Now I don't want to get off on a rant here, but you see the picture above, do you recognize it? That is Peter Regin celebrating his only goal of the year. Yes you read that correctly, Mr Jensen has ONE goal in 41 games played this year, which makes him on pace for a shocking 2 goals this season. Take a minute and let that marinate in your brain. It seems inconcievable doesn't it? Wasn't he supposed to be our emerging young scorer?
I'll admit that the stakes and expectations were raised considering his 2nd half of the season and playoffs last year. After all, he had 13 goals and 29 points as a 23 year old last year, and seemed to be improving in each game. I'd go as far as to say he was our best player in our first round series against the Pens in 2009-10. He followed that up with an impressive campaign at the World Championships for Denmark. It appeared we had found our young star.
In the offseason, many Sens fans were worried we might have trouble re-upping him. There were worries he would command 3 or 4 million per season, or that another NHL team would sign him to an offer sheet. Even his agent said he might command a Vanek like contract. That sure seems laughable now doesn't it? At this point, he'd be lucky to sign a Foligno type contract.
Eventually, we signed him to a 2 year, 2 million dollar contract that had the loyal Sens fans smiling from ear to ear, myself included. I was shocked that we were able to get him so cheaply. I was impressed with Bryan Murray's ability to get his John Hancock on the deal for such a discount.
Heading into the season, most of us penciled him in for a minimum of 20 goals. It wasn't that far fetched, as he had 13 last season, and was likely going to be playing on the first line this season. Add in the way he finished and 20 would be a cake walk, maybe even 30 was attainable if he got a few breaks. None of us saw this coming and no one seems to be talking about his failure of a season.
So what happened? Your guess is as good as mine. He doesn't appear to be injured. The only noticeable difference is his number change, but clearly that doesn't equal the lack of success, even if he now wears unlucky #13. Raise your hand if you thought Regin would be outscored half way through the year by every single Senator except Chris Phillips (always offensively challenged) and Filip Kuba (who missed 15 games).
It's getting so bad that he's become an afterthought. Sens fans no longer list him as untouchable, which they would have done in the offseason. In fact, many don't even mention him at all, he's become invisible. Many saw him as a big piece of our future, but now many would be open to trading him in our upcoming rebuild. Not me though, I still think he has potential, and no point giving up on him yet, especially with his low cap hit. It's worth giving him another year to turn things around, though he has yet to show any signs of doing so.
Perhaps he is just a casualty of a team going down in flames, a product of his environment. Let's be honest, he isn't exactly the only one underachieving on this team, but he may be the most disappointing. You can understand an aging Alfie slowing down, or a lazy Kovalev not performing, but a young up and coming player failing to launch? I just hope this season will be an exception, not the rule to his career, but at this point thats all it is, hope.
Does he still have time to turn things around? Of course he does. Perhaps he is finding out what it's like to play with expectations. It's not as easy as being the underdog, and can weigh on the best of players. I still believe in young Regin, I can see the talent and desire is there, although admittedly hidden at the moment.
The season is long, and if we know anything about Peter, it's that he plays better in the 2nd half of the year. Yes, that's what I'm clinging to. Give me a break, it's been a long year, and we're only half way through.
What are your thoughts on why Regin is struggling? Can he turn it around?