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Lightning defenseman to make NHL debut in season opener

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Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Cal Foote (52) before an NHL preseason hockey game against the Carolina Hurricanes Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – If you did not know he is only 22 years old without any NHL games to his name, you may have never guessed it.

Cal Foote certainly acts like he is a veteran player.

“Every camp you have to come in with the attitude that you are going to make the team,” stated Foote.

Foote is expecting to skate alongside Ryan McDonagh when he makes his NHL debut with the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday night.

He appeared to be cool, calm, and collected when he was asked about it on Tuesday afternoon.

“It has been a great couple of days,” said the young defenseman. “Finding out that I will be playing the first game is really exciting. It is something I have dreamed of my whole life.”

Yes, Foote has been preparing for this moment for as long as he can remember.

“It is a great accomplishment,” said McDonagh. “You tell him to go have fun, most importantly, and enjoy the moment.”

Unfortunately, that moment will be silent without fans inside Amalie Arena but Foote knows he will still treasure it.

“It is definitely not something you dreamed of for your first NHL game,” he admitted. “It is too bad my family cannot be here but I know they will be watching and I know they will be cheering me on.”

Foote spent the past two seasons in the AHL with the Syracuse Crunch.

The Tampa Bay Lightning drafted him as the 14th overall pick in 2017.

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