Tip-o-the-sunglasses all around, folks.
The feedback from our 2010-11 Best Sabres GIFs post was outstanding, and we applaud you all for having the patience for continuing to read our output as the offseason snark has gone into Afinogenov-esque crazy speed.
From the "Where are they now" file... St. Petersburg!
Maybe next time we’ll make the contest a little bit easier for you.
With no one able to figure out which Buffalo Sabres
player victim was pictured below, the prize for “future considerations” will be put back on the shelf for the next offseason contest.
I really thought that calf gave it away. Oh well.
As promised, we’ll be reveling the name inside the Philly sandwich today (especially since I may have allowed myself to sample that six pack of Labatt in my fridge last night – hey, it was hot in my house). With the reveal, we’ll give you a little history, too.
It was inevitable.
With the New York Rangers and Toronto Maple Leafs often mentioned as the main suitors for Brad Richards in news reports, and failing to land his rights (so far), it was only a matter of time before a sports writer out there remembered that the Sabres are now owned by Terry Pegula.
Kevin Allen, of USA Today, just made the Pegula connection.
Richards, 31, could be the hottest free agent in the market, and there seems to be considerable interest in the Eastern Conference. The New York Rangers and Toronto Maple Leafs both need a center. Richards liked playing in Tampa before the Lightning dealt him to Dallas and he excelled under Rangers coach John Tortorella when both were on the Lightning. The Buffalo Sabres could try to make a signifcant offseason splash under new owner Terry Pegula, and they could use a top center if Tim Connolly is not going to be re-signed.
Just what are we in store for with Marcus Foligno?
According to the Sudbury News, we’re in for a real treat, on and off the ice. The Suds News pitched an article/thank you letter that compared him to his father, Mike (who played hard-nosed hockey for the Sabres from 1982-1991) and to his brother, Nick, who currently suits up for the Ottawa Senators.
Fear the Foligno
From the Sudbury News, who covered Marcus’ career in the OHL:
It was generally thought the Wolves would have a new captain for the 2011-2012 season, but deep down, many fans were hoping Marcus Foligno would be back for one more year in Sudbury.
Those hopes were pretty well put to an end last week when Marcus signed a three-year entry level contract with the Buffalo Sabres.
That has many looking back and discussing Foligno’s legacy in the Nickel City.
His career in a Wolves uniform was not that much different from his dad, Mike, and brother, Nick. Mike was an offensive player from the start, Nick grew into a point-a-game player, while Marcus developed into the role of a power forward that we all saw in the youngest Foligno even before he played his first game in the OHL.
Leadership qualities were also evident. Both Mike and Marcus wore the captain’s “C” while Nick wore an “A” and probably would have had the “C” at some point if not for a player named Marc Staal.
What really set Marcus apart from most players was his determination. That was most evident this past season. He returned from the Sabres training camp last September with the goal of earning a spot on the World Junior team.
I admit to being a little shocked when it came up in my first interview with him when he returned to the team. I even remember asking myself if he was talking about Canada or the United States. After all he was born in Buffalo and had never really been on the Team Canada radar. But it soon became apparent that he was destined to wear the maple leaf on his chest, which he did with pride and with the support of not only Sudbury, but all of Canada.
The traits that made Marcus Foligno the great player we saw on the ice every night were also there off the ice. In fact, one of his biggest legacies as a member of the Sudbury Wolves just may be what he meant to this community. He never hesitated to get out of the rink and volunteer his time to a wide variety of causes and organizations. Whether it was visits to the hospital, food drives or just getting out to meet fans, Foligno took his community involvement role just as serious as his role as a hockey player. Having seen him on several occasions visit the Children’s Treatment Centre, it was obvious he has a soft spot for kids, and his work to help raise money for the diagnostic equipment fund will never be forgotten.
It hasn’t been an easy couple of years for Marcus. He had to deal with the elation of being drafted into the NHL followed just a few short weeks later by the death of his mother. That would be tough for anyone to handle, but almost unthinkable for a teenager. Luckily for Foligno, he has an amazing family to lean on, and it’s that family that has made him the person he is today.
In the end, when you think about Marcus Foligno, his legacy could simply be his last name and what it means to Sudbury now and for many years to come.
There is no question Marcus has done the Foligno name proud.
Stew Kernan is the radio and television voice of the Sudbury Wolves, and the news director at EZ Rock and Q92. This column appears every other week in Northern Life.
That is a word we normally associate with a player who has been around, for, well, his entire adult life. In this case, we have ourselves a player who has been making a mark for two generations.
Thank you, to the Foligno family.
Thank you, Sudbury.
And now, bring is on, Marcus.
The search for a #1 center continues.
As the Brad Richards saga drags on, teams are beginning to set their sights on other options. One pivot, Paul Stastny, has been the subject of trade rumors since February. He’d come roughly $1 million cheaper than Richards: Stastny has a cap hit of $6.6 million per season, (under contract until 2014). Playing on a team heavy at center (and with prospect Joey Hishon making a charge towards the NHL ranks), it is actually plausible that Stastny could be had, for the right price.
A trade for Stastny could involve an avalanche of prospects and picks moving back to Colorado.