The numbers game finally caught up to Nick Foligno
After starting his rookie season with the Ottawa Senators, the 20-year-old left-winger will continue his development with the club’s American Hockey League affiliate in Binghamton, N.Y. Foligno was given the news after the Senators wrapped up practice Wednesday at Scotiabank Place.
With centre Jason Spezza
set to return from a groin injury, Foligno simply was squeezed out of a spot on a talent-laden roster that is sitting on top of the National Hockey League standings with a 14-2-0 record.
“I knew it was a numbers game,” Foligno told reporters before he boarded the bus for Binghamton. “There’s a lot of great players on this team … It was just great to be a part of it while it lasted and, hopefully, I can do well in Binghamton and come back up here.”
Foligno scored two goals in 14 games for the Senators, but had seen his ice time dwindle in recent games. He was also a healthy scratch on two occasions.
“We’re just sending him down to play, be important, get ice time and develop as a future guy who’s going to play a lot of minutes and games in the NHL,” said Senators general manager Bryan Murray. “We just felt that over the course of the last number of games, he probably didn’t get the minutes that young players need. With Spezza coming back, in particular, he’d probably get less. This is important for the future of his career.”
Added Foligno: “I was doing everything I could (in Ottawa) and it just wasn’t working out.”
Now he’s relishing the opportunity to hone his game down on the farm.
“I’m disappointed, but I’m looking forward to playing a lot more,” said Foligno. “At (the NHL) level, everything happens so fast, and I’ve just got to learn to react (better) to things that other guys are doing.
“I’m still young and I’ve got a lot to learn, but it’s a hard time to be let go. But I know I’ll work hard and try to get back up here as soon as possible.”