Wolf Pack Salute Nick Fotiu at Saturday Night's Game
/ New York Rangers
The Hartford Wolf Pack will honor their Assistant Coach, Nick Fotiu, at their home game tomorrow night, Saturday, March 22nd, when they host the Saint John Flames. Faceoff is 7:05.
Fotiu is one of the most-beloved figures in Hartford hockey history. The Staten Island, N.Y. native broke into the World Hockey Association with the New England Whalers in 1974-75, played 110 total WHA games with the Whalers, and returned to Hartford in 1979, joining the NHL Whalers for a season-and-a-half. Fotiu's physical style and unfailing work ethic endeared him to Connecticut hockey rooters, and his tenure in Hartford included helping to open the Hartford Civic Center twice. Fotiu was in the lineup for the first-ever game at the Civic Center, January 11, 1975, and was also a Whaler when the building was reopened February 6, 1980.
In addition to his strong connection with Hartford hockey, Fotiu also ranks among the legendary figures in the history of the New York Ranger organization. The first-ever New York City native to suit up for the Rangers, and an individual who had been a Ranger fan in his younger years, Fotiu played seven full seasons, and part of an eighth, in a Ranger uniform, totaling 455 games. As in Hartford, Fotiu enjoyed a close relationship with Ranger partisans at Madison Square Garden, often spending time after pregame warmups lofting pucks into the stands for fans to take home as souvenirs.
The first 2,003 kids 12 or under into Saturday's game will receive Nick Fotiu bobblehead dolls, courtesy of Morande Ford/Acura, and the Wolf Pack will wear special "throwback" jerseys, modeled after New York Ranger home jerseys of the era (mid-1970's) in which Fotiu first wore the Ranger colors. Also, there will be a '70's "best costume contest".