Iconic Families: The Folignos

Bruce Bennett

The Foligno family has played a big part in both the past and future of the Buffalo Sabres.

There are a few hockey families that run strong, through either the NHL as a whole or for specific teams. For the Buffalo Sabres, the last name Foligno is familiar to any fan, and will hopefully be for many year to come.

Mike Foligno was drafted by the Detroit Red Wings, but played more for the Buffalo Sabres than any other franchise. From 1981-91 Foligno was a mainstay on the right wing for Buffalo, and chiseled his way into fans hearts with his patented "Foligno Leap" after scoring. 1985-86 saw the big winger notch 41 goals, a career high and a great number for someone who was known as much for tough play along the boards as his scoring touch.

While Sabres fans can see Mike Foligno's name on a plaque in the new Alumni Plaza, they got a first glimpse of the next generation of Folignos when Mike's son Nick took the ice wearing red and black. And not the good kind of red and black. Nick Foligno has been a solid player for Ottawa, echoing equal parts of his father's offensive game and well-known toughness.

However, it was last season that fans of the blue and gold got the chance to see a new and improved Foligno take the ice when Marcus Foligno, Mike's son, became a starter for the Sabres and never looked back. On a line with Tyler Ennis and Drew Stafford, Marcus Foligno tore the NHL up in his limited time, becoming an instant fan favorite and even performing his own version of his father's famous leap. A hot streak fueled by the emergence of Tyler Ennis and a shooting percentage far above the norm helped propel Foligno from fourth round draft pick in 2009 to "near-untouchable" prospect levels, and has Sabres fans ready to see if he can repeat his offensive explosion.

Now Marcus is tearing up the AHL, currently sitting 6th in the league in scoring, and hitting everything that moves. He's one of the bright young players that Sabres fans are excited about, and will hopefully be part of a new core that will take this team from perpetual good-enough-ness to greatness, cementing his legacy as both a Foligno boy and a Buffalo Sabre.

The Iconic Families series is brought to you by New York Life. At New York Life, everything we do is to help Keep Good Going. Find out how to keep the good in your life going at newyorklife.com

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