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Sens 'optimistic' about Regin's return for opener

by Rob Brodie / Ottawa Senators
Senators centre Peter Regin reinjured his left shoulder during Tuesday's 5-3 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Place. He's status is currently listed as day-to-day, but the team is hopeful he'll be available by opening night Oct. 7 in Detroit (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images).

The news, at least so far, isn't anywhere as devastating as it could have been.

For both Peter Regin and the Ottawa Senators.

There was more than just a hint of optimism earlier today when Senators head coach Paul MacLean delivered an update on the condition of Regin, who departed Tuesday night's pre-season game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Place early in the first period favouring his left shoulder — the same one that required season-ending surgery in March.

While Regin didn't return for the rest of the matchup against the Leafs, MacLean isn't ready to rule out the possibility of the Danish centre rejoining the team in time for its season-opener Oct. 7 in Detroit against the Red Wings. But it isn't likely he'll play Thursday night, when the Senators close out their pre-season schedule in Boston against the Bruins (7 p.m., no TV, Team 1200).

"I guess they've got to do some more tests ... right now, day-to-day is the best way to say it until we get something further," said MacLean following today's on-ice session at the Bell Sensplex. "I'm optimistic, (about the opener) but only optimistic."

It's a tough break for the 25-year-old Regin, who worked hard over the summer months during his recovery following the shoulder surgery. He'd been one of the Senators' most effective players during the pre-season, conjuring up memories of the player who shone so brightly in the opening round of the 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

"My expectation for him was to be that good player," said MacLean. "That’s what I expected. I believe that’s what we were getting from him. He was playing very close to the way he was playing two years ago in the playoffs. We expect that when he comes back, he’ll do the same thing.

"The games he played in (during the pre-season), he was a very important player in them ... His training camp was going along real good and we’re disappointed for him right now, but we’re optimistic he’s going to be able to play (soon)."

Regin's setback, combined with the injury loss of Jesse Winchester on the opening weekend of training camp, could change the dynamic of some of the camp battles up front. Teenage sensation Mika Zibanejad was already making a serious push for a spot on the opening-day roster, and French import Stephane Da Costa is also in that mix.

"It opens the door for them a little bit wider," acknowledged MacLean.

Meanwhile, the Senators made their first big cut of training camp today, reducing their roster by 20 players. Defencemen Tim Conboy, Eric Gryba and Craig Schira have been re-assigned to the American Hockey League's Binghamton Senators, along with forwards Louie Caporusso, Pat Cannone, Corey Cowick, David Dziurzynski, Derek Grant, Wacey Hamilton, Francis Lessard, Corey Locke, Jim O’Brien, Mark Parrish and Andre Petersson.

As well, Ottawa released five players — goaltender Brian Stewart, defencemen Josh Godfrey and Bobby Raymond, and forwards Jack Downing and Maxime Gratchev — from their tryouts and returned forward Darren Kramer to the Spokane Chiefs of the Western Hockey League.

The cutdown leaves 31 players remaining in camp: four goaltenders, 10 defencemen and 17 forwards.

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