Regin came to the Blackhawks along with Pierre-Marc Bouchard from the New York Islanders for a fourth-round draft pick on Feb. 6. Regin played for the Blackhawks in their final game before the Olympic break on Feb. 7 and participated in his second practice with them on Monday.
“I talked to some guys, and they said it’s probably the best timing to get traded,” Regin said on Monday. “The best possible time you can is right before the break. I had time to go back to New York and pack up my stuff. Usually if you get traded you have to usually do it all on the spot right away and then move.
“Now I had time to get everything settled there and come here and have a couple of days of practice with the team. Usually during the season, you don’t really practice much. You just play games. Now we have some practice days. It’s like a mini-camp almost. It’s perfect timing for me.”
As for going to the Blackhawks, Regin couldn’t have been happier.
“I think most guys if you can pick one team you can go to you want to go to the Blackhawks for every reason,” Regin said. “They have a good team, a good organization. They’ve been winning. It’s arguably one of the best cities in North America. Everything is great here.
“You’re always sad to leave teammates and good friends. But that being said, to get an opportunity to play on probably the best team in the league... In the past couple years, they’ve been winning. To get a chance to play in the playoffs it’s a huge opportunity. I was excited when I heard about the trade and I’m even more excited now after I’ve been here a couple of days. I’m looking forward to the next couple of months.”
Regin also views the trade as an opportunity to get himself going again. He was made a healthy scratch for two consecutive games prior to being dealt by the Islanders. He had two goals, five assists and a minus-10 rating for them in 44 games.
The Blackhawks made a similar move last season when they acquired Michal Handzus from the San Jose Sharks after Handzus was receiving little ice time. Handzus ended up playing second-line center for the Blackhawks during their Stanley Cup run.
“Sometimes some fresh eyes and a new team can kind of kick-start everything,” Regin said. “That’s what I’m excited about here. We’ll see where I end up. I’ll take any role. I’ll try to do it as good as possible.
“Even if it's not the second line, it’s all good players here. It doesn’t matter who you play with, you’re going to end up with good players. That’s exciting. I’ll see where I end up, and I’ll try to make the most of any situation.”
Regin was given a shot to play second-line center alongside Brandon Saad and Kris Versteeg against the Phoenix Coyotes on Feb. 7. Patrick Kane missed the game due to personal reasons. Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said Monday he could use Regin in that same spot again come Thursday against the New York Rangers
“I like him in the middle,” Quenneville said. “We’ll see exactly (who) his linemates there (are) the next game. Could put Kaner on that line with him and see how that works out. As we go along here, I think that depth and another centerman we can use in a lot of different ways and we get to try some things along here early as well.”