Every day – usually around lunchtime – Cal Foote gets a text from his hockey hero.
While almost all youth hockey players will pick out an NHLer to emulate, to admire, or simply to worship while watching them excel on the ice, few are ever lucky enough to meet, let alone get to know their idol.
In Foote’s case, he interacted with his idol on a daily basis and continues to do so to this day. That’s because his hockey hero is his dad, former NHL defenseman Adam Foote.
“I was young when I watched him play, and that was all I wanted to do when I grew up,” Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Cal Foote said of his dad. “Whenever he was out there, whenever he was playing I was always watching him to see what he was doing.”
In 2019-20, Adam Foote coached the Western Hockey League’s Kelowna Rockets. Among his players on that squad was his younger son Nolan Foote, today a player in the New Jersey Devils system.
Cal might not have benefitted from his father’s coaching, but the sage advice offered by a father who played 1,154 games over 20 seasons at the same position as Cal is never far away.
Even today, he still turns to his dad for advice.
“I always get that text message before the game, giving me a few pointers,” Cal said. Sometimes, it’s simple, straightforward message such as move your feet. On other occasions, the text can come with a video attached, often featuring diagrams on a white board, as well as clips of NHL players executing the described play properly.
Cal putting his dad in the unique position of cheering against the team with which he won both of his Stanley Cups, the Colorado Avalanche. Colorado and Tampa Bay squared off in the 2021-22 Stanley Cup final, with dad’s old team winning in six game.
Adam Foote won Stanley Cups with the Avalanche in 1995-96 and 2000-01.
Born in 1998, Cal wasn’t around for his dad’s first Cup win and can’t really recall the second one.
“I want to say I remember the ’01 Cup, but I don’t,” Cal Foote told The Athletic. “All I really remember about playoff time in Colorado was that they have the white pom-poms. I used to love playing with those and cheering him on.”