Hockey has been on my mind a lot -- at least during my free time -- at not just because the greatest hockey tournament in the world is about the start in the Winter Olympics.
So when word broke on Twitter on Thursday night that the Chicago Blackhawks had completed a trade, my hopes rose. The defending Stanley Cup champions aren't in need of much help, but a fan like me who hopes for a second straight NHL title sees holes on the team that would be good to fill.
Back to the news: The Blackhawks acquired Peter Regin and Pierre-Marc Bouchard from the New York Islanders in exchange for a fourth round draft pick. In addition, the Islanders would pick up half of their salary. It's a trade with virtually no risk to the Blackhawks and a high reward.
When he’s in the lineup and healthy, he’s a quality player. He’s not the second coming of Rod Brind’Amour or Henrik Zetterberg, but he’s a better option at this point than Handzus — Jay Zawaski, on new Chicago Blackhawk Peter Regin
My first thought, though, was, "Huh?" I had never heard of either player. These players were not the second line center or defensemen that the Blackhawks need.
The consensus of the Blackhawks media on this trade was that Regin would get the chance to center the Blackhawks second line, playing with talented forwards Patrick Kane and Brandon Saad. Could this Regin guy keep up? His statistics this year aren't encouraging -- two goals and five assists in 44 games played.
Jay Zawaski, a Blackhawks blogger whom I respect, had this take: "When he’s in the lineup and healthy, he’s a quality player. He’s not the second coming of Rod Brind’Amour or Henrik Zetterberg, but he’s a better option at this point than Handzus."
I felt better after reading his assessment. On Friday, we had a brief conversation over Twitter. Here it is:
The Blackhawks have one more game before the NHL goes on hiatus for the Winter Olympics, so it may not be until March before it's known if Regin is the team's answer at that position.
In the meantime, I'll sit back and enjoy Olympic hockey.