Foligno opens up with a new start in Chicago.

Published July 21, 2023 at 5:37
There's something to be said when a veteran NHL player gets to be part of something new and up-and-coming. You can see it in their play, where they have a lighter step in their skates, trying to help build something special and hoping one day they could be part of a playoff run that could lead to a Stanley Cup berth. This could be an expansion team or a rebuilding team.

Nick Foligno, who has had a 16-year career with the NHL, is about to embark on a new chapter in his career having been dealt to the Chicago Blackhawks and signing a one-year deal worth $4 million. Foligno decided to do a recent interview with Sportsnet's "The Fan Morning Show," where he opened up about this new adventure with the Blackhawks and playing with a new player, Connor Bedard.

«When Chicago called and started to go down the road of the possibility of going there, it just really excited me. I think it was what I needed right now in my career. The opportunity to play a little bit higher up I feel healthy, I feel great, and I'm looking forward to that expanded role a little bit even at my age.

«But also just the direction they're headed, you know, to help build something. I kind of did that in Columbus when I first got there with a really great group of guys, and it reminds me of that a little bit. I feel like I have the blueprint. I really like the people that are in the organization, and, obviously, Connor Bedard is a special talent that I'm looking forward to playing with.»

Foligno, the son of legendary Maple Leaf Mike Foligno, has played for five NHL organizations. His career began with the Ottawa Senators when he was drafted in the 2006 entry draft in the first round, 28th overall. He had stopovers in Columbus, Toronto, and most recently, Boston.

«How many times do you really get to work with a generational talent?» Foligno said. «There's only been a few that have come into our league. I think what excites me is him off the ice. Getting to know the person behind the player and how they motivate themselves but also the areas that you can help.

Foligno goes on to explain the differences Bedard will be facing as he adapts to the NHL coming from the WHL. He also said that the whole team will be behind him and protect him as he will now be in the spotlight as a new generational talent for the NHL along with being a potential new face for the league in the future.

«Connor's not going to be able to hide from [the spotlight] in the world we live in now,» Foligno said. «But I think how you are as a room helps you in those moments. If he knows that we all have his back, and if we know that he's loving coming to work every day and the passion is there, then all of that stuff really doesn't matter. He's enjoying just being an NHL hockey player and rolling with the team he's on. That's what I want to bring. I want to try and help a lot of great guys that we have already in that room. We got Corey Perry coming in, Taylor Hall, Seth Jones is there, Connor Murphy. There are a lot of really good players, Stanley Cup champs even, that know how to do that. I'm excited about being another piece of that and helping these young guys in understanding that that's the most important part. How tight you are as a group is going to dictate how successful we are as a team, and I hope to bring that to Chicago.»

As Kyle Davidson continues to change this roster and bring in players and restock his cupboard, the Blackhawks will likely be a contender in no time.
July 21   |   84 answers
Foligno opens up with a new start in Chicago.

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