Mike Foligno chimes in on Vegas expansion draft
by Randy Pascal
The recent NHL Expansion Draft that was conducted to fill the inaugural roster of the Vegas Golden Knights was certainly of interest to a
large number of Sudburians, though perhaps none moreso than the city's "First Family of Hockey".
Given his role as a professional scout with the first new entry to the league since the 2000-2001 campaign, Mike Foligno was in the hub of
discussions in Vegas, as the team began taking shape last week.
"We've put a lot of miles on the vehicles to try and get to the games and give a good assessment of all of the players," said Foligno, in Sudbury recently
to support the Cross Fit Battle Beyond the Barbell, a fundraising effort towards the Janis Foligno Foundation.
"We had a mock draft pretty much every month since the start of the regular season. George McPhee and Kelly McCrimmon have done a tremendous
job, with Murray Craven at the helm. It's a great group."
The role was the latest that Foligno has undertaken since the former Sudbury Wolves' captain served as head coach of his former team from 2003
through until 2010. "I've always enjoyed coaching, I never lose my love for that part of the job," he said.
"This has been a different part of the job. It's been a long time since the last expansion, so this was kind of all new to us this year. It's not a
normal scouting season, where you're just scouting certain players to make a trade. You're scouting basically for a whole hockey team. It's really different
in that regard."
A key bonus and attraction to his current gig came by virtue of the territory that he covered, an area that included the Toronto Maple Leafs, Buffalo
Sabres, Ottawa Senators and Columbus Blue Jackets and their respective farm teams.
"I was pretty fortunate this year that Buffalo and Columbus were within the mix of my teams to watch," stated Foligno, alluding to the teams for which
sons Marcus and Nick currently play.
"I had a chance to see the family, which is always nice. You never want to take on a job where you never get to see the family. As much as this is a
great business, family is first."
With the expansion draft now behind them, Foligno and the Knights will focus on the upcoming UFA period, beyond which he is hoping to spend at least
some of the summer of 2017 back home in Sudbury.