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Mike Foligno Watching Playoffs As Scout, Hockey Dad

The Golden Knights' scout's son, Nick Foligno, is the captain of the Columbus Blue Jackets

by Dan Marrazza @GoldenKnights /

With every goal and every save, the Stanley Cup Playoffs are an emotional time.

This isn't only for the players and team management. As the stakes of games go up, so often do the blood pressures of fans as well.

Vegas Golden Knights pro scout Mike Foligno falls under both of these categories this spring.

In addition to watching the playoffs through the lens of a Golden Knights scout, Foligno is also carefully watching the progress of the Columbus Blue Jackets, of whom his son, Nick, is team captain.

In hockey circles, however, it's already common knowledge that Golden Knights scout Mike Foligno - he of 355 career NHL goals between 1979 and 1994 - has two sons playing in the NHL - Nick with the Blue Jackets and Marcus with the Buffalo Sabres.


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Not discussed as often is how it works for their father when balancing his duties as an NHL executive and hockey dad whose sons play on different teams.

With Nick Foligno's Blue Jackets currently locked in a First Round series with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Mike Foligno spoke about how it works when he watches his son skate in playoff games.

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"It's a little bit of a roller coaster, emotional experience," Foligno said. "You've got a job to do, and you've got one eye on what they're doing and their accomplishments and how their games are going. And you've got your focus and mindset also on the game that you're watching that night, especially in the position I'm in now as a scout.

"But for example, I was in Rochester watching a game (on Wednesday). And I know they're (Blue Jackets) playing. So when you get a chance, between periods, you've kind of get on the phone and check out the internet and the NHL website to see what the scores are, just to catch up."

Foligno added that in most cases, he is unable to watch his son's games live, although he'll catch many of them in person on scouting duties.

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But even with Foligno based in Buffalo and both of his sons' teams falling within his scouting territory, his schedule of attending upwards of five or six hockey games per week most often doesn't line up with his sons' schedules.

If he's scouting a game while his sons are playing, Foligno admitted he tries to keep his cool and maintain his professionalism in the public eye.

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But in situations like this Sunday, when Foligno gets a day off from scouting duties for Easter and the Blue Jackets and Penguins meet in Game 3 of their series, he said all bets are off.

When Foligno was asked if he will yell at the TV, get animated and become a bit of a crazy hockey dad on nights the Blue Jackets play this spring and he is off from work, he relented.

"All of the above," Foligno said, with a laugh. "It's a little bit of everything.

"I love to watch and obviously I've played the game and been involved for a long time and a big fan as well. But when your own kids are playing, you're a special fan. I like to watch either during the game as it originates, and sometimes I'll watch a taped game and catch up that way as well. I like to stay abreast of everything."

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