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Maple Leafs’ Foligno Taught Dubois, But They’re Not Friends (On the Ice)

When Pierre-Luc Dubois was a rookie with the Blue Jackets, Nick Foligno mentored him. Now they’re opponents. How did that work?

During an interview after the Toronto Maple Leafs beat his Winnipeg Jets’ team, Jets’ forward Pierre-Luc Dubois said it really felt “weird” to see his former mentor Nick Foligno in a blue and white Maple Leafs’ uniform. And, although Foligno worked with the youngster during his first Columbus Blue Jackets’ camp and he was Dubois captain and teammate for parts of four seasons in Columbus, when the game starts and they’re on opposite sides, there just players on the other team.

Related: Zach Bogosian Out Long-Term for Maple Leafs

Foligno Treated Dubois Well When He Was a Young Prospect with the Blue Jackets

When you listen to the young Jets’ forward talk about how Foligno treated him when he was a prospect in his first seasons with the Blue Jackets, it’s easy to hear the respect he has for his former teacher. But, they’re both competitors; and, when they’re facing each other during an NHL game, that friendship is (temporarily) forgotten.

Pierre-Luc Dubois hat trick versus Maple Leafs
Pierre-Luc Dubois scored a hat trick versus the Maple Leafs

Last night’s game – which the Maple Leafs won by a score of 5-3 – was the first time the two players had faced each other when they’ve been on different teams. During the interview video below, Dubois tells a bit about what it was like seeing his former captain Foligno in a Maple Leafs’ uniform.

Last Night – as Close as They Were – Dubois and Foligno Were Opponents on the Ice

Dubois is certainly thankful for all that Foligno did for him during his career in Columbus, but he’s now just another opponent when they face each other on the ice.

What Did Dubois Have to Say About Foligno?

Dubois recalled that, when he was in his first training camp with the Blue Jackets “I didn’t make the team and he was great for me.”

Dubois went on the say that during his “first years there (with the Blue Jackets), he was teaching me stuff both on the ice and off the ice.” That stuff included “how to behave like a pro and how to act like a pro.”

Foligno Maple Leafs Bettman NHL
Some NHL teams complained about the trade that sent Nick Foligno to the Maple Leafs

However, as Dubois explained it: “Last night (when the played each other) on the ice you don’t really have friends;” in fact, Foligno “just becomes another player on the other team.” Dubois explained that “whether it was him (Foligno) or anybody else, I would’ve done the same thing.”

Related: Maple Leafs’ Big Advantage? Jets Can’t Shut Down Matthews’ Top-Line

Dubois’ Final Thought?

Dubois final thought was one of respect when he noted that Foligno “plays hard; he competes; and,  it’s part of his game – being physical and stuff like that.”



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