Columbus Blue Jackets Nick Foligno Suspended

Nick Foligno
NEWARK, NJ - DECEMBER 08: Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Nick Foligno (71) skates during the second period of the National Hockey League game between the New Jersey Devils and the Columbus Blue Jackets on December 8, 2017, at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The NHL Department of Player Safety has announced that Columbus Blue Jackets forward Nick Foligno has been suspended for three games. This is Foligno’s first suspension.

Nick Foligno Suspended

Foligno has been suspended for three games for a hit on Pierre-Edouard Bellemare of the Colorado Avalanche. The hit came Saturday night in the second period as Bellemare was handling the puck in the neutral zone and passed it out. Foligno crosses his path and visibly raises up, clipping Bellemare on the chin. Foligno got a five-minute charging penalty and a game misconduct. Bellemare did not return after the hit and now has a concussion.

So far this season, Foligno has scored one goal and seven points in 17 games. He also added 29 hits and 19 minutes in penalties. His possession numbers are 51.2% Corsi For and a relative Corsi For of 4.0. He was also playing on both the power play and penalty kill. He was quietly one of Columbus’ more effective players on both ends of the ice thanks to his two-way contributions.

Over his 13-year career, Foligno has played for the Blue Jackets and Ottawa Senators. He has scored 187 goals and 442 points in 858 NHL games. The Senators originally drafted him 28th overall in the 2006 NHL Draft.

What This Means for the Future

Columbus was already struggling to find consistent options among its top-six. Very little has gone well for the Blue Jackets and they are among the teams in the mix for the first overall pick in the 2020 NHL Draft Lottery. They have just 15 points and have the second-worst goal differential ahead of only the Los Angeles Kings.

Foligno is averaging 17:27 of ice time per contest but that will now be split among several other players. This could be an opportunity for either Alexandre Texier or Sonny Milano to grab some additional playing time for themselves. Both are young and could be part of the future Blue Jacket core.

NEWARK, NJ – DECEMBER 08: Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Nick Foligno (71) skates during the second period of the National Hockey League game between the New Jersey Devils and the Columbus Blue Jackets on December 8, 2017, at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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