Phoenix Coyotes Trade Steve Reinprecht to Florida

Jonathan Willis
June 19 2009 11:36AM

[caption id="attachment_13775" align="aligncenter" width="512" caption="Steve Reinprecht, enjoying a brief moment of happiness before remembering that his team is bankrupt."] Steve Reinprecht, enjoying a brief moment of happiness before remembering that his team is bankrupt. [/caption]

As per TSN.ca, the Phoenix Coyotes have traded centre Steven Reinprecht to the Florida Panthers in exchange for prospect Stefan Meyer. The opening line on the article is hilarious:

The Phoenix Coyotes may be in bankruptcy but they continue to do business.

I call it hilarious because if the Coyotes weren’t bankrupt they almost certainly wouldn’t have made this move.

Reinprecht was a pending unrestricted free agent who earned 2MM dollars last season and has had four good years in Phoenix after bouncing around the league. Florida promptly re-signed him to a three-year contract.

Reinprecht played middling competition this past year at even-strength and was very effective offensively, particularly given his level of ice-time. He’s willing to block shots but has a non-existent hitting game and isn’t terribly good in the faceoff circle.

Stefan Meyer took big strides forward this year after a lousy 2007-08. He’s a little long in the tooth for a prospect (drafted in 2003), and his offensive numbers don’t look overly good (40 points in 65 games) but he was playing for the Rochester Americans – the lowest scoring team in the AHL. His +/- (-2) was one of the best on the team.

From Phoenix’s perspective, Don Maloney probably did well to get any return at all on a pending unrestricted free agent who likely topped nobody’s wishlist, and he’s grabbed a player who can probably compete for a spot on the team next season (particularly if the team continues to hover around the salary floor).

This is also an interesting trade from Florida’s perspective. They still haven’t replaced departed GM Jacques Martin, so assistant GM Randy Sexton – who announced the trade – is presumably the guy making decisions for the Panthers. Reinprecht should be a good bet to improve his point totals in the Southeast division, and will likely be a decent fit on the second line.

This trade makes sense for both sides, given that Phoenix is probably a lottery team next season.  As for who won the deal, I'd say I did, since this means that I have one less free agent to do a profile on.

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#1 Souby
June 19 2009, 11:55AM
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Reinprecht is pumped that he can play with Bouwmeester.....wait.....That's okay, they still have Luongo right?....Damn! Who do they have in Florida again?

Steve will be alright I am sure. Lots of sun, sandy beaches, girls in bikinis, oh yeah and hockey too!

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#2 Archaeologuy
June 20 2009, 01:10PM
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Yeah, great move for the Yotes. A 40 point NHLer for a 40 point AHLer. It's pretty obvious Reinprecht would have signed anywhere if he was so quickly willing to sign in Florida. The trade is a joke. The NHL needs to realize the franchise wont be in Phoenix for longer than 2 more seasons and get it moved before all of the team's assets are bled off due to money problems.

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#3 JF
June 20 2009, 01:37PM
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@ Archaeologuy: i see your point, but the only other option for the 'yotes would of been letting him go for nothing, so its not a bad move

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#4 Archaeologuy
June 20 2009, 01:50PM
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@ JF: was it really the only option? Given how quickly he accepted an offer from Florida I would suggest that a similar offer from Phoenix would have kept him in town. Ok, they get something for a pending UFA, but was the UFA all that likely to leave or was Phoenix just unwilling to pay their player the league average? My bet is on the Yotes not wanting to pay guys.

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#5 Archaeologuy
June 20 2009, 01:55PM
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Reinprecht, incidentally, was their 3rd highest scorer last season. On a bad team that cant score they now made it so that they only have 2 40+ point guys on the team: Lombardi and Doan. They cant afford, as a team, to let their offensive leaders go because no one will be lining up to replace them. Sad move of a sad franchise.

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#6 JF
June 20 2009, 02:18PM
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Thats very true, but would you sign with a team thats bankrupt? If im Reinprecht, I wouldn't.

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#7 Archaeologuy
June 20 2009, 02:34PM
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@ JF:

I dont really know what was going through Reinprecht's head, but i guess I wouldnt want to be sticking around either. The whole thing just reinforces how hard it will be to keep a team viable in Phoenix. If I were a potential buyer (Balsillie or whomever) I would be cheesed to see the team be depleted of talent while negotiations are underway to acquire the Franchise.

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#8 JF
June 20 2009, 02:39PM
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@ Archaeologuy: nothing there to disagree with, its a sad situation

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#9 TonyT
June 20 2009, 03:28PM
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they (PHX) did resign Prucha do a decent contract. 2 years @ 1.3M per (I think).

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#10 Jonathan Willis
June 21 2009, 12:22PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

My bet is on the Yotes not wanting to pay guys.

That's my bet, too. But what can a guy like Dan Maloney do, aside from try to stem the bleeding?

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#11 Archaeologuy
June 21 2009, 05:11PM
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@ Jonathan Willis: He can do almost nothing. It's really not his fault, no one can possibly be effective working for that franchise. That club is on life support but it's brain dead. Pull the plug.

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