A CONVERSATION WITH PAUL AND GRIFFIN REINHART

reinhart griffin

On the weekend I had a chance (along with Paul Almeida) to talk with Paul and Griffin Reinhart. It was mere hours after the trade that brought Griffin to the Oilers and both men were pleased with the opportunity.

DAD

  • Paul Reinhart on his son Griffin’s opportunity : “It’s a tough league for any player to break in to, let alone succeed in. Not only is it tough it’s almost impossible if not given the opportunity. You need an organization and a staff that is prepared to work with you and develop you. That’s out of a player’s control and I think with a change of scenery here and with the familiarity that Griffin has with the whole organization it really puts him in a great state of mind right now.”

When the Edmonton Oilers sent away two high picks in a deep draft for Griffin Reinhart, they were clearly sending a message to him: He’s a big part of the future. Reinhart’s size and style make him a ‘perfect fit’ for a young team with plenty of flash and offensive brilliance, but a distinct lack of rugged men with size who can actually play. That’s where Reinhart comes in. For his part, Griffin Reinhart had a tough year away from Edmonton, as he toiled in the minors for most of the season. He’s ready to grab the opportunity.

  • Paul Reinhart: “He was incredibly motivated, I’ve never seen him more motivated than he was at the beginning of this summer, just because he knew his time had come and he was ready to go. Even before the trade, the fact that he’s been traded to a place like this is just a dream come true for him.”

The timing is perfect for the Oilers as well. Former Oil Kings GM Bob Green is now the top man in amateur procurement, and Griffin Reinhart would be well known for good deeds during their time together with Edmonton’s WHL team.

  • Bob Green: “He’s got elite hockey sense, he’s 6’4”, he’s a defencemen; we need
    defencemen. He won a Memorial Cup, he was the captain. He would have
    taken us there I believe when he was 18 but he got injured in the
    Conference Final that year and we took Portland to six games and maybe
    we could have won that series had we had him in the lineup. Did he
    struggle this year in the American League? I guess he did, but I believe
    in Griffin as a player and I think he’s going to be just fine… He’s a
    horse. He can play all night. He’s 6’4”, he can move the puck, he’s got
    elite hockey sense, he’s got great hands. He’s the complete package that
    you want in a defenceman who is 20 years old.”
    Source

  • Paul Reinhart: “You need to temper some of the enthusiasm with the knowledge that a lot of his peers who were in that draft have a year or two of experience—and that’s tough to get. I think that the real measurement of Griffin will be ‘what does he look like after Christmas?’ and into the future. I know what he’ll be in two or three years from now.”

This falls in line with my own belief that relying on Reinhart for big minutes or a feature role right away is asking too much. Todd McLellan will have an opportunity to evaluate him in the fall, and Oilers fans like you and me will argue all summer about where he belongs. When it comes to defensemen, most often injuries dictate usage and with several elder blue in Edmonton now it’s likely we’ll GR for an extended period (or all year) during 2015-16.

  • Griffin Reinhart on his first year of pro hockey: “I think it was a little inconsistent, I had stretches where I wasn’t playing very well and maybe a little bit frustrated and disappointed maybe I wasn’t up in the big league but when I was playing well I played extremely well and was able to keep up—especially in some of the games I got to play up in the NHL. I thought I handled myself well and it’s always a confidence booster when you do play well at that level.”

The Islanders have many quality prospects but the deals for Johnny Boychuk and Nick Leddy impacted his NHL opportunity as a rookie pro in a big way. The frustration and disappointment aside, Reinhart appeared to work through the issues and come out the other side playing well.

  • Griffin Reinhart’s things to work on: “There’s a lot of things. I’m always going to work on every part of my game. I think the biggest focus is agility, skating and making sure I stay low and in a good hockey position. I think sometimes I tend to have straight legs almost and that may costs me a little bit, but that’s something I’m working on this summer.

Defense is a tough position at any level, and the transition from junior to pro is a massive step. Reinhart’s adjustment continues and Oilers fans have seen many youngsters over the years make their way at the NHL level. Reinhart’s AHL experience in the Islanders system may have prepared him in a way that some Oilers prospects haven’t received when they make their pro debut. We should also account for the possibility that Reinhart spends some time in Bakersfield this season and his development continues in the Oilers organization.

