Really, you can’t blame Nick Foligno for any of what happened at the end of the Toronto Maple Leafs 2020-21 regular-season and playoff round. However, it’s hard for a Maple Leafs’ fan to forgive any player who freely signs with the Boston Bruins. That’s beyond despicable.
All that said, in speaking about his brief pit stop with the Maple Leafs, Foligno says that he was proud of his time in Toronto. However, he’s ready to turn the page. Now he’s signed with the dreaded Boston Bruins. That can’t be good.
Related: So, Just How Many Goalies Can the Maple Leafs Play in Net at One Time?
An Example of a Good Idea Gone Sour
If Maple Leafs’ fans want an example of a trade that completely failed, they have to look no further back than to the unfortunate loss of a first-round draft choice for the veteran Foligno. Foligno came to the team at the trade deadline; in fact, he was the Maple Leafs’ big addition.
That acquisition cost the team a first-round pick and got them four late season assists. In short, it was lots of expectation without much delivery. Still, it seemed like a good idea at the time.
Although the trade seemed stacked in the Blue Jackets’ favor because the Maple Leafs gave up so much for Foligno as a rental, the 33-year-old brought experience, versatility to play any forward position on any line, a clear ability and focus to play at the defensive end of the ice, and most of all the kind of additional grit the team hadn’t shown during its recent playoff losses.
As Maple Leafs’ fans know, it didn’t end well for anyone – except the opposing Montreal Canadiens. Foligno started strong, then he suffered a back injury that eventually forced him out of the lineup.
Foligno Speaks about His Back Injury and Disappointment He Couldn’t Help the Team
During the video of his interview with Sportsnet below, he talks about his short time in Toronto with the Maple Leafs. He also talks about the back injury that eventually made it impossible for him to play.
Foligno’s Biggest Disappointment Is “We Didn’t Get It Done.”
During this interview that first aired on Good Show on Thursday, Foligno shared that his “biggest disappointment is we didn’t get the job done and I unfortunately got hurt.”
Anticipating what Maple Leafs’ fans were thinking quite correctly, Foligno admitted, “Regardless of what Leafs fans think of me, I’m way harder on myself, so the fact I couldn’t perform to the abilities that I felt I was early on killed me inside and it’s something I will regret forever probably that I couldn’t come there and be the player I expected to be.”
Still, he noted that “I loved every minute of my time in Toronto and I think that’s the bittersweet part.”
Foligno Shares Information About His Back Injury
Foligno discussed that he “was just dealing with a really bad back injury that was debilitating.”
He then became more explicit, “There was nerve pain. Shut down my whole right leg. It was really disappointing that happened at the time it happened. Anything else you can play through a lot of times. This I couldn’t. I tried and I just couldn’t be the player — I like to hit and fore-check and do the things necessary in order to win the hard minutes of the game. So, when that kind of got taken away now I had to rely more on my positional play and trying not to hurt the team, instead of trying to help the team it felt like. That bothered me a lot as a player just because I knew I could give more, I just physically couldn’t.”
Foligno Focused on His Time with the Team
In the end, Foligno reported that he has “nothing but great things to say about that time (with the team). That’s why it stung so much. I’m sure the fanbase feels it just like we do. That’s a group that really felt like they were ready — we were ready — to take another step. We didn’t get it done and that’s on us and now they’re looking to make amends on that. It’s a really good group of guys and a team I feel privileged to have played with.”
Foligno Finished the Interview by Crushing Maple Leafs’ Fans
In ending the interview, Foligno noted that “I really do feel like I gave those guys everything I had and you know I think they feel the same way.”
Then, from a Maple Leafs’ fans’ perspectives, he ruined everything by saying that “I am really thrilled at the opportunity Boston’s given me to now join a team that I have a lot of respect for.”
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