Did we settle down after the first
weekend of NHL Free Agency, Isles fans? The Islanders made improvements to their organization this past weekend, regardless of how you feel about their current goaltending situation, or how Charles Wang is spending his money. Two new contracts and two extensions were handed out on Friday afternoon, and not one of them made the team worse-off than they were in 2013, a year that brought the Isles their first playoff appearance in six years.
One of those new contracts include Peter Regin, the former Ottawa Senators’ forward whose signing created one of the most unnecessary firestorms against the Islanders’ brass in recent memory. The following is just a taste of what we all had to experience after Regin’s signing was announced.
It went on, and on, and on after the Islanders announced the signing of a player who will be depended on for depth, which is something your hockey team needs – something that cannot be understated or undervalued.
Last season, the Isles had the ability to swap players in and out of their line-up as they pleased. With a solid rotation of interchangeable, bottom-six forwards, coach Jack Capuano was able to pick and choose the players he dressed based on match-ups. On some nights, Marty Reasoner was inserted into the line-up. On others, it was Keith Aucoin. David Ullstrom and Jesse Joensuu also received ice time as the season progressed. The mix-and-match strategy worked well for the Islanders, who finished the final two months of the season as one of the hottest teams in the NHL.
With the departures of Keith Aucoin, Marty Reasoner, and Jesse Joensuu this summer, the Islanders lost the line-up flexibility that worked so heavily in their favor in the final half of the 2013 season. Peter Regin adds that little bit extra versatility that the Islanders are looking for.
Regin is a two-way forward who can be inserted into bottom-half of any team’s line-up and penalty-kill unit. At best, he should project (at least for the 2013-14 season) to split some time with/keep the seat warm for Brock Nelson as the Islanders’ 3rd-line centre. If Nelson holds on to the job, Regin may be put on standby, but is that really an issue either?
Islanders’ fans should be all too familiar with injuries. While the 2013 season saw a [mostly] healthy Islanders’ team on the ice on a nightly basis, previous seasons in recent memory have had the Isles lead the NHL in man-games lost, with no viable replacements waiting down the depth-chart. At worst, Regin gives the Islanders a “break glass in case of emergency” option throughout the 2013-14 season.
So, what is the issue, Isles’ fans? Regin serves as an inexpensive and reliable NHL depth-option. He’s not going to break your team, but he could most certainly help out. No, he’s not going to be an All-Star, but it takes more than your team’s top-line to carry you into the playoffs. After watching the Islanders make strides behind their bottom-six last season, we should all know this by now. Peter Regin makes sense for the Isles.
Honestly, do you hate this signing? Do you like it? Is it really that big of a deal? Sound off.