Just picked up this wonderful New England Whalers program with Nick on the cover. I was hoping it would have a story about him inside and it sure did including info on his fights with Rick Jodzio.
I'll include the photos inside:
by Bob Neumeier
Until Nicholas Fotiu and the New England Whalers entered and signed him into the city of hartford, the only items this area could identify with were an insurance policy, a list of the Dow Jones Averages and a quiet Saturday night(or Friday for that matter). In a society where hero worship is as common as a Hogan's Heroes rerun, this metropolitan area's idolatry could only be restricted to sports or entertainment by way of the elctronic media - television and radio. Persoanl contact simply did not exist. But this has all been changed.
Nick Fotiu is now THE hero of Hartford. The funny thing is as popular as Big Nick is in these parts, he's just as unpopular in outposts like Edmonton, Quebec, Cleveland, Houston and especially Vancouver. But that's the way it is with a hockey badman. The love-hate relationship, the belle of the ball at home and the wicked witch of the west on the road. A hero here, a bum there.
On the ice Nick Fotiu is as subtle as a punch in the mouth and just as effective. In fact much of the Fotiu game is a punch in the mouth to an opponent who dared cross paths with the native Staten Island, NY or who tried punishing one of Nick's smaller teammates. Fotiu is a loveable Teddy-bear with a thick Gotham City accent. He treats his hords of fans with smiles, handshakes and autographs, remembering his days as on the other end of the track at Madison Square Garden idolizing the Bathgates, the Ratelles, the Giacomins. Now he is center stage starring in the Broadway musical after a few years of understudy status. And he loves each and every minute of it.
His ability with his fists in unmatched in hockey. The list of victims reads like a WWI honor roll: Michel Rouleau, Pierre Guite, Jim McCrimmon, Dan Larway, Bud Gulka, Bryon Baltimore, Danny Lawton, Al McLeod and John Hughes have all been on the receiving end of the wrath of Fotiu and all have received the same fate-severe punishment. Except one
In January the Vancouver Blazers called on a young winger named Rick Jodzio to provide a spark and end a string of unsavory losses. Son of Canadian boxing great Bob Jodazio, the younger Jodzio won the Western Canada Golden Gloves at age 13 under the tutelage of his father. Upon breaking into the lineup, Jodzio scored quick KO's over Ralph Hopiavouri, Marc Tardif and Wayne Hillman and the Vancouver publicity pumpers were trying to convince people that Jodzio was the best in the business at throwing punches.
So a Fotiu-Jodzio matchup was as certain as a rainy day in Seattle. Their first confrontation took place in Vancouver on the tail end of a wild bench-clearing brawl brouhaha. Jodzio clipped New England star Tom Webster in an obvious effort to lure the high scoring right wing into the penalty box, a Vancouver advantage to be sure. Webster gave Jodzio all he could handle in the fight and both went to the box for 5 minutes. This infuriated Coach Ron Ryan and Fotiu and Nick set sail for Webster's opposite number on the Blazers Danny Lawton.
Before Nick coud reach Lawson he blasted 4 other Blazers including a double hit at the blue line felling a pair of Vancouvers like giant Sequoias. Then Nick found Lawson in the corner and destroyed him. Skating to the box, Nick made his first mistake of the year. While skating on ice(with Jodzio on solid footing, a disadvantage for Nick), Fotiu tried to catch Jodzio with a quick right but instead got hammered and knocked to the ice himself. Nick was cruched, his only solace a return engagement against the Blazers the following afternoon.
After a sleepless night, Fotiu did not wait long for revenge. On the very first shift he collided with Jodzio and wrestled him the the ice, winning a clear-cut decision and evening the Graziano-Zale like series at one bout apiece. Then in a later match at the Hartford Civic Center, Fotiu again gained the pugilistic advantage over Jodzio keeping his record intact.
Edited by the hammer on 01-20-13 12:22 AM. Reason for edit: No reason given.