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Timing means everything to Senators' Regin

by Rob Brodie / Ottawa Senators
Senators centre Peter Regin says managing the time change has been the biggest adjustment for him since he came to North American from his native Denmark (Photo by Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images).

For Peter Regin, time is always of the essence.

And not just when it comes to making plays where the game is contested at a faster pace than anywhere else in the world.

Rather, the 24-year-old native of Herning, Denmark, always feels like he’s on the clock, so to speak, when it comes to maintaining a connection with his European homeland. It continues to be the biggest adjustment to life in North America for the second-year Ottawa Senators forward.

“The time change was a big difference,” Regin said of his move across the pond, which started with a season in the American Hockey League with the Binghamton Senators in 2008-09. “I lived away from home for three years in Sweden, so I was used to not being at home.

“But with the time change (in North America), you can’t call your friends at any time. That was a difference and it still bothers me sometimes. You have to plan when you call your friends and family.”

That time difference also applies to his parents, Regin Jensen and Lene, who by now are used to watching their son’s National Hockey League games in the wee hours on the Internet.

“They are very happy for me and very excited about me being here,” Regin said with a smile. “But I’m sure they liked it better (in terms of time) when I played at home, so they didn’t have to be up so late at night.”

But if Regin has his way, Ottawa and the Senators will be a part of his life for a long time yet. Though his options were limited in terms of potential movement as a restricted free agent in the spring, Regin knew exactly where he wanted to be after turning in a playoff performance against the Pittsburgh Penguins that was arguably the best of anyone on the roster.

“I like being here, I like the team and I like the organization,” said Regin. “And I like the city, too, so I wanted to be here, for sure, and I wanted to come back.

“When you make it to the NHL, that’s your dream, so it almost doesn’t matter what the city is like — you’re happy to be here. But Ottawa is a very nice city and I love being here.”

In some ways, the city does remind Regin of home. He calls the nation’s capital “probably the most European city of all the NHL cities. I don’t know if it’s the half French (culture), but … it’s like a small town rather than a big town. People are nice and it’s not slow paced but it’s not too fast, either.”

That lifestyle is best personified by Westboro, the west-end Ottawa neighbourhood that Regin currently calls home. It’s a place where he can go about his business off the ice almost unnoticed, whether it’s heading out for a coffee or taking a leisurely stroll along the Ottawa River.

“I think I’m pretty lucky,” said Regin, the Senators’ third-round pick (87th overall) in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. “When I go out with Erik (Karlsson) or (Jason) Spezza or whoever it is, they all get recognized but (people) never recognize me, which is quite nice, actually.”

Though Ottawa’s legendary winters haven’t exactly been severe since he’s been here, Regin figures he can cope with the worst. Especially after earlier spending three seasons with Timra IK, a Swedish Elite League team which is based in Sundsvall, about four hours north of Stockholm.

 “There is a little more snow here, but I don’t think it’s too bad,” said Regin. “Where I played in Sweden, it was freezing cold and dark all day in the winters. The winters there were actually worse than here.”

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