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Foligno headed to hockey worlds

by Rob Brodie / Ottawa Senators
Senators forward Nick Foligno will represent Team USA at the 2010 IIHF World Hockey Championship, which runs from May 7-23 in Germany (Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images).

Turns out Nick Foligno isn't quite done with hockey this season.

The Ottawa Senators forward today accepted an invitation from Team USA general manager Brain Burke to don the Stars and Stripes at the 2010 IIHF World Hockey Championship in Germany.

The tournament runs May 7-23 in Cologne, Mannheim and Gelsenkirchen.

For the 22-year-old Foligno, a native of Buffalo, it'll be his second straight appearance at the worlds. He helped the United States to a fourth-place finish at the 2009 global tournament in Switzerland. The Americans were edged by eventual champion Russia 3-2 in the semifinals before dropping the bronze-medal game to Sweden 4-2.

"It's a great honour to play for your country," said Foligno.

Team USA will play in Group D, based in Cologne, along with Finland, Denmark and Germany. However, the Americans' opener May 7 against the host Germans is slated for the Veltins-Arena, a soccer stadium with a retractable roof in Gelsenkirchen that is home to Schalke 04 of the Bundesliga. The game is expected to be played in front of a world-record crowd of 76,000.

Foligno's season with the Senators didn't exactly go as planned, with a pair of injuries — most notably a broken right fibula that sidelined him for six weeks — limiting him to 61 games. He totalled nine goals and 26 points.

"It was a little frustrating ... Any time I felt like I was getting momentum, it seemed like I was getting an injury. But I think every player has those ups and downs in their (careers). I was proud of the way I was able to battle through that and help the team." - Nick Foligno
"It was a little frustrating ... Any time I felt like I was getting momentum, it seemed like I was getting an injury," said Foligno. "But I think every player has those ups and downs in their (careers). I was proud of the way I was able to battle through that and help the team. It wasn't the best year for me statistics-wise, but I was proud of the way our team worked.

"We got back into the playoffs and that was our goal. It was still a good year as far as I'm concerned."

But Foligno, who is scheduled to become a restricted free agent on July 1, believes he'll be a better player going forward because of what he endured during his third full National Hockey League season.

"Those kinds of breaks are just things you have to go through," he said. "I learned a lot this year and that's the biggest thing I'm going to take away, how much I learned from those experiences and how better to approach them the next time they come around."

Phillips facing minor surgery

Veteran defenceman Chris Phillips will have minor surgery next week to remove some small bunions in his feet that were causing discomfort in his skates.

The recovery time is expected to be three to four weeks.

Greening inks entry-level deal with Senators

The Senators announced today the signing of forward Colin Greening, a seventh-round pick (204th overall) in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, to a one-year entry-level contract.

Greening finished up his NCAA Division I career at Cornell this season, setting new career highs in assists (20) and points (35) during his senior year, when he was also the Big Red's captain.

"We see him as someone who will be able to play a role for us down the road," said Pierre Dorion, the Senators' director of player personnel. "First of all, his size and strength are probably as good as anyone we have in our organization. He’s extremely strong on the forecheck. He’s got deceptive hands, he’s real good defensively … those are probably his strongest points."

The 6-2, 211-pound centre is expected to begin his pro career with the Binghamton Senators of the American Hockey League but Dorion said "I see him in an Ottawa Senators uniform in the near future."





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