Adam Foote

Adam Foote has been hired as the new head coach of the Kelowna Rockets. He takes over from Jason Smith, who was fired on Monday. Foote had his first practice with the team Tuesday morning.

Adam Foote has been named the new head coach of the Kelowna Rockets.

Foote, a Stanley Cup winner with the Colorado Avalanche in 1996 and 2001 and former captain, was confirmed by the Rockets as coach Tuesday morning after word had leaked out late Monday night of his appointment.

Foote’s son Nolan is a star forward and assistant captain with the team. Another son, Cal, was a star defencemen with the Rockets for several seasons and now plays for the Syracuse Crunch, farm team of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

“Our hope is that Adam can come in and take over a team that is in transition,” said Rockets general manager Bruce Hamilton, who announced Monday he had let two-year coach Jason Smith go.

“Because we host the 2020 Memorial Cup, we know a number of personnel moves will have to be made,” said Hamilton in a news release.

“We are confident Adam will be able to help us move forward, not just this year, but next season also.”

Foote, 47, played junior hockey with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds and was drafted by the Quebec Nordiques. He had 308 points (66 goals, 242 assists) in 19 NHL seasons and was known as a rock-solid defender. He won a gold medal with Team Canada in the 2002 Olympics.

Most recently, he was a defensive coach with the Columbus Blue Jackets from 2011 to last season.

“I’m excited,” Foote said. “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.”

Assistant coaches Kris Mallette and Travis Crickard remain with the team.

The Rockets hosted the Swift Current Broncos Tuesday night.

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