NHL

Maple Leafs land Foligno in three-team trade

By Sports Desk April 12, 2021

Nick Foligno reflected on a "pretty amazing day" after joining the Toronto Maple Leafs in a three-team trade.

The Maple Leafs landed Columbus Blue Jackets captain Foligno, who can become an unrestricted free agent after this season, on Sunday.

Columbus receive a first-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft and a fourth-round pick in the 2020 Draft as part of the deal.

The San Jose Sharks gain a fourth-round pick in 2021 from the Maple Leafs for forward Stefan Noesen.

Foligno, 33, has been the Blue Jackets' skipper for almost six years but is looking forward to a new challenge.

He said: "It was an emotional couple of days. I have the utmost respect for [Columbus general manager] Jarmo [Kekalainen] and how he brought this to my attention, talking about how if there was something that made sense for the team that he would try to keep me in the loop, and that meant a lot to me.

"Ultimately, it's always what's best for the team, but he was able to fill me in on some things and see where I was headed, and it just fell into place where it worked out to come to Toronto.

"It's been a pretty amazing day once you've made the decision, but a hard day obviously with all the emotion attached to Columbus. Now that it has sunk in and how excited I am to join this team and help in any way I can, it really gets me going."

Foligno has scored 16 points in 42 games this season. He has played a mammoth 950 regular-season games for the Blue Jackets and Ottawa Senators, tallying 482 points - with 203 goals and 279 assists.

Related items

  • Predators' Prokop becomes NHL's first active player to come out as gay Predators' Prokop becomes NHL's first active player to come out as gay

    Nashville Predators' defenseman Luke Prokop has announced he is gay, making him the first contracted NHL player to come out publicly.

    Prokop, 19, is yet to make his debut in the NHL but marked a historic day on Monday as he made his announcement on Instagram.

    "It has been quite the journey to get to this point in my life, but I could not be happier with my decision to come out," Prokop wrote in his post.

    "From a young age I have dreamed of being an NHL player, and I believe that living my authentic life will allow me to bring my whole self to the rink and improve my chances of fulfilling my dreams."

    Originally from Edmonton, Alberta, Prokop was selected as a third-round draft pick by the Predators in the 2020 NHL Draft.

    He signed a three-year deal after previously impressing for Calgary Hitmen in the Western Hockey League.

    Prokop's decision to come out follows that of Las Vegas Raiders defensive lineman Carl Nassib, who became the first openly gay active NFL player last month.

    "It's been very special, talking to my friends, my family, my coaches, my agents," Prokop told The Athletic. "And them being very supportive, me coming out and being OK with who I was. ... I've noticed myself being a lot more confident on the ice.

    "Being able to truly be who I am. This is the best I've ever felt in the summer and I think a large part of that is due to this process of me coming out."

    Having made his decision in April during the COVID-19 enforced season break, Prokop told three of his Hitmen team-mates and hopes he can inspire others to feel comfortable coming out.

    "They've [Prokop's team-mates] been really great," he added. "The part of me coming out is that I'm just one of the guys.

    "Who I love and who I go home with that night, that's private and it shouldn't matter anymore. I'm just there to play hockey, I'm there to win a championship.

    "If I can inspire or help make a difference to one person, then I've done my job in wanting to create change and to create an environment where it's healthy for players to come out now."

    Gary Bettman, the NHL commissioner, said in a statement on Monday that the league would support Prokop and praised him for "sharing his truth and for being so brave".

    "We pledge to do everything possible to ensure that Luke's experience is a welcoming and affirmative one and continue to work to ensure that any current or future NHL player contemplating following in his trailblazing footsteps knows our League is ready to provide full support."

  • Stanley Cup: Champions Lightning were inspired by looming break-up to go back-to-back Stanley Cup: Champions Lightning were inspired by looming break-up to go back-to-back

    Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper says his side were motivated to win before the group likely breaks up this offseason after lifting the Stanley Cup on Wednesday.

    The Lightning won 1-0 over the Montreal Canadiens at Tampa's Amalie Arena to clinch a 4-1 Stanley Cup Finals triumph, lifting the trophy for the third time in franchise history.

    Ross Colton, who along with David Savard has been linked with an offseason move away from Tampa, scored the only goal of the game in the second period to seal the back-to-back Stanley Cup triumphs.

    "We didn’t talk about it publicly, the team knows they are probably not going to be together next year," Cooper said post-game.

    "It was led by Ryan McDonagh, [Patrick] Maroon and [David] Savard, that was the conservation, 'don’t let this end, it's too special a group'.

    "They weren’t going to go out without raising the trophy."

    The Lightning's domination in recent years has seen them not lose consecutive playoff games since the first round of the 2019 series.

    Cooper added: "It's a culmination of your whole life's work. Character that can trump skill. This group has it, gamers all over the place. The players did it. I just sat their chewing gum."

    Maroon earned special praise, as he celebrated lifting his third consecutive Stanley Cup, after the left-winger triumphed with the St Louis Blues in 2018-19.

    "This was one special," Maroon said. "It's hard to win. [I'm] Blessed to be a part of good teams.

    "It's hard to go back-to-back. To be a part of a group that's so special, it's really good.

    "You can put me in some good company. I'm truly blessed."

  • Stanley Cup: Canadiens have 'no intention of stopping now' after avoiding sweep Stanley Cup: Canadiens have 'no intention of stopping now' after avoiding sweep

    The Montreal Canadiens are still believing after Josh Anderson's overtime goal helped them stave off a rare Stanley Cup Final series sweep with a 3-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday.

    The Canadiens killed off a four-minute penalty to captain Shea Weber in overtime before Anderson's goal forced a Game 5 in Tampa, with the series at 3-1 in favour of the reigning NHL champions.

    Montreal would have become the first side to suffer a clean sweep defeat in the Final series since 1998, when the Detroit Red Wings won 4-0 over the Washington Capitals.

    Instead, the Canadiens are the first team to score in overtime to avoid a sweep in the Stanley Cup Final since the Bruins did it in 1946 against the Canadiens.

    "We didn't want to end it tonight in front of our fans," Anderson said at the post-game news conference. "We expected to go to Tampa.

    "I think everybody in that locker room packed their bags this afternoon. We just had that feeling that we were going to win tonight and give ourselves a chance to go there, take care of business, and come home in front of our fans. We're in a good position now."

    If Montreal can win Game 5 in Tampa, they will have home rink advantage for Game 6 at the Bell Centre. Montreal are 4-0 when facing elimination this postseason.

    Anderson said the Canadiens' grit to hang on during Weber's four-minute penalty showed they could overcome adversity.

    "Our penalty kill has been outstanding all playoffs, so we came back to the room and we just believed in each other," Anderson said.

    "We weren't down. It was all positive things in the room. We just had to execute. I thought we did a phenomenal job.

    "Carey [Price] was a wall tonight. He gave us that chance to finish it in overtime. Everyone stuck together and did their jobs."

    Interim Canadiens head coach Dominique Ducharme added: "We're proud of what we accomplished tonight, but we don't want to just avoid seeing the Lightning players holding the Stanley Cup.

    "We have no intention of stopping now. We want to go to Tampa and come back to play another game here."

    Game 5 is at Tampa's Amalie Arena on Wednesday.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.