|Danish centre Peter Regin says he's on track in his recovery from season-ending shoulder surgery, a procedure he underwent in January. He signed a new one-year, one-way contract with the Senators today (Getty Images).
All Peter Regin wanted was another chance.
Now the Ottawa Senators are giving it to him.
The Senators announced today that they’ve re-signed the 26-year-old centre to a one-year, one-way contract. For the native of Herning, Denmark, it’ll be an opportunity to prove he’s fully recovered from season-ending shoulder surgery — a procedure he underwent in late January.
"I'm very happy and excited to be a part of this team next year," said Regin, who was limited to 10 games of playing time in 2011-12. "We had a good team this year and I think we're all trying to build on that. I'm excited to be a part of it."
Last Saturday, when the Senators cleared out the lockers for the season in the wake of a Game 7 loss to the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference quarter-finals, Regin expressed a desire to ink a new contract with the team. His previous two-year deal was due to expire on July 1, when he would have become a restricted free agent.
“I hope we can get something done so I can get a shot at coming back here,” Regin said last Saturday. “I love it here and this is where I want to be, so hopefully we can work something out and I can get another shot at it.”
Today, Regin said, "I'm happy and thankful to Bryan (Senators general manager Murray) and Tim (assistant GM Murray) for giving me this opportunity and, hopefully, it will work out good for everybody."
The Senators believe Regin, who had a breakout playoff series against the Pittsburgh Penguins two years ago but has been plagued by injuries since then, can still be a significant part of their future.
"We feel he's a top-nine forward on our team," said Tim Murray. "He's shown that in the past, that he had a ton of potential. That's been slowed down by the two injuries, but we still think it's there. He's worked hard to get back from injury and we expect him to be in great shape come training camp.
"I know he's motivated. He's hungry to prove that he's an NHL player, to prove that he can be a big help to the Ottawa Senators and we believe that. He's a versatile player ... that's the kind of player you're always looking for, someone who can play in all situations, and we fully expect him to be able to do that."
At the time of his surgery, Regin’s recovery period was said to be 4-6 months, and he and his doctors believe he is right on track to be in top form in time for training camp in September.
“I'm going to stay in Ottawa for most of the summer — at least for two more months or until the shoulder is perfect,” he said. "I'm going to start skating soon, so that'll be nice and fun to get back on the ice and feel like a hockey player again. But the shoulder is good. I'm working out now and I'm working on the range (of motion), but it's almost there and it feels really good."
It’s the second time in less than a year that Regin required a medical procedure on his left shoulder. But he pointed out the nature of the latest injury isn’t the same.
“It was a different injury this time,” he said. “I guess it was unlucky that it was the same body part on the same side, so it looked bad that way. But I’m confident and the doctors are confident (it won’t recur again). Everything looks good, so that shouldn’t be a problem.”
Added Tim Murray: "Both injuries (last season) were to his shoulder, but they weren't related injuries. We feel that the surgery went extremely well and, by all accounts, he should have 100 per cent recovery."
After spending last summer rehabbing from the first round of surgery, Regin re-aggravated the shoulder twice early in the 2011-12 campaign — the second incident, on Oct. 20 in a home contest with the Winnipeg Jets, cost him 22 games worth of action. He got back into action Dec. 10 against the Vancouver Canucks, but that return lasted a mere five games before he was forced to shut it down for what turned out to be the duration of the season.
In 10 games in 2011-12, Regin recorded two goals and two assists. While he admitted everything he’s been through in the last year has been disheartening at times, Regin believes he’ll be a stronger player and person because of it.
“It’s always difficult when you’re hurt, especially for so long,” he said. “It’s (been) pretty much a full year without playing. It’s been hard but I’ve learned from it and, hopefully, I won’t have another year like this.
“But I think I’ll come out stronger and you learn from everything that happens in your career. I’ll learn from this, too.”