Colin Greening has not yet spent 10 days with his new team and he’s already fully on board.
No trade regrets to see here, folks.
“It’s weird. It feels like I’ve been here a lot longer than I have been. You get thrown into things pretty quick,” the 29-year-old Toronto Maple Leafs winger told Joey Vandetta on Sportsnet 590 The Fan Friday.
A native of St. John’s, Greening was drafted by the Sens nearly 11 years ago but said his time in Ottawa had ran its course. Both he and his wife are excited to be in Toronto as a result of last week’s Dion Phaneuf blockbuster.
Falling out of favour with Ottawa, Greening had skated a grand total of four minutes with the big club this season.
Greening sees his demotion to AHL Binghamton as a positive. He was forced to play multiple positions and fill various roles on the farm team, giving him the mind-set that he’ll do whatever coach Mike Babcock asks of him in order to contribute.
With the Maple Leafs forward group ravaged by injuries (James van Riemsdyk, Joffrey Lupul, Milan Michalek) and a lack of talent, Greening has seen more NHL ice time than he has in years.
In three of his first four games with Toronto, he skated more than 17 minutes. Greening has two points, a plus-2 rating and has fired at least two shots a night. He notched a greasy, game-tying goal Thursday versus New York late in the third period.
Despite Toronto’s place in the standings (last) and the Leafs’ looming deadline sell-off, Greening said Babcock does an excellent job of maintaining an encouraging work environment.
“When you play in a Canadian city, sometimes it’s easy to let negative things creep into your mind and affect you when you’re in the dressing room. He’s done a really good job of keeping that out,” Greening said.
“He wants guys to play within his structure — a fast-paced game. If there’s a mistake that’s made… he’ll make sure you know about it.”
Greening and the Maple Leafs host the Philadelphia Flyers Saturday night at Air Canada Centre.