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Saturday, May 15, 2021

Nick Foligno commerce grades: Maple Leafs add Blue Jackets captain in three-team deal

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Maple Leafs basic supervisor Kyle Dubas is at all times tinkering together with his roster. Within the offseason, he signed veterans Joe Thornton and Wayne Simmonds. In mid-February, he added Alex Galchenyuk and the reclamation undertaking was skating on the highest line Saturday evening. Two days in the past, Dubas added Riley Nash.

As Dubas instructed TSN’s James Duthie not too long ago: “It is no secret that we’re going to be a workforce that’s going to be trying to purchase gamers on the deadline.” 

Nicely, with lower than 24 hours remaining within the NHL’s 2021 commerce season, Dubas added one other versatile veteran ahead in Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno. The transfer was a part of a three-team commerce with the most recent time period in hockey, a “dealer workforce” utilized to finish the deal due to that pesky factor often called the wage cap.

Right here is how the groups did:

Maple Leafs acquired from Columbus:

Nick Foligno (F)

Blue Jackets acquired from Toronto:

2021 first-round draft decide, 2022 fourth-round draft decide, and the Blue Jackets will retain 50 p.c of Foligno’s contract

Maple Leafs acquired from San Jose:

Stefan Noesen (F)

Sharks acquired from Toronto:

2021 fourth-round decide, and San Jose will retain half of the remaining 50 p.c of Foligno’s contract

Sharks grade: B+

Because the “dealer workforce,” San Jose mainly nabbed a fourth-round decide to assist out the Leafs. In line with CapFriendly, the Sharks had greater than $10.5 million of cap area and can retain $1.375 million of Foligno’s contract. 

Blue Jackets grade: A-

After all, there have been excessive expectations for the Blue Jackets getting into the 2021 season. Sadly, issues did not go as deliberate, even after buying and selling disgruntled middle Pierre-Luc Dubois to the Jets for disgruntled winger Patrik Laine. So with the workforce sitting in seventh place and 7 factors out of a playoff spot within the Central Division, they shortly grew to become sellers.

It’s a must to give GM Jarmo Kekalainen plenty of credit score. After buying and selling away soon-to-be unrestricted free agent David Savard on Saturday, he shipped one other pending UFA in Foligno to the Leafs. He might have seen every participant stroll for nothing — though it is completely attainable Foligno will re-sign with Columbus within the offseason —  however as a substitute he ended up with one thing.

Sending away the guts and soul of the franchise and the workforce’s captain is not a straightforward transfer to make, however Kekalainen has put his membership in a great place for the longer term. With the 2 strikes this weekend, the workforce now has three first-round draft picks and 9 whole in 2021. 

“Nick Foligno has been the whole lot you’d need in a captain, in a consultant of your workforce and ambassador to your neighborhood. His contributions to the Blue Jackets franchise and the influence he and his household have had off the ice is immeasurable,” Kekalainen mentioned in a press launch saying the deal. “We’re grateful for the whole lot he, (spouse) Janelle and their household have completed for and with us over the previous 9 years. Given the place we’re proper now, this transfer made sense for us as a company and for Nick.”

NHL TRADE TRACKER: Checklist of offers accomplished earlier than the deadline

Maple Leafs grade: A-

The North Division leaders are poised for a Stanley Cup run they usually simply added a flexible, rugged ahead who is usually a vocal chief.

“I am a man that performs off my intestine, my coronary heart, and my coronary heart was telling me this was the precise transfer, so I went with it,” mentioned Foligno, who needed to waive his no-movement clause. “That is one thing I wished to do. It simply felt proper so I am trying ahead to that chance.”

Foligno, 33, brings a gritty recreation and may present a powerful forecheck for a workforce that has extra expert forwards than grinders. As he famous, when chatting with reporters, he talked about how harmful the Leafs’ offense may be. Foligno isn’t any slouch, nonetheless; he also can bury the puck as evidenced by his 203 targets (seven this yr) in 950 profession video games with the Blue Jackets and Senators. 

2021 NHL TRADE DEADLINE: Date, time, influence of wage cap and quarantine

The place he’ll match into the lineup, even after Day 1, will not be a given as a result of he can slot in wherever. NHL Community’s Invoice Lindsay places Foligno on the second line with John Tavares and William Nylander. If that’s his touchdown spot, then he ought to slot in properly with the expert duo whereas creating area for them within the offensive zone.

He has thrown 106 hits at 5v5 this season (per Pure Stat Trick); Jake Muzzin leads the Leafs with 65. On the similar time, he additionally brings a powerful defensive recreation; he has blocked 27 photographs at 5v5, which might put him sixth with Toronto. 

The now-former Columbus captain brings a wealth of expertise as a pacesetter, which is one other key for a workforce that in earlier years wanted an additional push — corresponding to when Foligno’s Blue Jackets despatched the Maple Leafs packing from summer time hockey.

MORE: Auston Matthews nets hat trick, extends 2021 Rocket Richard Trophy lead

“There’s plenty of nice leaders in that room already, so I am there to tug on the rope the identical approach as all these guys are,” he mentioned. “I believe that is the best way they belief you and also you are available and simply work away at it. That is my mentality anyway. I simply work as extraordinarily onerous as attainable and try to pull guys alongside and assist any approach that I have to be.

“This is a chance for me, guys. I imply, let’s be sincere, it has been a tricky yr right here in Columbus and I take plenty of that duty, so that is a chance that I get that I am not going to waste.”

The transfer can also be a superb one for Dubas, who will must pay simply 25 p.c of Foligno’s contract.

It’s going to be some time earlier than Foligno and Noesen can be a part of the membership as they will each must quarantine for seven days as soon as they get to Toronto. Noesen, for his half, has cut up time between the Sharks and their AHL affiliate this season and is anticipated to be a depth ahead.

When he does lastly go well with up, Foligno will see just a few acquainted faces in ex-Senators teammate Jason Spezza, ex-Blue Jackets teammate (for 2 days) Nash and USA Hockey teammate Auston Matthews.

He’ll additionally look acquainted to followers as he’ll don No. 71 — which his dad, Mike, additionally wore for the Maple Leafs.



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