Peter Regin has been quickly forgotten in this succesful Senators season. However, with his contract expiring at the end of this season, management will have to decide what to do with Regin driving forward. The major issue the Sens face is looking at Regin’s shoulder injury troubles. He missed over 20 games last season and had to undergo season-ending shoulder surgery. Fast forward to this season and it was almost deja vu. Regin only played 10 games before once again having to undergo season-ending shoulder surgery.
Peter Regin impressed fans back in 2009-10 during his first full NHL season. He put up solid numbers as a rookie with 29 points (13G, 16A). However, it was his playoff performance that really stood out. Although the Sens lost to the Penguins, Regin was a bright spot having made his presence felt every game. He finished with 3G and 1A in the 6 game series. Fans couldn’t wait for the upcoming season to see how much progress he could make. Unfortunately for Regin, he hit the sophomore slump only putting up 17 points (3G, 14A) in 55 games before his shoulder injuries would surface. Nevertheless, one could probably write off that season seeing as how almost everyone on the Sens that year was terrible. Fast forward to this season, many fans still had high hopes that Peter Regin could possibly contend for that #2 center position. His shoulder would have none of it though and he would only manage 10 games putting up 4 points (2G, 2A).
Regin’s current contract pays him $1 million, a very reasonable number for the skill he has shown thus far. With its expiry at the end of this season Regin is still an RFA meaning the Sens still hold his rights. The big question is do the Sens want to keep him? Money wise it wouldn’t be that big of an issue given his injury problems. I would expect him to make around $1 million again if signed. The major issue would be that the Sens would have to give him a one way contract, which usually means a guaranteed spot on the team. Add the fact that rookies such as Mika Zibanejad and Jakob Silfverberg will be competing for forward spots makes the decision tougher.
I believe the Sens will and should resign Regin. However, it will very likely be a one year contract so Ottawa can cut ties with him if his shoulder gives way a third time. The reasoning behind the decision is simple, many of the current Senators have not proven they can stick. Young players such as Erik Condra, Colin Greening, Kaspars Daugavins, and Zack Smith have all been struggling as of late and not putting up the points they were earlier in the season. Like many young players they have shown consistensy issues. Regin himself has been inconsistent as well (especially the 10-11 season), but he has shown to play very solid two way hockey and I would argue is one of our better defensive forwards. He’s also got a strong playoff performance behind him which is always nice to have, showing you can play under pressure.
Regin is also 25 years of age and is approaching the age at what most players peak. It would be stupid of the Sens to let a quality asset go for nothing. If anything he’ll also force other players to step up next season and make the training camp more competitive. What may also help his cause is that he is able to play the LW on top of his usual C position. If Regin is vastly outplayed and isn’t able to crack the team, the Sens still have options. They could keep him as a 13th forward seeing how small his cap hit is. They could also try and trade or waive him if they don’t want to carry the extra body and salary. It’s essentially a $1 million dollar gamble that Melnyk may have to swallow next season, but it’s definitely one that could pay off in the long run if the Sens can get a healthy Peter Regin back.