|Senators forward Nick Foligno said the "no-nonsense" system of head coach Cory Clouston has helped him become a bigger contributor (Photo by Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images).
As he gets started into his third season with the Ottawa Senators, forward Nick Foligno
has established himself as a favourite with the fans at Scotiabank Place.
The son of ex-Buffalo Sabres star Mike Foligno also seems destined to earn a more prominent role with the team in the years to come.
Foligno took some time out to answer a few questions about the recent past, the present and the future for him in Ottawa:Q: Do you finally feel like you’re an established player here?
A: I’m starting to hopefully feel like that. I don’t know if I’m established yet. I’ve still got a long way to go. I don’t think one half of a season can make you a player but that’s the goal I’m working toward. I want to come in and be a big part of this team. Last year was a really, really big step forward and I want to continue that and keep playing the way I know how. I have a lot of confidence now, which is good, and I want to come in and help the team and try to get this team back in a winning direction.Q: Why did Cory Clouston’s system seem to work toward your benefit at the end of last season?
A: It was a no-nonsense system. If you weren’t going to follow it, you weren’t going to play. I think guys started buying into that. Everyone wants to play when you get to this level. You buy into a system that works and it worked really well for us. He made it into our strengths and it made up for some of our weaknesses. When you see that, you want to be a part of it and I think it just lit a fire under me to help this team become better and I knew I could make a difference. That’s why I was starting to play better toward the end.Q: Have you felt secure enough here to buy a house yet?
A: I bought a house last year, actually. I definitely want to be an Ottawa Senator and I think I have become that and I want to continue to be that. I enjoy living here and playing here. We have great fans and I just want to see this team do well and bring a championship back here.Q: Are you eager to become more involved in community work in Ottawa?
A: I’m starting to become more involved in charity things. I want to make sure I want to do something with cancer, obviously (Foligno’s mother, Janis, lost a five-year battle with breast cancer in July). Last year was tough. I didn’t really know how to make my way in this league but this year I definitely want to get more involved. That’s the kind of person I am. I want to give back. It’ll be interesting to see what I can do.Q: Talk about your first experience playing for Team USA at the world hockey championship in Switzerland back in May.
A: It was awesome. I had a really good time. We didn’t do too well but it was a great experience for me to play Team USA at that world event. I got to play with some great players and against some great players. It was amazing to see the hockey over there as opposed to the hockey here. There’s a lot more skating and more speed and it was fun to try to play that way. I had a lot of fun and I really enjoyed it and the memory will last a lifetime.