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Mike Foligno Remembers His Most Famous "Leap" 24 Years Later

The Golden Knights scout had a surprising take on what he considers the most famous performance of his trademark celebration

by Dan Marrazza @GoldenKnights /

Legs pumping, arms flailing and just an overall outpouring of emotion.

Just complete chaos in motion, blanketed beneath a triumphant ear-wide grin, would be the best way to describe how Golden Knights scout Mike Foligno celebrated goals during his playing days.

The "Foligno Leap," his trademark celebration was called.

 Watch: Youtube Video


Foligno celebrated 355 career goals in the regular season and 15 more times in the playoffs throughout his 1,000-game, 15-year NHL career.

Of all of Foligno's fist bumps and high jumps, however, none is remembered more than the goal he scored as a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs in overtime of Game 5 of the 1993 Norris Division Semifinal against the Detroit Red Wings.

That is, unless you're Mike Foligno.

While the celebration following the overtime goal Foligno scored 24 years ago this week to help ignite an improbable Maple Leafs run to the Campbell Conference Finals is the "Foligno Leap" that many fans remember most, the man himself remembers another occasion even more fondly.

In fact, as discussed perhaps the most famous leap of "his" career during the week of its anniversary, Foligno said that he wasn't even involved in his most memorable "Foligno Leap."

Foligno, now 58, instead cited an evening he shared with his late wife, Janis, 10 years ago this October when their son, Nick, scored his first career NHL goal as a member of the Ottawa Senators…and then leaped in tribute to his father.

Nick is now the captain of the Columbus Blue Jackets, while another of Mike's sons, Marcus, skates for the Buffalo Sabres.

"You talk about memories," Foligno said. "It was actually Nick's first (career) goal and I was on the road.

"So Nick scores his first NHL goal. My late wife called me on the phone and she said 'your son just scored,' and I was on the road.

"She said 'I taped it for you.'

"I said 'well don't tell me how it happens. I want to see it.'

"I got home a few hours later, it was probably 2:00 in the morning. She put the recorder in and started playing the game.

"I didn't realize after he scored that he did a little jump, and that was to honor the jump I did after I scored goals. All I could think about was how humble that was (laughs).


Watch: Youtube Video


"Here Nick is, in the most important time of his life and he was able to do a jump as an homage to me. What an incredible, emotional feeling it was for me.

"These exciting moments happen. You just have to appreciate every little thing that happens in this game."

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