Nick Foligno was among the NHL veterans that were acquired by the Chicago Blackhawks this offseason, along with fellow former Boston Bruins teammate Taylor Hall and Corey Perry.
It brings to a close his time with the Bruins, which began in 2021 after a brief tenure with the Toronto Maple Leafs. And thought his first year in Boston was nothing to write home about, he rebounded nicely last season with 26 points in 60 games played, the most he'd had in three years.
However, he was not in the lineup for the Bruins in what would be the deciding Game 7 in their shocking Round 1 postseason loss to the Florida Panthers, and it's clear that he wasn't thrilled with head coach Jim Montgomery's decision.
“That’s something you don’t prepare yourself for, or even think is gonna happen,” Foligno said. “I mean, that’s something ‘Monty’ (Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery) and I discussed — and I’ll keep that private — but it didn’t sit well with me. I think he knows that. It never will. When you’re a competitor, this is the time of year you play for. That one didn’t really sit well and never will.”
Foligno had played in the previous six games of the series, scoring a goal along with two assists.
“That was hard, especially to see your team go out there and play, and you’re dying to be a part of it. It’s just one of those games — it’s do or die — so those are the ones you dream about and expect to be on the ice for. It’s unfortunate it happened, but that’s something that I’ve come to peace with it, at least in talking to Monty about it. We’ve moved on, but it’s something that I hope to never have happen again.”
Foligno, like just about everyone else, is still stunned over how their 65-victory year came to an end against Florida, who would eventually advance all the way to the Stanley Cup Final.
“At the end of the day, we didn’t get the job done,” said Foligno. “It’s gut-wrenching because we had probably the best team I’ll ever play on — or maybe ever. I give Sweens (GM Don Sweeney) a ton of credit. We had one of the best teams I think you’re gonna see in a long time, the way it was assembled. The depth and the overall look of our group, we just had no weaknesses, and it’s mind-blowing that we didn’t get it done.”