Like the Staals in Thunder Bay, the Folignos have homes next to each other along a quiet, pristine lake in Sudbury, Ontario.
Twenty years ago, Nick and Marcus Foligno’s parents bought the big property. Over time, Nick and Marcus have severed land from their former NHL-playing and coaching dad, Mike, so they could build their own homes on what Marcus jokes is the “Foligno compound.”
There are convenient paths in between the houses. That allows Nick and Marcus’ five children to pop in on “Nonno” — grandfather in Italian — whenever they want.
This week, Nick and Marcus’ sisters, Cara and Lisa, and their four children are also visiting from upstate New York. So with all nine grandchildren four-wheeling, fishing, swimming and getting out on the boat at all hours of the day, 62-year-old Nonno is “well, let’s just say he’s in heaven but very, very overwhelmed,” Nick says.
“My house is next door to my dad. And then, Marcus is next door to me. So, I’m sandwiched in between the two.”
Laughing out loud before he even set up the punchline, Nick says, “Kind of sucks!”
“No, no, no, just kidding!” Nick says, still amused at the barb aimed at the man he considers his hero, his father; and the man he considers his best friend, his kid brother. “For Marcus and me, this is awesome. We don’t see each other very much during the hockey season, and we especially haven’t seen our dad this past year and a half with this pandemic. So, it’s an amazing thing. We’re very blessed.”
On Wednesday, when the clock strikes in Sudbury, and Nick is officially open for business as he experiences free agency for the first time in his soon-to-be 15-year NHL career, Nick said during an interview with The Athletic that he envisions the sight of his brother outside of his padlocked house “jumping up and down looking in the windows to see what we’re doing.”
Actually, Marcus made crystal clear this week he plans to be right at his big brother’s side as he fields phone calls and makes decisions.