Here’s the fourth feature on the eight potential unrestricted free agents for the Boston Bruins and whether or not they will return to play with the Bruins in the 2023-24 regular season or beyond.
The Boston Bruins could use Nick Foligno’s leadership and grit again next season but will the 35-year-old winger be back in black and gold for another season and maybe one final shot at the Stanley Cup?
The NHL betting odds on that seem low.
‘Uncle Nick’ Foligno had a bounce back season that wound up with him being the PHWA Boston Chapter’s nominee for the 2023 Masterton Trophy. The Bill Masterton Trophy is given to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.
An assortment of injuries limited Nick Foligno to just 64 games in 2021-22 as he had a career-low in goals (2), and assists (11), during his first season with the Boston Bruins. This season though, the 35-year-old, 6-foot, 210-pound winger has bounced back and become a key part of the Bruins on and off the ice. Before suffering a lower-body injury on Feb. 27, Foligno had 10 goals and 17 assists in 68 games this season.
In his finally media availability back on May 2, Foligno said his preference is to re-up with the Boston Bruins and hopefully help the Bruins redeem themselves for their disappointing seven-game first round series loss to the now Eastern Conference Champions, Florida Panthers.
“I can’t think any other way, you know, and I’m so committed to this group that I can’t say in the past that, this is all of us right now, and I would love to stay, and I still feel like I’m a part of this team, a big part of this team and can help this team, so, it’s a hard one to answer because there’s so much unknown going into this offseason but I hope to be standing here again in the fall,” Foligno told reporters.
Foligno and Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney did have a good exit meeting.
“Yeah, I think there’s a mutual respect for I what I bring and what I can bring to this group, and I think he — we’ve talked about that, it’s obviously just going to be shaken out as the year goes on, but just to at least know that there’s mutual interest is a good feeling,” Foligno said.
However, if the feeling isn’t mutual and the Boston Bruins move on from Foligno, the veteran winger stressed that he still intends to play another season in the NHL.
“Absolutely, yeah, definitely, I still feel like I have lots to give and especially with the motivation of this year going into the summer, it can only burn the fire inside me even more,” Foligno replied when asked if he’d considering playing for another NHL team next season.
The read here and the NHL betting man here says that Foligno won’t be back. The Boston Bruins are looking to get younger in their bottom six and Foligno would be more of a back-burner player they circle back on if he’s still available. He likely won’t be as plenty of teams can use his grit and leadership.