Full interview is very interesting, both men were gracious with their time and it’s appreciated. Interview begins at 46 minute mark. Source

  • BigMcD

    I think everyone needs to temper their expectations a little here. Did we actually think that this team was going to be fixed with just a couple of moves . They have not even hit the ice to see what McLellan and staff can get out of these guys and see if an identity can be put in place.

  • BigMcD

    Oil Kings 2012 and defence : D.Musil (via Vanc.) , M.Gernat , G.Reinhart , Keegan Lowe , A.Saunter ,Dyson Mayo , C.Corbett . None have shown much at NHL level and Musil is probably the furthest along . Others we have drafted from that team have also not developed much as well . L.Broissoit (too early to tell) , M.Moroz , and T.Ewanyk .The only one that did transition somewhat from that team might be C.Lazar and perhaps H.Samuelsson at forwards. Our fetish for that years club has shown very little to be honest . Somehow , I do not think Chiarelli , but his advisors , was most responsible for decision to go with Reinhart .

  • Spaceman Spiff

    The thing about the Oilers right now isn’t that they just need a No. 1 or 1A defenceman or a No. 2 or a No. 3. They need all kinds of defencemen – fives, sixes and sevens. They need guys like Griffin Reinhart.

    These types of moves will need to become the norm for this team if it wants to make the turn north. The Oilers will need to be prepared to trade picks for guys in their early and late 20s or prospects that are further down the development road.

    To me, that’s a major selling point on Reinhart. Right now, there’s nothing that indicates his development has stalled or slowed. He was drafted fourth overall three years ago, played two more years of major junior – one of which he led his team to the Memorial Cup – then he moved on to a year in the minors, where by all accounts, he had pretty solid pro debut (with offensive numbers that were better than I was expecting). That’s exactly where you’d want most prospects – especially defensive defencemen like Reinhart – to be. In fact … haven’t we all said in recent years that it would have been better, in hindsight, if several of our prospects had played more time in the AHL? Haven’t we all said that some of their players should have had their paths to the NHL slowed a bit? (Justin Schultz could have used two full years in the AHL, in hindsight).

    As for the notion that the Oilers missed out on an elite-level prospect by trading away their 16th pick, time will tell. But if Reinhart can come in and fill a role as a second or third pairing guy with toughness, character and leadership abilities, then that will fill just as valuable of a role as the guy they could have drafted had they kept their 16th overall pick.

    Remember – the Oilers are up to their armpits in skill. They now need guys who have size, character, and sandpaper. Reinhart represents that kind of player very well. I look forward to seeing him in an Oilers jersey.

  • TKB2677

    Reinhart is 21 yrs old so I think anyone that says “Oh he took a step back” needs to check themselves. He’s 6’4, 217lbs, has great hockey sense, moves the puck reasonably well, very smart positionally, very smart defensively, has leadership capabilities, he isn’t an offensive wizard but has some offensive capabilities, is competitive. Does he not have a ton of what the Oilers severely lack? Some people bitch and moan about the loss of Marincin. Reinhart at 21 is probably just as good as Marincin who’s 2 years ahead of Reinhart. Plus he’s a lot bigger, plays with a lot more compete and has a much bigger upside.

    Reinhart will be a good, top 4 Dman for years. With the #16 pick, if the Oilers drafted a Dman that turned into a good top 4 Dman, we’d all be thrilled. The difference here is we got a guy that can start helping the team NOW rather than 3 or 4 years from now.

    Many of us bitch and moan about the team spinning their wheels, not progressing. We complain about the management year after year talking about potential and “next year”. So here they do something to actually address a need for right now and all people can talk about is “awww, look who was still available to draft.” Those same people will then bitch about the Oilers doing nothing to improve the team now.

  • YFC Prez

    Once it became public that the oilers had almost traded for Richards I had mixed emotions. First off I don’t really see where Richards fits unless someone is going out (as part of a bigger trade for a D-man later), so as a trade on its own I didn’t really like the idea.

