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by Marcus Foligno / Buffalo Sabres

Sabres forward Marcus Foligno shares what it's like when he can visit his brother, Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno, during the season when the team goes to Columbus.

COLUMBUS – My brother Nick and I are either calling or texting each other every day. We're very close. We were competitive growing up, but we cared about each other. He was a great older brother for me and a role model. Being in the NHL together has contributed to an even closer relationship. We give each other feedback on each other's games and we're constantly watching each other play.

When we play head-to-head, there are a bit of bragging rights that you want to have over the summer. Leading up to our games, that was the subject early on in my career. Those first couple games were nerve-racking, but now we're used to playing each other. We treat it like any other game.

Now, the only text messages leading up to our game in Columbus were about seeing him the night before.

Nick has two kids. My niece, Milana, is 2-and-a-bit and they also have a 6-month-old named Landon. We talked during the week about how they're doing and how I couldn't wait to see them.

We got in around 5 p.m. the night before our game. Nick had me over for dinner and I got to play with the kids, have tea parties with the niece and things like that. I was babysitting for a couple hours, but it was great.

You don’t get to see them often during the year and they're not my kids, obviously, but they grow up pretty fast so you want to be around them as much as possible.

I gave Milana a Marcus Moose and she was pretty ecstatic. She knows my team is the Buffalo Sabres, but she's a daddy's girl for sure – she's all about Columbus. But she's watched a couple of my games when Nick's not playing.

She knows who to root for and when.

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