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Kurtis Foster
KFoster.jpg
Born November 24, 1981 (1981-11-24) (age 35)
Carp, Ontario, Canada
Height 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Weight 226 lb (103 kg; 16 st 2 lb)
Position Defence
Shoots Right
KHL team
Former teams
KHL Medveščak Zagreb
Atlanta Thrashers
Minnesota Wild
Tampa Bay Lightning
Edmonton Oilers
Anaheim Ducks
New Jersey Devils
Philadelphia Flyers
NHL Draft 40th overall, 2000
Calgary Flames
Playing career 2001–present

Kurtis Foster (born on November 24, 1981) is a Canadian professional ice hockey defenceman who is currently playing with KHL Medveščak Zagreb of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL).

He has played in 408 career games in the National Hockey League (NHL).

Playing CareerEdit

Kurtis was selected in the second round (40th overall) in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft by the Calgary Flames from the Peterborough Petes of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL).

On December 18, 2001, he was traded by Calgary with Jeff Cowan to the Atlanta Thrashers for Petr Buzek.

On June 26, 2004, Kurtis was traded to the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim for Niclas Havelid.

After one season with the Ducks, he signed as a free agent with the Minnesota Wild.

Kurtis started the season with the Houston Aeros of the AHL, but after a hot start, got called up and played his first NHL game of the year on November 19, 2005. He scored his first two goals of his career in that game against Tomas Vokoun.

On March 20, 2008 in a game against the San Jose Sharks, Kurtis suffered a broken left femur. He suffered the injury when Sharks centre Torrey Mitchell checked him into the bottom of the boards while attempting to prevent an icing call.

The hit which resulted in a penalty was later ruled, by the NHL, accidental. Foster had season-ending surgery to repair his broken left femur and missed the remainder of the season and postseason.

In light of Kurtis's injury, following the 2007–08 NHL season, the NHL added the following to the rule regarding icing to protect both competitors as they raced for the puck:

Any contact between opposing players while pursuing the puck on an icing must be for the sole purpose of playing the puck and not for eliminating the opponent from playing the puck. Unnecessary or dangerous contact could result in penalties being assessed to the offending player."

Kurtis was not ready for the beginning of the 2008–09 NHL season, but on October 11, 2008, announced he was skating with full gear and feels no pain when skating.

On February 9, 2009, Kurtis returned to play for the Aeros on a conditioning stint from the Wild. He played in a 6-3 win over the Chicago Wolves and registered 2 PIM.

On July 8, 2009, Kurtis was signed as a free agent to a one-year contract by the Tampa Bay Lightning where he posted a career high 42 points.

On July 1, 2010, he signed a two-year contract with the Edmonton Oilers.

In his ongoing effort to get the NHL to change its icing rule on February 3, 2011, Kurtis told TSN that there were complications during his surgery to repair his broken femur.

He bled out and was in danger of losing his leg and could have died. A surgery that typically takes three hours took close to eight hours to complete.

Kurtis wondered aloud if the NHL would have changed the icing rule had he not made it through the surgery.

He stated he would like to see the NHL change the rule before anybody else has to go through what he went through or worse such as a spinal injury.

Don Cherry has been lobbying for many years for a rule change, and has been critical of the NHL for not going to no touch icing.

On February 12, 2011, Kurtis recorded his 100th career assist, a secondary assist on a goal by Andrew Cogliano in a 5-3 Oilers loss to the Ottawa Senators.

Kurtis finished the 2010–11 NHL season with a disappointing record as the Oilers hoped to get more out of him. Despite this, he scored 8 goals to go along with 14 assist and 22 points.

On July 1, 2011, Kurtis was traded to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for defenceman Andy Sutton.

During the 2011–12 season after only 9 games with the Ducks, he was traded by the Ducks, along with goaltender Timo Pielmeier to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for defenceman Mark Fraser and forward Rod Pelley on December 12, 2011.

Kurtis' tenure with the Devils lasted only 28 games, before he was on the move again on February 24, 2012 when he was traded back to the Minnesota Wild along with Nick Palmieri and Stephane Veilleux and draft picks in exchange for Marek Zidlicky. He was scoreless in 14 games as the Wild missed the playoffs for the fourth consecutive year.

With the prospect of the 2012–13 NHL lockout affecting his Free Agent contract status, Kurtis signed his first European contract with Tappara of the Finnish SM-liiga on October 23, 2012. He appeared in 13 over the course of the lockout for the Blues, scoring 6 points.

On January 8, 2013 (with the establishment of a new CBA), he left Tappara to return to North America with the intent of signing in the NHL.

On January 13, 2013, Kurtis agreed to contract terms with Philadelphia Flyers. During the shortened 2012–13 season, he appeared in 23 games with the Flyers posting 1 goal and 5 points.

Released from the Flyers as a free agent at the end of the season, Kurtis returned to Europe and signed a one-year contract on July 30, 2013 with Croatian club, KHL Medveščak Zagreb, the newest member of the KHL.

Career StatisticsEdit

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1997–98 Peterborough Petes OHL 39 1 1 2 45 4 0 0 0 2
1998–99 Peterborough Petes OHL 54 2 13 15 59 5 0 0 0 6
1999–00 Peterborough Petes OHL 68 6 18 24 116 5 1 2 3 4
2000–01 Peterborough Petes OHL 62 17 24 41 78 7 1 1 2 10
2001–02 Chicago Wolves AHL 39 6 9 15 59 14 1 1 2 21
2001–02 Peterborough Petes OHL 33 10 4 14 58
2002–03 Chicago Wolves AHL 75 15 27 42 159 9 1 3 4 14
2002–03 Atlanta Thrashers NHL 2 0 0 0 0
2003–04 Chicago Wolves AHL 67 11 19 30 95 10 0 3 3 12
2003–04 Atlanta Thrashers NHL 3 0 1 1 0
2004–05 Cincinnati Mighty Ducks AHL 78 17 25 42 71 9 2 3 5 28
2005–06 Houston Aeros AHL 19 4 11 15 32
2005–06 Minnesota Wild NHL 58 10 18 28 60
2006–07 Minnesota Wild NHL 57 3 20 23 52 3 0 2 2 0
2007–08 Minnesota Wild NHL 56 7 12 19 37
2008–09 Houston Aeros AHL 6 1 5 6 6 3 0 2 2 0
2008–09 Minnesota Wild NHL 10 1 5 6 6
2009–10 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 71 8 34 42 48
2010–11 Edmonton Oilers NHL 74 8 14 22 45
2011–12 Anaheim Ducks NHL 9 1 1 2 8
2011–12 Syracuse Crunch AHL 2 0 1 1 4
2011–12 New Jersey Devils NHL 28 3 9 12 23
2011–12 Minnesota Wild NHL 14 0 0 0 4
2012–13 Tappara SM-l 13 3 3 6 78
2012–13 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 23 1 4 5 25
NHL totals 405 42 118 160 308 3 0 2 2 0

Awards & AchievementsEdit

  • AHL: Yanick Dupre Memorial Award (AHL Man of the Year) (2003-04)

Personal LifeEdit

Kurtis has a brother named Craig who was drafted 5th overall in the 2000 OHL Draft. He spent 5 years playing in the OHL before playing 4 more in the CIS league with the UPEI Panthers.

Craig resides in Sherwood, PEI and coaches a Midget AAA girls hockey team.

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