Kevin SchultzSYOSSET, NY — A free agent signing over the summer, Peter Regin is one of three new faces skating with the Islanders’ main group at training camp this week. He’s been centering the third line with Michael Grabner and Cal Clutterbuck and looks to finally get back to playing his game after a two-year stretch plagued with injuries.
“It was a battle some days,” Regin said, recalling how long he’s had to work through his injuries. “But now I’m finally through it and I’m excited about being back to being healthy and ready to go here at camp.”
It’s been a long road for Regin as he has spent the last couple of seasons dealing with multiple shoulder injuries, that required two surgeries. He’s had a shoulder surgery in each of the last two off-seasons and missed some time last season with an upper-body injury, so he’s only played 37 games over the last two seasons. The Islanders signed him to a one-year, $750,000 contract over the summer, sort of a ‘show us what you’ve got’ low-risk, high-reward deal for the team.
“With the shoulder I was out for almost two years straight,” he said after practice today at Iceworks. “Once you get the shoulder done, that took me probably nine months to get over that. But then I haven’t played hockey for two years, so you kinda have to first of all get back in shape and then you have to get your touch, and your timing back and everything else back. And that took longer than I thought it would because it’s the first time I’ve been out for that long and the first time I’ve ever had a major injury.”
It’s clearly been a tough couple of years for the 27-year old native of Denmark, and he seems ready to prove that he does belong on the team and in the NHL.
When his contract expired over the summer, there was really only one team on Regin’s mind to sign with. That was the Islanders, and skating with his long-time friend and countryman Frans Nielsen.
“[I thought] If I had an opportunity to go there, I would come for sure,” Regin said about his free agent decision. He was so eager to come to Long Island, he agreed to the contract in the back of a cab. “Right away, even before I talked to the Islanders, it was my number one priority to come here and when I talked to Snowy, it was pretty obvious that that’s what I wanted to do and we got it done pretty quickly.”