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Old 08-23-2012, 11:21 AM
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I got to see enough of Fotiu in both leagues. He filled his role. He did his job. He was able to play a long time considering where he started. Through his prime years and comparing him with the top fighters of those days, I'd say he was in the mix but not nearly the player most of the better fighters were. But in his role as an enforcer and 4th line energy guy, he delivered which is all any team could ask. I think a big part of that role is being available to take your shift and avoid stupid minors, pointless fights and crazy misconducts. I think Fotiu did that with a high degree of self-discipline and not putting his team a man down, unlike plenty of tough guys over the years. Sure it's entertaining when tough guys lose it on ice or fight wide open. Fotiu didn't do that, his fighting style was more boxing on ice, more clinical. All accounts indicate that Fotiu was very much a team first guy. You have to respect that.
FF, Fotiu was hyped so much by the NY press he started to believe all the press clippings they wrote about him , he developed that "I AM A HERO" to all the NY fans syndrome , he got a swelled head , bragged about how good everyone told him he was , but in fact he was just making a fool of himself by flexing in front of a mirror and in front of the players as they got off the bus or doing push-ups in front of their dressing room door , things that made him look more like a "CLOWN" than a hockey hero , he was a "LEGEND IN HIS OWN MIND" !!!!
You are right he was a team player to his team-mates , just a clown to every other team ..
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  #137 (permalink)  
Old 08-23-2012, 11:43 AM
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things that made him look more like a "CLOWN" than a hockey hero , he was a "LEGEND IN HIS OWN MIND" !!!!
.
Sounds a very lot like you.
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  #138 (permalink)  
Old 08-23-2012, 11:54 AM
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Sounds a very lot like you.
Thanks , but I know enough not to try and scare anyone by flexing or doing the 50 push-ups I do every morning and posting it , have enough common sense to know that just wont work ..
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  #139 (permalink)  
Old 08-23-2012, 12:11 PM
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Howatt,Srehm you guys are 100% right about Gillies. Like I tried to explain there is a major difference between Fotiu and Gillies . While Gillies doesn't have hundreds of fights on his card he doesn't need to because he fought and beat enough top guys, had a number of impressive fights and was an impact player who played in the most crucial times because he had a real effect on other teams because of his physical play and reputation. It wasn't just reputation. Like you guys pointed out fight card alone is not the deciding factor. Gillies was too important to be fighting all the time but he did enough vs other top level guys to be considered one of the best. Also I would have enjoyed seeing that fight between Nystrom and Gillies. Nystrom is another guy I have great respect for. He reminds me of Oreilly. I hated the Isles more than I ever hated Fotiu. I just think that you should give respect and credit for what the player actually did.
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  #140 (permalink)  
Old 08-23-2012, 12:25 PM
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Thanks , but I know enough not to try and scare anyone by flexing or doing the 50 push-ups I do every morning and posting it , have enough common sense to know that just wont work ..
Thats funny, I do incline push-ups every other day off of a picnic table top - usually do 5 sets of 20 (rehabbing shoulder) - then about 100 dips - at 57 I get a good swell on and feel like $million bucks - no doubt I could do some severe PSYOPS with Nicky -
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  #141 (permalink)  
Old 08-23-2012, 12:42 PM
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Howatt,Srehm you guys are 100% right about Gillies. Like I tried to explain there is a major difference between Fotiu and Gillies . While Gillies doesn't have hundreds of fights on his card he doesn't need to because he fought and beat enough top guys, had a number of impressive fights and was an impact player who played in the most crucial times because he had a real effect on other teams because of his physical play and reputation. It wasn't just reputation. Like you guys pointed out fight card alone is not the deciding factor. Gillies was too important to be fighting all the time but he did enough vs other top level guys to be considered one of the best. Also I would have enjoyed seeing that fight between Nystrom and Gillies. Nystrom is another guy I have great respect for. He reminds me of Oreilly. I hated the Isles more than I ever hated Fotiu. I just think that you should give respect and credit for what the player actually did.
I remember one broadcaster saying "just let Gillies alone" , you hit him and it's like you woke up a sleeping giant , he just turns into a beast , best just too let him skate around and never touch him ..
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Old 08-23-2012, 12:51 PM
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While making my top 25 list for that thread I saw how as far as NHL fights go, Gillies had more fights than Fotiu did, 73 fights to 65 fights. He also had a higher winning percentage than Fotiu did as well. I realize its apples and oranges but Gillies was one of those guys who as already stated you left alone if you could since he could hurt you if you pissed him off enough. He did have a winning record against Shultz so you know he could take care of himself.
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Old 08-23-2012, 04:16 PM
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I started watching Hockey on a regular basis around 1978 and the reason that was is because of Nick Fotiu and also my brother and pop's were huge fans.

