The Columbus Blue Jackets parted ways with their captain today, trading Nick Foligno to the Toronto Maple Leafs. TSN’s Frank Seravalli reported first. Elliotte Friedman reports the Leafs also acquired Stefan Noesen from San Jose as part of this deal, and shipped out a first-round pick and two fourth-round picks.
Hearing the Toronto Maple #Leafs have traded for Nick Foligno.
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) April 11, 2021
TOR trades a first and two 4ths for Nick Foligno and Stefan Noesen. Though SJ
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) April 11, 2021
Nick Foligno Traded
The Blue Jackets have officially thrown in the towel on making the playoffs in 2020-21, shipping out Foligno today. The versatile forward’s point totals have dropped since his high of 2014-15, but he has been an important member of the team since his acquisition from Ottawa for defenceman Marc Methot in 2012. He had been captain since 2015, filling a void left by the departure of Rick Nash three years earlier. He doesn’t have the highest ice time on his teams, but those minutes are full-effort. He can play any forward position and is a regular on both special teams. That should be no different now.
Foligno clearly approved of this deal, as the teams negotiated through his no-move and no-trade clauses. This is a great sign for Toronto as his enthusiasm is really what teams are looking for from Foligno. Don’t get us wrong – he still chips in at a 30-35 point pace, as he has for the past three years. But he’s here, to put it bluntly, to hit people and chew bubblegum. That he can chip in a few goals is just gravy.
What This Means For The Future
Foligno won the King Clancy Memorial Trophy and the Mark Messier Leadership Award in 2016-17, so he provides more than the usual boxcar stats. It’s hard to picture a replacement, exactly, as he is a very unique player. As mentioned, the 33-year old is extremely versatile, though not likely worth his expiring $5.5 million deal. Anyone who looks to sign him beyond this year will have to accept he’s going to miss a few games. But that’s the cost of his physical game, and you suspect teams will be willing to pay it.
Embed from Getty Images