Foligno will make the leap

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 6:50 AM ET

Nick Foligno spent part of his youth accompanying his father Mike to Maple Leafs practices at the Gardens.

Tomorrow, he'll get a chance to suit up against his old man's former team.

"I just want to win," said Foligno, who'll make his regular-season NHL debut with the Senators tomorrow night. "That's the most important thing."

With centre Dean McAmmond still recovering from a concussion and shoulder injury he suffered on a hit from Steve Downie last week, the 20-year-old Foligno will get a chance to start the season with the Senators and he couldn't be happier.

"Whenever I'm called upon I want do well," said Foligno.

"I'm just excited to be here. That's for sure. There's a lot of great players in this room and it's going to be a lot of fun to be part of it. I just want to work hard and do the things that are asked of me and the things that got me here. As long as I keep doing those things, hopefully I can stay here."

How long Foligno is going to be in Ottawa is the question. There's a strong chance when McAmmond is healthy, Foligno will be sent to the club's AHL affiliate in Binghamton.

"Foligno has done enough to stay here, it doesn't mean he's made the team on a permanent basis," said Senators coach John Paddock. "We're short on bodies.

"He's just got to continue to do what he's done and force us to keep him here no matter what. He's going to get a good opportunity and it's going to be up to him to maintain it."

NO SURPRISES

There was no real shock ers when it comes to who the Senators cut yesterday. Gone are: Cs Josh Hennessy, Ilja Zubov and Alexander Nikulin, Ws Denis Hamel and Niko Dimi- trakos, and Ds Lawrence Nycholat, D Matt Carkner and D Brian Lee. The good news is Nikulin has elected to report to Binghamton to hone his skills instead of returning to Russia. He'll make the five-hour trek to Binghamton with fellow Russian Zubov tomorrow. "I know it's going to be tough," said Zubov. "I spoke with (Jason Spezza) about (Binghamton) and I know it's a tough league and a small building." Lee, the club's top pick in the 2005 draft, was disappointed about being sent down. "Obviously, I wasn't quite good enough," said Lee. "They have an all-star (defensive unit) already, so it was going to be tough (to crack the lineup)." Hennessy (shoulder), Carkner (hand) and Dimitrakos (hip) will remain in Ottawa until they are healthy.

OFF THE GLASS

Paddock on the club's 7-0 record in the pre-season: "In a way, I wish we'd lost a game, then we might not think so much of ourselves. It's strictly exhibition and everybody is still tied for first." ... Injured G Ray Emery skated yesterday with goalie coach Eli Wilson. It's doubtful Emery play either of the first two games against the Leafs, but Paddock hasn't ruled Emery out to dress as the backup. G Brian Elliott will stay in Ottawa until Emery is ready to play ... McAmmond rode the bike yesterday, but hasn't resumed skating ... RW Patrick Eaves wasn't on the ice yesterday. He is sore after playing back-to-back games on the weekend, but will skate today ... There have been no discussions between the Senators and Dany Heatley's agent J.P. Barry on a new contract. If there's no deal in place by tomorrow, then talks could be put off until the end of the season. Heatley has said he doesn't want the contract to be a distraction.


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