    On the flip side though this has shown to the world that Chia isn’t done yet, he is still looking for moves to better his club. That is so refreshing as I am quite familiar with the last 2 GM’s who would pull of 1 or 2 minor trades check off a box and then sit on their hands and wait and see what happens. We finally have a man of action at the helm.

    And I just wanted to reiterate, I love the Griffin Reinhart trade! That is all.

  • YFC Prez

    Some need to be reminded that this site is for Mixed Reviews , and not just one sided views . Some have concerns about even new management and coaches beyond just the players . Does not make them any less a fan than the others .

  • Oilcounty88

    Are people naive enough to think that there aren’t more guys in the league that are doing drugs? Pretty common thing when you mix a 20 something athlete with fame and money. Probably safe to say there are more than Stoll and Richards partaking in illegal substances in a league with 900 players.

  • 916oiler

    I wouldn’t mind to see him spend some time at the start of the year in Bakersfield. The same goes for Nurse.

    That said, the only way it will be possible is if Chia goes and adds a defenseman or two in free agency. Sekera would make very happy!!

    • CaptainLander

      I also like Sekera but would not want to see the Oil sign a player for longer then 3 years. That said, UFAs under 30 will likely want 5-6 year deals. Sekera will get a Petry like deal.

      Older player like Oduya may be more apt to take a shorter deal for more money. 2 years at 5 mil, maybe?

      Have not seen a lot of love for Oduya on this site but people do realize he just won a cup playing top four 4 minutes. This guy obviously knows what is needed to win and I think he would be a perfect compliment for Kbom.

      Still does not give you a top 2 player but that player need to come in trade or developed. In the mean time.

  • CaptainLander

    So, is anyone else worried we’re not going to see any oilers put on waivers for bouy out purposes today? I mean, if it doesn’t happen today, that is the defence unless there’s a trade right? Comon Nikitin!

  • Quicksilver ballet

    one can only wonder what all these pseudo managers and coaches who post on here would have had to say about a defenceman lke Randy Gregg?
    Luckily for Randy and the Oilers there was no internet website to post on and these Jr. B experts hadnt yet been born.
    new tec

  • Quicksilver ballet

    one can only wonder what all these pseudo managers and coaches who post on here would have had to say about a defenceman lke Randy Gregg?
    Luckily for Randy and the Oilers there was no internet website to post on and these Jr. B experts hadnt yet been born.
    new technnology sometimes has its downsides.

    • camdog

      Hamilton accepts 6 year 34.5 M = 5.75M/season contract from Flames , after rejecting Bruins 6year 33M contract offer . For a paltry $1.5 M over six years Bruins blow it big time . Cudos to Flames obviously .

      • YFC Prez

        That’s gotta suck seeing this from a Bruins fans perspective. Moving out the lucic contract would have been enough to keep Hamilton. Not only did they lose both players, they traded Hamilton when there were better returns on the table.

        All the whining oiler fans have done over the Hamilton trade is comical. Bruins fans are the ones who got the shaft here. This whole deal was very “Lowe-like” on the part of Sweeney. I would be pissed if we lost Nurse for that kind of return, let alone a established top pairing guy like Hamilton.

  • Naterator

    Oilers fans (myself included) are like abused rescue dogs, skiddish and temperamental.

    Let’s give our new handler a chance before biting his hand and him sending us back to pound.

    Personally I love the Reinhart deal

  • CapeBretonOilers

    boys and girlz .. Calm down .. This is exactly how this team should be put together. Excellent moves and I probably would have done the same thing myself. Sit back and enjoy the ride !!!!!!!

    🙂

  • Tikkanese

    I hope Reinhart works out but that’s a steep price to pay for a left side defender who might not even make the Oilers this year as they are strong on the left side already and not to mention, they have too many bottom pairing defense already. Not only steep as in they were two high picks in a deep draft, but it really hurt their chances at acquiring a top pairing defencemen now.

    What they needed in the worst way was top pairing defense now, not more maybies that are 2-3 years from now. That answer is not available in free agency either. It would have best been answered at the draft with the some combination including the same assets used on Reinhart. Now they have even less assets to trade for the badly needed top D as those assets from this draft are gone and they don’t have many future picks either as they’re gone in compensation for Chiarelli etc.