News out of the Senators organization today is that Peter Regin has signed a two-year contract with the club, avoiding an arbitration hearing which was scheduled for tomorrow afternoon. The deal will pay Regin $950,000 in his first year and $1,050,000 in the second for a cap hit of $1M.
For what it's worth, I believe this deal is one of the better ones in the NHL at the moment IF Regin can keep up the pace he was setting during the playoffs. Finding a top-6 left winger at $1M a year is a steal. For that matter, I'm not sure such a player exists as of now.
Regin, who was born and raised in Herning, Denmark, has the potential of becoming an offensive dynamo on the first line, alongside Jason Spezza and one of Alexei Kovalev or Daniel Alfredsson. And while some have gone so far as to call him Denmark's Gretzky, it's important to keep things in perspective and realize that, while his playoff production was stellar, it was a somewhat radical change from his game in the regular season, where he tallied 13 goals and 16 assists -- impressive for his first full year in the NHL, but nothing spectacular.
I'd argue that it's likely for him to be, at worst, a solid 2nd line winger with speed and a scoring touch. He has the size to be a third line grinder, but that just isn't his style. It would be a complete waste of talent, much like sending Chris Kelly in alone with just the goalie to beat would be a complete waste of a breakaway.
I like Regin's game, and this year looks like his time to shine. The fact that Bryan Murray was able to sign him to a cap-friendly deal and let him prove it wasn't a fluke can only help the organization, both in the short-term (less money locked up in a guy who hasn't proven much) and long-term (hopefully, easier future negotiations because of the loyalty the organization is showing and the faith they have in him).
With this signing, the only potential roster player still unsigned is Chris Campoli, who was acquired along with Mike Comrie in exchange for San Jose's first round pick and Dean McAmmond in 2009. The predicted salary range for Campoli, should he get to arbitration, is somewhere around $1M. At that price, the Senators would have no choice but to accept the ruling, as any award of slightly over $1M or less must be accepted. Allowing Campoli, Lee and Cowen to fight it out for the last spot on the defensive corps could be beneficial and create competition so no one gets too complacent.