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Colin Greening on joining the Leafs

by Chris Lund / Toronto Maple Leafs



Colin Greening
has joined the Maple Leafs in Edmonton on an emergency recall after being acquired in Tuesday's trade. Here's what he had to say following his first practice...

Has this come full circle now from your days at Upper Canada College to being a Maple Leaf?

Yeah, it's pretty exciting. Yesterday I got a lot of texts from UCC alumni and a lot of guys that are still in Toronto. It's a bit surreal. Thinking back in 2003-04 when I was going to school at Upper Canada College I was going to Leafs games and loved it so it's a bit surreal to say you're a part of the organization.

On getting his career back on track:

I think with Ottawa, and the one thing I'll say about it, it has run its course. I had a great time in Ottawa, they treated me really well but, for me, it's about moving forward. I think that's the most important thing, I don't want to dwell on things that have happened in the past. It's about playing well and playing in a system here that I know I can excel in and I think that's the most important thing for me to think about right now.

How does it feel to be changing sides in the Battle of Ontario?

It's a bit odd. It'll definitely feel weird the first time I play those guys because I've played with them for so long. It's fun, I know how exciting those games can be. I know firsthand. It'll be weird kind of being against those guys but it'll be fun.

What was it like playing in Ottawa in front of so many Leafs sweaters in the crowd?

It's weird sometimes when you actually play in those games. You'll be in the dressing room and you'll think to yourself, "Ok, let's play a smart road game," and you're home because there are so many Maple Leafs fans in the crowd. They score a goal and half the arena goes up. Yeah, I have to admit it was tough sometimes playing in those games.

On the support for the Leafs in Western Canada:

I'm looking forward to it. It's pretty exciting. I've got an uncle out here and he goes to some of the Oilers games and he says when the Leafs come to town a lot of Leafs fans come out of the woodwork.

What was the reaction to your trade to Toronto back home in Newfoundland?

They were really excited. My parents are actually spending a couple of months in Florida right now so it was a bit weird for them. All my friends back home they were -- it was a bit weird because they were like, "we're going to have a beer for you," and I'm like, "it's like 10:30 in the morning." They were all really excited for me and it's, when you look back at it, there is a lot of history with the Leafs in St. John's given that the St. John's Maple Leafs played there for so long and I myself watched them growing up. You watched guys like Nathan Dempsey who were kind of up and down, but they were staples in the Leafs organization and you came to admire them. I think a lot of people can really resonate with the Leafs back in St. John's.

What was your reaction?

It's weird because I felt like it was coming for quite some time but when it actually happens you have a lot of mixed feelings. Ottawa is the only organization I've ever played for. At the end of the day, I realized I was going to an organization that I was excited about, it's a Canadian team, it's a good move for myself and my wife. Like I said, mixed feelings but overall very, very happy.

Are you excited for the chance at a fresh start?

I think fresh start is the best way of putting it and I hope to make the most of it. I know a lot of people say it but you've got to make the most of your opportunities and I look at it like this as an opportunity.

How excited are you to be coached by Mike Babcock?

With his track record and his resume -- gold medals, Stanley Cups -- he knows how to win. I played in a similar system with Paul MacLean. Paul and Mike are very, very similar coaches and coaching styles and I'm hoping I'll fit in well.

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