I admit I don't recall much of Fotiu back then only that my brother and father would go nuts every time he was on the ice and that he was mauling yet another Flyer bully(probably a tad exaggerated but you know how excited a fan of his team gets.). Most of the Fotiu fights I have watched were from video posted on Hockeyfights. Their were some fleeting moments I recall that may or may not be true, one of them was an incident between Fotiu and Schultz that happened during a Ranger/Flyer brawl that Schultz went berserk and went into the Rangers locker room with a hockey stick in hand looking for Fotiu after he took several liberties with various Flyer's. Now, this is may or may not be true but I think it is fair to say that I wish we can bring back 70's hockey into this new era of the sport.

I met Fotiu on 3 separate occasions, the first time I was around 7 and he lived on our block in a city called Long Beach, my brother and some neighborhood kids and I were playing roller hockey and Nick came over and was giving hockey tips to us...probably why I never became a very good hockey player.....He was a really nice guy from what I recall and at that age I was certainly intimidated.

The second time I was around 21 and hanging at a Long Beach bar called Chauncey's, a really cool dive bar on the beach. I saw Fotiu sitting alone and went up to him and told him i was a fan and we bullsh!tted a little....we did a shot together which I cannot recall what it was but I remember looking at his fists and they were the size of hamhocks.

The last time I met him I was a concession manager at Monmouth Park racetrack in Monmouth, NJ I was around 27 at the time. I was walking around doing concession checks and noticed him by the entrance where the Horses are sent in too race. I spoke to him briefly and he told me he owned a Horse or was part owner with someone else. I think my one regret was that this site didn't exist or else I might have interviewed him, ask him the tough questions so we truly find about the legend of Nick.

So, the point of this post is I don't know where to rank him, truly don't know how great or not so great he really was, who he intimidated who he did not. What I do know is that he made the Rangers tougher, he was the alcohol that gave the other Ranger's beer muscles and for a time they stopped being intimidated by the Broadstreet Bullies. I do know the guy was a golden glover which may or may not translate into fighting success in the league but at least you know he can throw. I don't recall him getting beaten down in any fights I have watched and that probably the Behn Wilson fight was a tad overrated but rookie or not if you can fight then you can fight regardless of age and Fotiu did beat a fighter who for many years was ranked as the top dog in a lot of people's lists.

Speaking of lists I recall a lot of good posters on here putting Fotiu pretty high on their list and now we can't decide if he is worthy of a top 30 spot. I started on this site in 2002 so, not sure why things changed that drastically. I would still rank him in the top 15, maybe as a homer give him the number 10 spot as our first true, goon enforcer.

Either way the guy should be praised, he can fight, Fotiu was involved in some good moments, he was a helluva nice guy and love him or hate him he made a one time one sided rivalry into something to look forward too every time the Rangers and Flyers took the ice.
Ya might wanna get your eyes checked, Schultz was traded to the Kings before Fotiu entered the NHL.
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  #144 (permalink)  
Old 08-23-2012, 04:57 PM
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Ya might wanna get your eyes checked, Schultz was traded to the Kings before Fotiu entered the NHL.
Did he say he saw it or just an incident that may or may not be true.
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Old 08-23-2012, 06:01 PM
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FF, Fotiu was hyped so much by the NY press he started to believe all the press clippings they wrote about him , he developed that "I AM A HERO" to all the NY fans syndrome , he got a swelled head , bragged about how good everyone told him he was , but in fact he was just making a fool of himself by flexing in front of a mirror and in front of the players as they got off the bus or doing push-ups in front of their dressing room door , things that made him look more like a "CLOWN" than a hockey hero , he was a "LEGEND IN HIS OWN MIND" !!!!
You are right he was a team player to his team-mates , just a clown to every other team ..
He didn't last a dozen or so years in the NHL and play 650 games after two years in the WHA because of his flexing ability. You don't last in the bigs that long unless you bring something to the table. Just a clown? The guys he was going up against say different. He filled his role and if he did it with attitude and trash talk and a minimal fight card, so be it. It worked.
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  #146 (permalink)  
Old 08-23-2012, 07:50 PM
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Ya might wanna get your eyes checked, Schultz was traded to the Kings before Fotiu entered the NHL.
I had 20-10 vision back then, my eyes saw things even Eagles couldn't.

Anyway, I should have asked if anyone recalled such an incident or something along those lines with Schultz, Fotiu or any other crazed player back then?
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Old 08-23-2012, 11:42 PM
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I have no problems saying that Fotiu was a good fighter. No problems saying he was a good enforcer. Above average in both categories. It's when I read page after page of making Fotiu appear as superman... Reading "story" (for that's all they are) of all time great fighters backing down to Fotiu, while he goes and fights rookies and easy marks is when I get annoyed. He was a very limited player, who was brought in as a native New Yorker to serve and protect. He fought rarely and he scored less... Wouldn't engage in many square offs with various foes and mostly Just blustered behind linesmen while coasting off a Big Apple enhanced propoganda machine.

