|Senators centre Peter Regin suffered a left shoulder injury during a Feb. 19 game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, which cut short his 2010-11 season after just 55 games (Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images). |
is finally healthy again and hungry for a new beginning.
With shoulder surgery and months of rehabilitation now behind him, the Ottawa Senators centre is anxiously awaiting a shot at redemption when the puck drops to start the 2011-12 campaign. Surely, he can't wait to erase the memory of a season which saw Regin produce just three goals and 17 points in 55 games before a left shoulder injury brought an early end to his year.
"Not only that it ended that way, but my whole season ... I know I can play better," a determined Regin, 25, said at the Bell Sensplex, where he's been taking part in informal workouts with some of his Senators teammates since his return to Ottawa late last week. "Most of the guys in the room know that they can play better. So I think we're all excited to be back and to really show that we're a better hockey team than we showed last year."
Bigger things were expected out of the native of Herning, Denmark, on the heels of a strong performance against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the opening round of the 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs — Regin was arguably the Senators' best player in the six-game series — but he never hit his stride last season. Just when he felt he was turning the corner, Regin tumbled awkwardly in the boards in a Feb. 19 game against the Toronto Maple Leafs. He hasn't seen any game action since then.
"The last five or six games I played, I felt like I was turning it around and kind of player better," he said. "I was working toward finishing strong, and to get hurt and be on the sidelines was tough. So I was disappointed, but there's not much you can do. You just try to do all the stuff you can do with the rehab and make sure you follow that so it won't be a problem in the future."
Following his surgery at the end of February, Regin spent the first two months of his rehab in Ottawa under the watchful eyes of the Senators training staff before returning to Denmark for the summer.
"The (Senators) staff helped me out a lot and I'm thankful for that," he said. "I came back here in July to have it checked and everything was good, so I went back home again and trained more."
Earlier this month, Regin skated with his hometown pro team, the Herning Blue Fox, to test out the shoulder. Those results were encouraging as well.
"I've been skating a little bit with contact and stuff," said Regin. "I don't feel it at all, so it shouldn't be a problem ... I was a little worried before the surgery and how it was going to be be. It was my first major surgery, but it turned out great. I'm happy that I did it. (The shoulder) has been bothering me for two years now, so it was nice to finally get it done. Now it feels as good as it did before."
Though he hasn't spoken yet with new Ottawa head coach Paul MacLean just yet, Regin is aware of his background with the Detroit Red Wings and enthused about the prospect of the Senators playing a similar brand of hockey.
"If we play that kind of style and skate a lot, I think that will fit me well. That'll be exciting," he said. "We're going to be a hard-working team that skates with a lot of energy ... we'll have that energy within the group."
Though he's entering the final year of his contract, Regin insists he's not using that as motivation for a big season. He simply wants to be the best that he can be.
"I kind of had a disappointing year last year and you want to turn it around," he said. "You can't have too many bad years in this league and hang around, so I have to improve myself. I'll try to relax a little bit more and just go out and play and do my thing. I think it'll be better if I just do that."