Yesterday I received an email from the Senators organization that discussed Regin's involvement with the “I Love To Skate” program that teaches young disadvantaged children how to skate. It's nice to see that the Senators are finding a way to keep Regin occupied while he's not in the lineup.
Now it looks as though Regin is going to have to get used to being out of the lineup for a little while longer. The latest word (Tweets?) from Senators practice indicate that Peter Regin will be a healthy scratch for tonight's game against the Philadelphia Flyers. Instead, Cory Clouston has opted to go with 11 forwards and 7 defenceman for the second consecutive game.
It's been a trying season for Regin. Often, as is the case with Regin, fans and media expect some linear progression when it comes to offensive production. With one goal and ten assists to his credit thus far, his production has failed to live up to the lofty and somewhat unfair expectations that were created following his strong playoff performance against the Pittsburgh Penguins last spring.
At the risk of sounding like a Regin apologist, I'd prefer to see him in the lineup and want him to do well. Even though his production has been limited, he still represents one of the few players forwards who is young and has some semblance of offensive flair. Besides, I still think there's some upside there.
I don't want to make excuses for a player whose production has been Muckaltian but it's all too easy to shit on Regin because his production is down and it's even easier to ignore the fact that he's predominantly spent the bulk of the season playing fourth line minutes with fourth liners or has been saddled alongside Alexei Kovalev.
It wasn't too long ago that Cory Clouston was concerned about Kovalev's teammates because “They’re the ones out there working with him and playing with him. Sometimes they don’t know which guy is going to show up."
Anyways, I digress. I don't want to sit here and write another piece detailing why I think that Regin should be in the lineup, I'd rather spend the next few sentences understanding why he isn't.
In the past few weeks, Clouston has implemented a win and you stay in strategy in regards to who stays in the lineup. Obviously having lost to the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday night, the Senators didn't win their last game. So why is an offensively challenged team like the Senators opting to dress 7 defencemen?
I think it probably has something to do with showcasing all of their defenceman as potential trade targets. We have already heard or have read a number of rumours that indicate that names like Lee, Kuba, Phillips and or Gonchar may be available.
A Revionist Thought on the Kuba Trade
At the time that the deal was made, I was never a big proponent of the Filip Kuba trade to begin with. Looking at it now and understanding how god awful Kuba has been, I hate it even more. I just never understood the principle behind making the deal. If a bad team like Tampa Bay was threatening to offer sheet Meszaros and signed him to the $4-million per season contract that he currently has, Ottawa would have received a 1st, 2nd and 3rd round pick in return.
Assuming that Tampa was not merely bluffing (they did after all re-acquire the third round pick that they dealt to Pittsburgh for Ryan Malone's free agent negotiation rights) I'm not saying that Ottawa would have been able to get the 2nd overall pick and draft a guy like Hedman, but holy shit, had Bryan Murray ignored the short term trade fix... how much further would this team be ahead if they had two of those top 10 picks?
A Passing Thought on the Murray GM Tandem Moving Forward
No matter the number of games that Ottawa loses, fans of this team are trapped in hockey purgatory.
The Senators have been anemic but no changes are on the horizon.
Fire Cory Clouston? If it is designed to give this team a spark, it's a little too late for that. Unless Bryan Murray is accompanying him out that door or is prepared to step back behind that bench, he probably isn't going anywhere.
Fire Bryan Murray? Without any qualified and available GM candidates, it'd be difficult to entrust any interim GM to handle such a crucial stretch heading into the NHL Trade Deadline and Entry Draft.
So that being said, assuming that Murray can make some difficult decisions and can procure a bounty of prospects/draft picks for some of Ottawa's veteran players, how much would that affect your perception of the Murray management team? Can these two adapt to a philosophical change in direction? Would a productive NHL Deadline, give you confidence in the Murrays? Could Tim Murray be the successor? Would the fans revolt regardless?