So much for a civil runup to tonight's Red Wings-Avalanche alumni game.
In an interview on ESPN 104.3 The Fan in Denver, when asked whom he'd most like to punch in the face the Avs' Adam Foote replied without hesitation the Red Wings' Kris Draper.
"Draper for sure," said Foote, when prompted by hosts Mark Schlereth and Mike Evans who suggested the former NHLer would be "putting on the foil" for the alumni showdown at Coors Field (7 p.m. FSD/97.1).
"There's something about him that turns my stomach the wrong way."
Foote shed some insight on the Claude Lemieux hit on Draper, which set the tone for the bad blood in the heated rivalry.
"The first year we won the Cup was in 96, it's all when it it all went down," Foote said. "Lemieux hit Draper from behind. It was kind of an awkward position.
"Lemieux was frustrated simply because of the way the game was going. Detroit knew they were going to lose that series. Bowman was setting the table for the following years, in my opinion. Earlier in that game, I got hit from behind by (Vyacheslav) Kozlov and took 20 stitches."
Foote didn't mince words about the rivalry, suggesting the way the Wings carried on about the hit during the summer fueled the animosity.
"Two great teams made the rivalry," Foote said.
Draper responded on WMGC FM 105.1's "Dery & Sharp" on Friday afternoon.
"Foote doesn't like me; I don't like him." Draper said. "... If this puts a little more intensity into the game, I've got no problem with it all."
The Wing alumnus didn't think there would be any fights, though.
"I think there is going to be a little bit different tone than most alumni games because of the history of both organizations," Draper said. "The bottom line is, listen, we want to win this game, no doubt about it."