Kurtis Foster: Tampa Bay Lightning made offer, but money, situation better with Oilers
Kurtis Foster said, seriously, it seemed, that he'd like a Tampa Bay Lightning jersey as a keepsake. That is how much he believes his season in Tampa helped relaunch his career. He also said he wanted to stay with the Lightning, but the contract offered and the playing time GM Steve Yzerman told him he would get did not measure up to what he got from the Oilers, who gave him a two-year, $3.6 million deal.
"I was willing to give a (hometown) discount, but at the end of the day you need to do what's good for you as a person and a hockey player," Foster said Friday. "And it wasn't even the money as much as the situation (the Lightning) had me penciled in for. It really didn't fit with my liking. And going to Edmonton, the situation they put forth was a better situation to grow as a player."
Foster declined to go into detail about what the Lightning offered, other than to say the Oilers offered $1 million more in total. Of the situation he will find in Alberta, he said, "Edmonton told me if I come in and play the way I can, it's a top-four spot and playing on the power play is there for me to take. So, it's a better situation than was put on the table in Tampa. It's too bad because I really wanted to come back."
Still, Foster said he will look back fondly on his time with the Lightning as the team gave him a chance to revive his career with a one-year, $600,000 deal after he played just 10 games in 2008-09 because of a broken leg sustained the previous season. Foster had eight goals and a career-best 42 points. He had three goals and 26 points as the point man on the power play, feeding Steven Stamkos for one-timers.
"We should get a jersey from this year to always have and keep," Foster said. "(Then-GM) Brian Lawton took a flier on me, and I thought I was able to show the league and other teams that I could play."