I have spent a lot of time in this particular venue espousing the benefits of adding Peter Regin to the lineup. I have said quite frequently that he would make Mike Fisher look a lot better, and he would be the first player to crack the NHL out of Binghamton for a full time position with the Ottawa Senators.
It seems more and more that this is now becoming a common adage throughout the media and the blogosphere. Jeremy Milks over at Black Aces wrote a great article about how Regin has stepped up to the plate, and James Gordon at Hockey Capital recently quoted Bryan Murray as saying he would make a trade to make room for the younger guys like Regin, saying that he is NHL ready.
And now that I’m basically being vindicated for all those predictions I made, I’m now getting worried. And all it took was a ghost from preseason’s past: Brandon Bochenski.
Now I’m not suggesting that Peter Regin is our next Brandon Bochenski, but there’s been plenty of times that a particular player has shone during the preseason, only to fizzle out in the regular season. In the past, I think it was in part due to the fact that preseason was an easier game. Players weren’t giving it their all, and there was a definite apprehension from veterans to play the game to the full of their ability. Why get hurt, right?
But now, and particularly this year, it seems that everyone is battling hard during games. It likely has a lot to do with the same fact that Ottawa is facing today: if veterans fizzle, there’s plenty of young guys will to take their place.
So now all remains is my fear of moving players before the season begins. I’ve now heard names like Chris Kelly, Jarkko Rutuu and Chris Neil all being tossed about to make room for the younger players. And while I have no problem making a trade, I would hate to see something done too prematurely just because a preseason player has impressed. Regin may not live up to the lofty expectations we are now setting for him, and he may become the next Brian Lee. It was only two seasons ago that Murray said Brian Lee was an NHL defencemen from now on, only to have him play half the season last year in Binghamton.
The bottom line is this: I think Peter Regin deserves a spot on this team. I think he should get one starting on October 3. But I think a few healthy scratches might be in order before we start shipping guys off.
Stay classy, Peter Regin. Welcome to the NHL.