You can try to prove me wrong but it's impossible. Fotiu's fight card is one comprised of second tier guys and rookies. Lost many, especially against guys with experience, in a poor career. When it counts with results, Fotiu is an also ran.
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  #148 (permalink)  
Old 08-24-2012, 06:43 AM
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I have no problems saying that Fotiu was a good fighter. No problems saying he was a good enforcer. Above average in both categories. It's when I read page after page of making Fotiu appear as superman... Reading "story" (for that's all they are) of all time great fighters backing down to Fotiu, while he goes and fights rookies and easy marks is when I get annoyed. He was a very limited player, who was brought in as a native New Yorker to serve and protect. He fought rarely and he scored less... Wouldn't engage in many square offs with various foes and mostly Just blustered behind linesmen while coasting off a Big Apple enhanced propoganda machine.

You can try to prove me wrong but it's impossible. Fotiu's fight card is one comprised of second tier guys and rookies. Lost many, especially against guys with experience, in a poor career. When it counts with results, Fotiu is an also ran.
There are plenty of very good posters in here that have nothing to do with any NY propaganda machine that feel he did more than simply bluster behind linesmen. You want to talk about stories? Look at what you wrote about the scrum with Wilson.

[quote]
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He's in a scrum tied up with another player while Fotiu is free. How anyone can read that he's "putting on an act," is speculation at best. They are talking in a scrum, bottom line.
That is a story and nothing more. Wilson was never in the scrum tied up with another player. He was outside the scrum draped all over a Ranger from behind. Fotiu saw this from inside the scrum and immediately yelled something and made his way from the middle of the scrum out towards Wilson. Some Flyer tries to impede Fotiu and when Fotiu turns to deal with him Wilson comes out and puts a hand on Fotiu's shoulder. Fotiu turns to get in Wilson's face and Wilson backs up against the boards and turns his head away. They are by themselves now and could have easily fought so there was more going on there then talking in a scrum.

There is no implied fear in my statement because there could be many reasons to decline a fight, or at least to turn away from a fighter that is in your face in case that is not declining a fight to some. Still, it happened and is clear to see. We could have had two Wilson - Fotiu fights to talk about.

If that was Wilson making his way from the middle of a pile to get in Fotiu's face only to have Fotiu turn his head and back up you would be all over Fotiu so I think there is bias from both sides here. That was Wilson turning to face Fotiu after the linesman got in there not Fotiu, so who was "blustering behind linesmen " there? He was an " above average fighter and an above average enforcer" that "lost many, especially against guys with experience, in a poor career". Sorry Boobs, you are a much better poster than me but it sounds like you are talking out of both sides of your mouth here. I have not seen any Superman comments in this thread. Is that what you were hoping for? Too many compliments from non Ranger fans for you?
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  #149 (permalink)  
Old 08-24-2012, 10:33 AM
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I have no problems saying that Fotiu was a good fighter. No problems saying he was a good enforcer. Above average in both categories. It's when I read page after page of making Fotiu appear as superman... Reading "story" (for that's all they are) of all time great fighters backing down to Fotiu, while he goes and fights rookies and easy marks is when I get annoyed. He was a very limited player, who was brought in as a native New Yorker to serve and protect. He fought rarely and he scored less... Wouldn't engage in many square offs with various foes and mostly Just blustered behind linesmen while coasting off a Big Apple enhanced propoganda machine.

You can try to prove me wrong but it's impossible. Fotiu's fight card is one comprised of second tier guys and rookies. Lost many, especially against guys with experience, in a poor career. When it counts with results, Fotiu is an also ran.
I don't recall any other fighter's card getting scrutinized to the degree that we are now discounting wins over rookies. Never mind that Hunter was 23/24 years old at the time of the Fotiu fight or that Nilan was 24. I don't know, I just find it a poor argument. You fight, you win, you lose, you draw.

I've never seen anyone take credit away from a fighter for beating rookies. Should we now discount Nystrom's win over Playfair since Playfair was a 20 year-old rookie at the time of that fight? Nystrom had his hands full with Hoyda, also a 20 year-old rookie when Nystrom fought him. How about his fight with Fraser, another 20 year-old rookie?

Do we discount Probert's win over Scott Parker because Parker was a 20 year-old rookie?

I'm sure there are plenty of fighters who hold big wins over young fighters that never get brought up, but with Fotiu, it becomes a big deal.

I do agree that the Fotiu myth is overrated, but the bias against him is quickly becoming every bit as exaggerated.
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  #150 (permalink)  
Old 08-24-2012, 10:54 AM
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Dave Richter pummelled a 19 year old Joey Kocur. A win is a win. Look, this is the last post I'll make in this thread. I really don't see why we all get our hockey socks in a bunch over Fotiu. Big, tough and willing to do the job he was paid to do. He did it well. He is/belongs in any top 20/25. So whats the big deal? Best ever.....nah. Damn good.....yep.
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