Top 5+1 One-and-Done Lightning: #4 Kurtis Foster
An offensive defenseman, he knew how to feed Stamkos for one-timers.
One of our sister sites, Habs Eyes on the Prize, recently did a series of the top five one-and-done Canadiens players since 2000. Since it seemed like a fun idea, we decided to do the same over here at RawCharge. Except we’ll go all the way back to the start of the franchise. A little easier for us to do that than the Habs with their long and storied history. Special thanks to Andrew Zadarnowski of HEOTP for having the idea and allowing us to run with it. (Last year’s series about players who played for only one day is here.)
#4: Kurtis Foster, 2009-10
The Tampa Bay Lightning brought Kurtis Foster in to bolster the blue line, and because they needed offensive defensemen. Victor Hedman was in his rookie season. Mattias Ohlund was also brought in to provide veteran leadership and mentor Hedman. Mike Lundin was a steady, but unspectacular, defender. Andrej Meszaros was another steady defender on the blue line. But there just wasn’t any offense to be found in the group the Lightning had. That’s where Foster came in.
Prior to joining the Lightning, Foster’s career high in assists was 20 with the Minnesota Wild in 2006-07, and his career high in points was 28 with the Wild in 2005-06. He broke through both of those career highs with 34 assists and 42 points for the Lightning.
As a right-hander, Foster was able to set up at the point on the first power play unit. Over a ten NHL season career, Foster put up 75 power play assists. 23 of those assists came in 2009-10 with the Lightning. By far, he put up his best offensive numbers of his career with the Lightning. Stamkos also led the league in 2009-10 with 24 power play goals and tied for the Rocket Richard with 51 goals. Foster assisted on 14 of Stamkos’s goals for the season with eight being primary assists on the power play.
After the 2009-10 season, Foster left as an unrestricted free agent, signing a two-year deal with the Edmonton Oilers. Without the benefit of the power play from Tampa, Foster’s point production fell back towards his career norms with just 22 points. He was traded by Edmonton to the Anaheim Ducks the following summer. He only played nine games for Anaheim before being traded to the Minnesota Wild.
With the Wild, he played 14 games and did not record a point. Near the trade deadline, he was sent to the New Jersey Devils as a part of a package for Marek Zidlicky. He saw more success with the Devils than with the Ducks or the Wild — he played in 28 games and put up 12 points.
For the 2012-13 season, Foster went unsigned when the NHL fell into a lockout of its players. Foster went to Finland and played 13 games with Tappara in Liiga, scoring six points. With the lockout ending, the Philadelphia Flyers signed Foster in January of 2013. He played in 28 games over the shortened NHL season and registered five points.
With little in the way of NHL prospects, Foster returned to Europe to finish out his career. Over his final three seasons playing, he played for Medvescak Zagreb and HC Slovan Bratislava of the KHL, and with Adler Mannheim and the Nurnberg Ice Tigers of the German DEL. Foster retired following the 2015-16 season.
Following retirement, Foster went into coaching landing a job in 2016-17 as an assistant coach with the Peterborough Petes of the OHL. For this coming season, he’ll be an assistant coach for the Kingston Frontenacs in the OHL.