Nick Foligno helped keep an important tradition alive for Sean Flynn and his children Tuesday.
The Columbus Blue Jackets captain delivered a stick to Sean's children before their game against the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday, more than 30 years after Nick's father Mike gave a stick to Sean after a Sabres practice in New York.
Declan Flynn, 7, and Maren, 10, set up shop along the boards before the game with a sign that said "Hey Nick, your dad gave my dad his stick in 1987. Can we have yours?" with a picture of them holding the stick. Nick Foligno saw it during warmups and tossed his stick over the glass to Declan, and the moment went viral.
"My kids are starting to get into hockey, and my son is playing now, so we went to the game and said 'let's make a sign' and gave it a shot and see if Nick would see it and try to keep the tradition going a little bit," Sean Flynn told NHL.com. "I thought that was pretty cool that he was able to see it and shoot the stick over the boards. It was pretty awesome."
Flynn grew up playing hockey in the Buffalo area, and Mike Foligno, who was inducted into the Sabres Hall of Fame after spending 10 seasons with them from 1981-90, passed along his stick to him before his practice in Wheatfield, New York.
"I've had it for over 30 years," Flynn said. "I brought the stick out a little while ago, and the kids just kind of came up with 'hey, what if we made a sign and tried to get Nick's.'"
Flynn moved to Columbus in 2005, and they try to attend at least a handful of Blue Jackets games each season, particularly when the Sabres come to town. The family was split on their allegiance, and Declan was wearing his dad's old Mike Foligno Sabres jersey at the game.
"He was wearing the Foligno jersey but in the Sabres gear," Flynn said.
But the Flynns are also huge fans of Nick after his gesture.
"They're Nick Foligno fans for life," Flynn said.