For the first in a series of articles on the Ottawa Senators' free agents, we look at arguably the most important restricted one of the bunch: Centre Peter Regin.
|2009-10 Regular Season||75||13||16||29||10||20||1||0||1||0||135||9.6|
Contract status: Regin is coming off his entry level contract, Regin made $620k in 2009-10.
Season review: Through the regular season, Regin was a good surprise for the Senators. It was up and down for him (which Senator didn't have an up and down year?), but his numbers were pretty good for a first-year NHLer. If his numbers in the regular season were good, though, his playoff was outstanding. Four points may not sound amazing, but for the first half of the Senators' Eastern Conference Quarter-Final series, Regin was probably Ottawa's strongest forward, and he led the team offensively. Of course, with his success coming at the end of the year, that will likely skew our memories of him in his favour, meaning perhaps a better negotiation.
Comparable players: In putting together a list of comparable players, I looked around the league at younger forwards on their second contracts, with comparable statistics in their first NHL season as Regin.
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#16 / Centre / Columbus Blue Jackets
Sep 22, 1987
Cap hit: $3.2M, four more seasons
This year was really Brassard's full NHL season, and he put up 36P (9G, 27A) in 79GP; certainly comparable to Regin's numbers this past year. In September, he signed a four-year deal worth $12.8M, largely based on the very strong pace he'd set in 2008-09 (25P in 31GP). Brassard is also a first-round draft pick, a factor that often increases the second-contract salary. Realistically, Brassard's number will probably be the high range Regin looks for in his contract negotiations.
Kesler, two years older than Regin, is certainly farther along in his development. In his first NHL season, though, he had similar (in fact, slightly worse) numbers as compared to Regin's this past year: 23P in 82GP. Kesler signed a six-year contract extension for $30M that takes effect after this year; that's his third NHL pact, though. His second contract, which started in 2007, was three years at a cap hit of $1.75M per season. That contract was three seasons ago, so Regin will likely be looking for a little more, but somewhere between $1.5-2M will likely be the Senators' high watermark.
#47 / Centre / Atlanta Thrashers
Jul 08, 1982
Cap hit: $1.3M, two more seasons
Although Peverley's four years older than Regin, the two of them are likely at similar places in terms of their development as NHL players. With the Thrashers, he's put up some incredibly surprising numbers (90P in 121GP), much higher than Regin's points percentage, but he's on a bargain contract considering that production: Two years at $1.3M per. The Senators might try and use Peverley's contract as a comparable to get Regin's number down.
Another guy who's a fair bit older than Regin, but Koivu put up 21P in 64GP as a rookie. And then he inked a four-year, $13M contract extension. Koivu, though, is a top centreman for his team, and was drafted sixth overall; his upside was pretty high even if his production hadn't matched it, so his contract would have reflected it. If Regin turns into a player like Koivu, awesome; if he's asking for a contract like Koivu's, he's crazy--at least for now.
Plekanec is on a one-year deal right now for $2.75M, which is going to bring him into unrestricted free agency this year; it's his third NHL deal, though. His second was a two-year contract worth $3.2M, and it was awarded based on a career trajectory quite similar to Regin's. In his first pro season, he had 29P in 67GP, close to Regin. Again, that contract was a few seasons ago so Regin's might be higher (the inflation rate in the NHL seems a million times that of real life), but it shouldn't be much higher.
After Stajan put up 27P in 69GP for the Maple Leafs in his rookie season, and then two similar seasons statistically, he signed a two-year deal worth $3.5M total, a cap hit of $1.75M per year. His numbers got better over those two years, which is why he's received the contract extension he has from Calgary, but Regin's not there yet.
Conclusion: Although Peter Regin might go into his negotiations looking to get numbers similar to Derick Brassard or Mikko Koivu, it's a lot more likely his second NHL contract will fall into the range of Rich Peverley's current deal, or Tomas Plekanec' second contract. If Regin's looking to sign a longer-term deal (five-year range), his average salary might get as high as $1.8-2.4M. It's more likely his deal will be a two- or three-year pact, though, with the salary coming somewhere between $1.1-1.4M per year.