Fata, 25, has played in seven games this season with Phoenix’s American Hockey League affiliate, the San Antonio Rampage, where he has recorded no points and six penalty minutes. He signed with Phoenix as a free agent on July 2, 2008.
The 6-1, 220-pound Fata split the 2007-08 campaign between the New York Islanders and their AHL affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. In 71 games with the Sound Tigers, he scored three goals and added 11 assists, while recording 197 penalty minutes. He also played in a career-high five games with the Islanders, recording one assist and four penalty minutes.
The Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. native has scored one goal and added one assist and nine penalty minutes in nine career NHL games, including one playoff game with the Islanders in 2006-07. The younger brother of former NHLer Rico Fata, he scored his first NHL goal on March 15, 2007, at Ottawa.
In 225 career AHL games, he has nine goals, 33 assists and 600 penalty minutes. Fata, originally drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins with their third-round pick (86th overall) in 2001. He is expected to join the Binghamton Senators roster for their next game when they host the Syracuse Crunch on Friday, Nov. 7.
Nikulin, 23, was Ottawa’s fourth-round pick, 122nd overall, in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. The 6-1, 203-pound centre recorded two goals and a minus-one rating in five games with the AHL’s Binghamton Senators this season. Nikulin scored 50 points (14-36) in 71 games with the B-Sens last season and also made his NHL debut with Ottawa, scoring no points in two games.