Foligno: Falling short in Toronto 'killed me inside'

Steve Russell / Toronto Star / Getty

New Boston Bruins forward Nick Foligno will think about his short-lived stint with the Toronto Maple Leafs for a long time.

"My biggest disappointment was we didn't get the job done, and I unfortunately got hurt. That'll sit with me. Regardless of what Leafs fans think of me, I'm way harder on myself," Foligno said on Sportsnet 590 The FAN's "Good Show" with JD Bunkis.

"The fact that I couldn't perform to the abilities that I felt like I was early on killed me inside. It's something I'll regret forever."

The Leafs acquired Foligno just before the trade deadline in a three-way deal with the San Jose Sharks and Columbus Blue Jackets. Toronto had to cough up a 2021 first-round pick and a 2022 fourth-round selection to obtain the veteran's services.

Foligno played seven regular-season games with the Leafs leading up to the postseason and missed some time due to an upper-body injury. The 33-year-old struggled to stay healthy and sat out three of the team's playoff games against the Montreal Canadiens.

"I was unfortunately dealing with a really bad back injury that was debilitating. There was nerve pain, it shut down my whole right leg," he said. "Anything else you can play through a lot of the time. This, I couldn't. I tried."

Foligno, who's claimed he likes playing a physical game and isn't afraid of some "hard minutes," found himself in a tricky position.

"Trying not to hurt the team instead of trying to help the team, that's what it felt like. That bothered me a lot as a player," Foligno said.

Even though his time with the franchise didn't go the way he wanted, Foligno enjoyed his time in Toronto, including his Game 1 fight with Corey Perry.

"I'd do anything for those guys. The way they embraced me when I got there, I have nothing but great things to say about that team. That's why I think it stung so much … that's a group that really felt like they were ready," he reflected.

With his brief Leafs tenure behind him, Foligno is ready to get rolling as a Bruin.

"I am really thrilled at the opportunity Boston's given me to now join a team that I have a lot of respect for and obviously hated playing against all these years. Looking forward to playing with them," Foligno said.

The left-winger signed a two-year, $7.6 million contract with Boston as an unrestricted free agent in July.

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Foligno: Falling short in Toronto 'killed me inside'
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