Ottawa Senators GM Bryan Murray began taking care of off-season business this week when he re-signed potential unrestricted free agent Peter Regin to a 1 way, 1 year deal. Regin took a pay cut of over $200,000 from what he made last year to stay in Ottawa.
After a solid 2009-10 season where he played 75 NHL games and posted a respectable 29 points, the player who was in contention to be the Senators #2 centre this season has been ravaged by injuries over the past 2 years. He has suited up for only 65 games over the past two seasons, including just 10 this past year.
Regin was sort of a forgotten commodity, especially after the acquisition of Kyle Turris to be the club’s #2 pivot. However, when healthy Regin can contribute to the team, but the question begs, where does he fit in? With a number of young forward prospects breathing down the necks of the incumbents for playing time, will the Danish player be able to find a role with the Senators?
With the additions of Jakob Silvferberg and Mika Zibanejad expected for next season, and players like Mark Stone, Stefan Noeson, Shane Prince and Matt Puempel knocking on the door, the top 6 for the Senators will be a crowded place in a couple of years. Regin is the 10th forward on a one-way deal, with Nick Foligno and Jim O’Brien requiring contracts as RFA’s. Toss in Silfverberg and Zibanejad and there are a number of talented players that will be battling for minutes. And that is before mentioning Jesse Winchester, Zenon Konopka and Rob Klinkhammer, all of whom showed some ability in different situations to be solid role players, and all of whom will become UFAs on July 1st.
It will be an interesting off-season and training camp (whenever it gets started) as the battle for roles takes shape. Whatever happens, the Senators will be better for the internal competition, and the depth of the team has perhaps never been greater.