Senators News: August 4th

-For those of you who may have thought the proliferation of hockey blogs and analysis outside traditional media might pressure journalists to change their approach or improve their repertoire, you’d be wrong…at least in the case of Don Brennan.  Yesterday he offered yet another confused column making the following baseless assertions:
1. Jakob Silfverberg will play on Ottawa’s top-line
2. The Sens aren’t at the cap floor and this will cause trouble
3. The Sens aren’t tough enough because they let Matt Carkner walk
Two of these points are simply false while the other is purely speculative.  Take Silfverberg, no one is suggesting he is going to play on the top line (he may not play in the top-six).  I’m truly at a loss as to how Brennan came to that conclusion.  Secondly, the cap floor fears are simply wrong (five seconds with Capgeek illustrates the point), although here at least Brennan says that the concern is “outside the Senators’ offices“.  The third point is a chestnut Brennan has been writing for months (the team is not tough enough!), which remains an absurd theory; he dynamites his own argument about Carkner by noting that the “Senators were too worried about the condition of [Carkner‘s] damaged knee.”  That’s a pretty good reason to be concerned!  Carkner is an older player who couldn’t skate has two bad knees–it’s a mercy the Sens didn’t bring him back.  Nichols goes further into the inanity of the column (particularly points #1 and #3), but the facts aren’t going to interfere with Brennan continuing to write this crap.  I don’t derive any joy from unpacking Brennan’s nonsense and I don’t think he’s an idiot, I just think he’s lazy.

Mika Zibanejad and Mikael Wikstrand are playing for Sweden in their WJC summer camp (for those wondering, Fredrik Claesson is too old to attend).

-Speaking of prospects, Brian-Huddle offers his opinion on the Sens top-10:
1. Mika Zibanejad (comparing him to Ryan Kesler)
2. Cody Ceci (comparing him to Brent Seabrook)
3. Robin Lehner (comparing him to Henrik Lundqvist)
4. Shane Prince (comparing him to Zack Parise-lite)
5. Mark Stone (comparing him to Scott Hartnell)
6. Jakob Silfverberg (comparing him to Patrik Hornqvist)
7. Stefan Noesen (comparing him to Corry Perry-lite)
8. Matt Puempel (comparing him to Alex Semin)
9. Jarrod Maidens (comparing him to David Backes)
10. Stephane Da Costa (comparing him to no one)

He gives Patrick Wiercioch an honourable mention.  With all due respect to Huddle, his comparisons are over the top and in some cases I wonder if he’s seen the players mentioned (for example, Silfverberg is not a Tomas Holmstrom-clone like HornqvistStone is not particularly physical and is more of a playmaker than Hartnell; etc).

-Here’s my updated profile of Peter Regin.

Lyle Richardson tries to figure out why Tim Thomas came off the rails this year.  He admits that it’s all speculation at this point, but makes some interesting points:

If anyone had told me a year ago Tim Thomas would alienate a portion of the Boston Bruins fan base with far-right political and social opinions, upset his Bruins teammates and front office by refusing to attend a White House ceremony honoring their Stanley Cup championship, then decide to take a year off (effectively ending his tenure with the team), I would’ve told that person to quit abusing solvents. Last summer, Thomas was a hero in Boston, winning playoff MVP honors in the Bruins march to their first Cup championship in nearly forty years, and won his second Vezina Trophy in three years as the league’s best goaltender. At 37, Tim Thomas was the toast of the National Hockey League. Today, at 38, his  views have made him the target of scorn and the butt of jokes, while his reasons for his year-long sabbatical (family, friends and faith) have been questioned by cynical critics. He’s also left a Bruins fan base understandably puzzled over his views, the sudden move of his family from the Boston-area last season to Colorado, and apparent desire to ring down the curtain on his career in Boston. I neither condone or condemn Thomas’ views, but I question his sensitivity toward criticism of his public statements. Just as he has the right to state his views, he should expect his detractors would employ the same right to criticize them. Thomas is currently unwilling to explain why he’s taken to Facebook this year to make his far-right views known, leaving only guesswork on my part (and those of his fans and critics) as to why he’s doing so now. Thomas could’ve voiced his views earlier to a sympathetic right wing media source well before this year. One would assume, given Thomas shares their [the Tea Party’s] beliefs, he might’ve spoken out then [2009]. Or in 2010. Or last summer, when his playoff heroics would’ve made him a hot media commodity.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

Player Profile: Peter Regin

Peter Regin, C/W, Contract: 0.8/13 (UFA), Drafted 3-89/04 (Muckler)
6’2, Shoots L, YOB 1986, Herning, Denmark
2009-10 NHL Ott 75-13-16-29 (ppg 0.38) +10 20pim TOI 12:53 FO 44.6
2010-11 NHL Ott 55-3-14-17 (ppg 0.31) -4 12 pim TOI 13:23 FO 41.8
2011-12 NHL Ott 10-2-2-4 (ppg 0.4) +3 2pim TOI 14:05 FO 49.2

Regin spent four years playing in Europe before he was signed by Bryan Murray in 2008.  In his three years playing for Timra  (150-25-33-58), Regin demonstrated an all-around game that included slick hands and a great shot.  The season before he was signed he finished third on the team in scoring (55-12-19-31) behind future Flyer Mika Pyorala and former NHLer Riku Hahl.

There was little fanfare for Regin in the 2008-09 training camp, as the focus was on recent draft pick Zack Smith who nearly made the team.  Assigned to Binghamton, Regin suffered a shoulder injury in pre-season that initially kept him of the lineup.  When he finally did suit up, he was one of Binghamton’s best rookies (56-18-29-47), finishing third in rookie scoring (first by ppg) behind Zack Smith and Mattias Karlsson; he was first on the team in plus/minus (+15).

The following season (the last of his ELC) he beat Zack Smith for a roster spot and enjoyed a strong rookie campaign.  Fans truly embraced him after a strong playoff performance (6-3-1-4) in the team’s six-game loss to Pittsburgh.  Afterwards he was re-signed to a two-year deal and expectations were high.

Regin was expected to supply secondary scoring for the Senators, but suffered the worst goal scoring drought of his career and lost Cory Clouston’s confidence.  Working hard defensively was not enough and he was derided by many.  Just as his production was starting to come back he suffered another shoulder injury and missed the rest of the season.

The Senators were pleased with his exit interview at the end of 2011, where Regin blamed himself for his play rather than anyone or anything else.  Physically he was expected to fully recover from his injury, but this past season he was derailed by yet another (but apparently unrelated) shoulder injury and he only played 10 games.  He took a pay cut to re-sign with the Sens, with Tim Murray stating the obvious, “[Regin] has had a tough two years with injuries, but when he was not injured, he was certainly a top nine forward (capable of playing on the top three lines), with good offensive skills.”

Regin has never been a high-end point producer, but if he returns to form I think 30-35 points is a fair expectation if he can stay healthy.  This is a make-or-break year for his NHL career in the sense that he has to show the league he can stay healthy for a full season.

-Here’s an interview about Regin with Tim Murray from a few years ago
-There are a lot of Youtube highlights of Regin, this is just one