SUN Hockey Pool

Major in minors

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 8:22 AM ET

The worst day of Matt Greene's pro career turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to him.

It's never easy being one of the final cuts, especially when you're a bright young talent who came oh so close to cracking an NHL lineup, but, looking back, he's glad it happened.

"Big time, it was awesome," said the big defenceman, who used his AHL demotion last year as a springboard to a full-time job with the Oil. "Being able to go down and play a lot of minutes, in a lot of situations that I wouldn't have been able to do here, was really beneficial for me."

Even though it broke his heart when he got the news.

"It was terrible when it first happened. I hadn't been cut from a team since I was 15. I was pretty crushed, but looking back it was the right decision. I knew even then it was the right decision, but it was hard to swallow when it hits you full on."

With a whack of Oilers cuts on the horizon, there will be more choked up prospects packing their bags, but everyone's been there and done that.

"It's one of those situations that you look around the room, do a little research, and the guys you look up to all played in the minors. They went through a lot of the same things that you're going through in your first year or two. That kind of puts everything in perspective, that you can still have a good career even though you start it out in the minors."


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