding the middle of the ice to an opponent in the defensive
But for those that venture to try at either, bonne chance, in your attempt
“There are always little puns and one liners out there,” says Cal Foote, a
defenceman with Canada's National Junior Team. “I’d like to say I’ve
probably heard them all.”
This is especially true when the conversation turns to the comparisons to
his father, Adam Foote, who for 19 seasons patrolled blue-lines with three
National Hockey League teams with a distinct competitive assertion for
And when you pursue the same career path as your already highly-successful
and Stanley Cup-winning parent, you’re going to attract analogies and last
But if one would more creatively venture into the verbal mix – and be
excused for at least attempting to be humourous – it’s probably accurate to
proclaim he’s forging his own path in the game and doing so at his own
It doesn’t mean that his father is not involved in the growth and
development of his son. On the contrary, Cal has used his father’s
teachings and experience as a valuable resource.
At just 19, Cal Foote is an excellent two-way defenceman capable of using
his massive size at six-foot-four and 212 pounds for defensive positioning
and physicality, while also possessing a tremendous ability to process the
game quickly with an offensive touch as a bonus.
“He grew up around hockey, so he’s got the hockey feel for what’s going
on,” says Joël Bouchard, who played against Cal’s dad many times over his
364 NHL games and is part of the Program of Excellence management group
with Hockey Canada.
“I think they have a lot of similarities,” adds Bouchard. “If I would have
to compare, Adam was a little more on the edgy side of things, but Cal has
a little more offensive flare.”
“But on top of that the Foote family has done a super job of raising a
great kid. He’s tremendous to be around; professional and polite.”
Born in Denver to Canadian parents when his dad played with the Colorado
Avalanche, Foote says he made the easy decision to declare his allegiance
to Canada when they inquired about his services internationally.
“Growing up cheering for Team Canada and watching my father wear the Maple
Leaf (at two World Cups and two Olympics) was special,” says Foote, who is
currently in his third year with the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets.
“I was born into a Canadian family and had Canadian blood running through
me so there was always a connection. And when Hockey Canada approached me
first that was a pretty easy decision for me. To be on the side I was
already cheering for and to be part of it emotionally since I was young was
His three seasons in Kelowna have shown a progressive trajectory in points
and on-ice importance to the Rockets – he is wearing the ‘C’ this year. As
a result, the Tampa Bay Lightning took notice and made him their top choice
in this past June’s NHL Entry Draft as the 14th overall selection.
This year’s IIHF World Junior Championship will be the first for Foote (and
first-ever international appearance), but his second experience with the
POE after attending Canada’s selection camp last year, only to be passed
over. Not to be discouraged, he went back to Kelowna with a determination
and zeal that ensured he wouldn’t be disappointed a second time.
“I think obviously another year of playing hockey helps,” he says. “For me
a big focus was working on my skating. It’s a combination of a year’s time
working on my skating and my weaknesses plus the additional experience.”
Foote works with off-ice trainer Carson Lemon and his father on-ice during
the summer months. Adam Foote instructs a group of young players with
precision, small-group workouts and his oldest son absorbs every ounce of
what is being taught.
“I always wanted to be like him,” says Cal. “The cool thing is he went
through the same thing. His advice comes through and I try to listen to
everything he has to say to me.”
Cal is quick to admit his relationship with his father is excellent. The
two are very close. Incidentally, Adam Foote will also be busy with Team
Canada over the holidays, working with Canada’s National Men’s Team at the
“We talk hockey pretty much every chance we get,” he says. “At the supper
table and before or after games, he’s always trying to give my brother and
me the best advice and trying to help us the best he can.”
It’s an exceptional asset to have as a young player and Cal knows it,
although because of lineage there’s always going to comparisons. This is
especially evident because like his father, Cal is a big, right-shot
“I see the caring and professionalism in him,” says Bouchard. “He wants to
be a hockey player. There’s passion there, like his father. But they do
have different attributes as his dad was intimidating and rugged.
“But that’s OK too. He’s going to take his own path. He is his own player.”
Or with apologies at attempted humour, one might say as a player Cal wants
to stand on his own two feet.