The Blackhawks recalled forward Peter Regin from the Rockford IceHogs of the AHL on Thursday morning, the team announced. Regin was recalled to fill the void on the roster created when winger Patrick Sharp was injured Tuesday night during the Blackhawk's 5-0 rout of the Montreal Canadiens.
Losing Sharp is obviously a pretty big deal, as he is one of the Blackhawks' best goal scorers. Last year, he lead the 'Hawks in goals in the regular season, and this year he was off to a pretty good start, with nine points (3G, 6A) through the first 13 games, tied with Patrick Kane for second on the team. Filling that void could be a tall task, but luckily for Regin he won't have to do it directly, as another forward -- probably Brandon Saad or Kris Versteeg -- will likely be taking Sharp's minutes, giving Regin a lesser role.
Regin was acquired in a trade with the New York Islanders last season, and was with the 'Hawks from there on out all the way through the playoffs, although he was often a healthy scratch. In the regular season with the 'Hawks, he tallied four points (2G, 2A) in 17 games. He had no points in five playoff games. This year he was assigned to Rockford out of training camp, and has played well for the IceHogs, as he was second on the team in points with 10 (4G, 6A) through the Hogs' first 11 games. Given his production at the AHL level and his familiarity with the players on the big club from being there last year, Regin was an obvious candidate for the call-up.
Calling Regin up could end up being a very smart decision for a couple of reasons. As I mentioned before, his time with the 'Hawks last season allowed him to build a familiarity with the guys on that roster. Obviously there would need to be a slight period of adjustment having spent the last few weeks in Rockford, but it shouldn't take too long for him to get back in the swing of things. He could also slide into the third-line center, allowing Brad Richards to bump up to 2C. This could put Andrew Shaw on the wing, which might be wise considering his struggles defensively and on the dot so far this season. And even if Shaw stays at center, Regin is a more than capable bottom-6 wing, and could maybe even slide onto the second line if need be.
Obviously losing Sharp is a big deal, but Regin is a player who is very capable of joining the 'Hawks roster and producing well enough to make that loss a little less painful.