Nick Fotiu was known for two things - fighting, and practical jokes.
New York's favorite son would go to no lengths to pull off a prank. He liked to collect cockroaches and slip them into Phil Esposito's hockey bag. Espo had a serious phobia of creepy-crawlies. Another time he went down to the docks to buy some freshly caught fish. He cut the fish into little pieces and tucked them into Mark Osborne's practice uniform. Needless to say, it didn't take long to stink!
My favorite story comes from his days late in his career with Calgary. He had previously smeared gobs of vaseline on the underside of every fresh folded towel, getting the bushy mustached Lanny McDonald particularly good. He snuck off practice early to pull the stunt again, but much to his surprise none of his towels were used by his teammates. When he asked trainer Bearcat Murray what happened to all the towels, Fotiu was informed that those towels he greased up were for the visiting team, the Vancouver Canucks!
Good ol' Nick Fotiu. He always got his man, be it in a fight or in a ruse.
A Staten Island native, and the first home-grown Ranger!
Nicky used to throw pucks to the Garden fans after warm-ups,
always finishing by heaving a few all the way up to the Blue Seats where he was most beloved, and known by the affectionate sobriquet "Early Man."
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