Nick Foligno Reveals How Patrice Bergeron Factored Into Free Agency Decision

'I wanted to be a part of that'

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Since Nick Foligno signed with the Boston Bruins as a free agent this summer, he hasn’t shied away from expressing his excitement to be with the team. But in an interview he did for the team’s official website, Foligno revealed exactly what about the organization interested him at this stage in his career — its captain, and the style of leadership he has fostered.

“I’m really just looking forward to learning from the leadership group here and that was a big reason why I wanted to come play here,” he told Bruins team reporter Eric Russo. “Patrice (Bergeron) convinced me, amongst other guys, and you could just see the way they go about their business here.

“You’re always getting the same brand of hockey every time you play them. I wanted to be a part of that, I was excited to join a team like that and I think it has a lot to do with their leadership and it trickles on down?I’m just really excited to be a part of that and hopefully help complement that and grow this to another championship.”

For all of the credit Foligno gives Boston’s captain, it clearly is due. Bergeron explained his leadership philosophy, and you’ve got to imagine that if he used it to try to recruit you to join his team, it’s an easy sell.

“I want to make sure he’s able to tell us what he thinks, things that he thinks can be better, new ideas that can be helpful,” Bergeron said. “I want to hear about that; we want to hear about that as a leadership group. I think that’s how you get better.”

Foligno finished the 2021 season as a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs, where he was traded by the Columbus Blue Jackets at last season’s trade deadline. Previously, he spent nine years with the Blue Jackets and five with the Ottawa Senators, but he’s also had a special connection to Boston — when he signed, he shared that his daughter Milana had life-saving surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital in 2018.

He likely will play on Boston’s third line this season.

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