It's business time

Robin
Robin Short
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Colin Greening in talks with Ottawa Senators, but in no rush to sign

Colin Greening was pressed for time to chat Sunday night. The Cornell University hockey star had to run off to a meeting, but managed to answer a few questions from a prying reporter from back home.

In the background, desk drawers are opening and closing. Multi-tasking is nothing new to Greening, the 24-year-old product of St. John's.

Colin Greening just completed his senior season at Cornell, finishing second in team scoring with 15 goals and 20 assists through 34 games. He was named a first-team All-Ivy League player, a second-team All-ECAC all-star and was a candidate for the Hobey

Colin Greening was pressed for time to chat Sunday night. The Cornell University hockey star had to run off to a meeting, but managed to answer a few questions from a prying reporter from back home.

In the background, desk drawers are opening and closing. Multi-tasking is nothing new to Greening, the 24-year-old product of St. John's.

Consider this, another day on the Greening calendar in Ithaca, N.Y.:

Up at 8 or 8:30 a.m. for breakfast; off to class followed by an hour of study; more classes; slip in a 45 or 60-minute workout; off to the library for more study; hockey practice; late dinner and then, depending on the school workload, additional study.

In between, he's helping organize the Big Red team's Teddy Bear Toss with proceeds going to special needs children, organizing the Homecoming Parade, organizing the hockey team's visits to local area schools, organizing Cornell's charity skate and raising money for the area Special Olympics program.

All while maintaining a 3.95 grade point average at an Ivy League university, and captaining an NCAA Division One hockey team.

And did we mention he's now talking contract with the Ottawa Senators?

If Luke Adam is No. 1 on the list of the best Newfoundland hockey players not playing pro, Greening is 1A. The 204th player selected in a field of 230, Greening may turn out to be one of the steals of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.

"Right now, we're just talking," said Greening, whose agent, Alain Roy, is in regular discussion with Ottawa general manager Bryan Murray. "We want to make sure Ottawa is the best choice for me.

"This is the point where hockey turns to business."

Greening just completed his senior season at Cornell, finishing second in team scoring with 15 goals and 20 assists through 34 games. He was named a first-team All-Ivy League player, a second-team All-ECAC all-star and was a candidate for the Hobey Baker Award, which goes to U.S. college hockey's best player.

At 6-2 and 210 pounds, he brings a delicious combination of size, speed and finish to the table.

"I can't say too much because I don't want to give a wrong interpretation, but that said, I love the city and the organization has treated me well," he said. "And I think the team could use a player like me, a power forward with a little size who can work the corners."

Greening makes it clear he's in no rush to sign an NHL contract, not that he'd playing now, anyway. It's unlikely he'd make his NHL debut in the playoffs, and the Senators' farm club in Binghamton failed to make the American Hockey League post season.

"This is a decision," he said, "that could affect the rest of my life. Since I was five, I've wanted to play in the NHL, but I have to be smart about this. I couldn't just sign for the sake of four or five AHL games. The tradeoff clearly wasn't worth it."

Greening's path to a college scholarship and potentially the pros was admittedly a, "non-conventional" one.

At 16, he headed off to Upper Canada College, a Toronto school known for combining athletics with academics. But unlike junior A or major junior hockey, the focus was definitely on the books.

From there, it was a stint in British Columbia and the Nanaimo Clippers of the B.C. junior league for a year before landing in Ithaca.

"I've always placed as much importance on academics as hockey," he said. "And, to be perfectly honest, it wasn't always easy. It takes a certain personality and mindset to balance both."

This season, the applied economics and management major was the Eastern College Athletics Conference (ECAC) hockey student-athlete of the year. He was selected the Senior CLASS 2010 Award winner (Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School) and was a second-team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American.

Time's up. Greening's got to go. It's off to an Athletic Honour Society meeting, of which he is a member. The group has to select its newest members.

Only time will tell if he'll be a member of the Senators organization next time we chat.

rshort@thetelegram.com

Organizations: U.S. college, Upper Canada College, Eastern College Ottawa Senators Cornell University NHL Special Olympics Ivy League NCAA Division American Hockey League All-Ivy League Toronto school Athletic Honour Society

Geographic location: St. John's, Ithaca, N.Y., Ottawa Newfoundland Binghamton British Columbia Ithaca

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