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.

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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

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  • 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


  • Alberta Bound Edmonton

    Seems like a great kid will do anything to get better, however we all have a ceiling, seems like the price was too high.

    Not his fault that Oilers gave away too much for an AHL player at the moment.

  • Alberta Bound Edmonton

    Seems like there was not much current due diligence done by the Oilers regarding GR. Bob Green talks about 1 year ago . Obviously they know the player from the Oil kings but things change.

    Chia from what i read does not know much about him. Is that correct?

    • OilCanFan1

      Chiarelli was recorded as saying he DID know about him and they’ve been talking about him for months. He watched him play in the AHL as well as when he was up with Boston.

    • Randaman

      Are you still crying in your milk because we didn’t get Provorov?

      Get over it. Move on.

      anything else you want to bitch about? Silly question as I’m sure you’ll find something.

      Very tiring you are

    • Joy S. Lee

      Usual tendency is to weigh these things on who laughs LAST. I’m glad you have your crystal ball. Make sure it’s spot free, wouldn’t want things like biases or bitterness to affect how clear the view is.

    • Zarny

      No one is laughing at the Oilers; least of Garth Snow. NYI might be the only franchise to match the Oilers’ glacial speed of rebuilding.

      NYI have a solid D with 3 first round picks + Boychuk, Hamonic and Visnovsky. And according to reports, Ryan Pulock (2013 15th overall) is the top prospect in waiting giving Reinhart very little opportunity to progress. Snow was simply smart to move an asset he couldn’t use.

      • Quicksilver ballet

        Just figured there were better targets to be had available. Matt Dumba for one, at potentially half the money. Minnesota needed to move a body with that Dubnyk signing bearing down on them. They’re at 65 mill and only 16 guys signed. Maybe even take Backstrom if they’ll throw in Coyle. Backstrom probably spends more than half the season on the IR. They need to make room.

        I’d actually put Davidson in ahead of Reinhart. He skates better and is more physical. You think Griffin gets silver spooned and starts the year in the NHL? There were better options out there, but they think they know better.

          • Quicksilver ballet

            Good for you. You were able to see them play the kids version of the game.

            Things change alot at the pro level. Some progress (like Dumba) more than others.

          • camdog

            Ha! The guy was a non factor on his team. This was after he was drafted high and was said to have this offensive potential and ability to make big hits. He didn’t effect the game at all. I hope he progressed because he would’ve needed to save up just to be as effective as Reinheart was back then.

            I’m not saying I love the trade, but if I had to pick, I take Reinheart every day.

          • YFC Prez

            I put as much weight in being a plus player on the wild as I do being a minus player on the sound tigers.

            Not very much.

            I can’t wait to see Reinhart play next season.

        • Zarny

          Maybe Matt Dumba is available. I know you’re enamored with young players in the NHL but he’s far from a superior bet over Reinhart. Dumba wouldn’t have cracked the NYI blueline last year and was sheltered worse than Schultz in Min this year.

          No, I don’t think Reinhart is guaranteed a spot with the Oilers to start the season but the math isn’t any different than with Marincin or Klefbom last year. Exactly how many LD better than Reinhart are you expecting to show up at training camp?

          If it makes you feel better Chiarelli agrees with you in a way. Reinhart wasn’t plan A; Hamilton was.

          Reinhart may not have been plan B. Maybe Dumba was and Min demanded Nurse too. Or they just said no thanks because they are trying to win now so draft picks and prospects who won’t play for 3-4 years does them no good. Probably could have had Jared Spurgeon though.

          What would you say to another team that said Klefbom or Nurse were there to be had? Think they’d pay your price?

          Reinhart wasn’t the ideal trade; Hamilton was. Reinhart is the guy is was actually available for that price. Time will tell if it was a good trade. It has risk but it also has a lot of upside.

          • Quicksilver ballet

            The overly enamored with young players thing. That’s what the entry draft is all about, i thought. Teams using the entry draft to improve their team through trades is actually less common than you think. When have the Oilers acquired any significant pieces (veteran) at the draft that would help their team the following season? Not very often. So lets put that unicorn and rainbows thinking aside and focus on the 1,2 even 3 yrs from now for the one weekend a year. The future is still coming, and ELC’s are all important to even competitive teams. Just don’t sit back and be satisfied with the minimum due to them each June.

            Knowing what you know now. Would you rather have a Werensky/Provorov type player rather than a still developing bottom half of your blue liner group in Reinhart? Keeping in mind Werensky or Provorov would be plenty more useful in the same time frame as Griffin. The Oilers didn’t really helped themselves this season by the move they made anyways.

  • Puck JammeR!

    LT,

    How did this trade go down ?

    A. Was it known to the Oilers if Barzal is available at #16 the deal could go down with NYI

    or

    B.Oilers pick/picks at #16 was gone ?

    C. both

    D. none of the above.

  • Aendayana777

    I think this will work out for the Oilers. So much is about timing in life. He is in a good place now surrounded with plenty other young and talented hockey players. Give him 2-3 years.

    On a side note. PC tried to trade for Mike Richards before Lombardi got informed of some shenanigans of his. Told PC about it and said can’t trade him anymore. Good thing it did’t work out. I don’t know if its old news

  • Joy S. Lee

    Seeing as we were interested in M.Richards until latest news , will the Oilers now focus on B.Richards as another center ? Perhaps J.Williams on RW to add to playoff veteran presence ?

  • STR8 SHOOTER

    HOCKEY NEWS REDRAFT 2012 : Yakupov still goes NBR.1 . Boundaries of hockey news redraft exercise : opinions of team scouting committee with one scout/team .

    Reinhart drops to #14.in redraft , but still above 17.Pouliot,20.Dumba and 28. Koekkoek. By the way , Hockeynews has Nurse dropping from #7 to #17 , which is understandable , seeing as he has not seen any NHL action as yet .

    • CMG30

      Nurse dropping to 17? That I do not understand. He’s been absolutely dominant in junior and exceptional in the AHL playoffs.

      The fact that the Oilers are doing the right thing with him and letting him develop in the minors instead of sink-or-swim in the NHL should only increase his value.

      • NJ

        There are some players who were taken later who have really made the jump. Ristolainen and Zadorov were World Junior All Stars in 2014 and are in the NHL. Morrisey was an all star in 2015. Mueller is doing very well with the Sharks. Those are just 4 examples. Nurse should turn out to be quite good but at this time some guys have jumped ahead of him.

  • BDH

    “Griffin Reinhart had a tough year away from Edmonton, as he toiled in the minors for most of the season.”

    The 21 year old had a tough year because he played in the minors? Huh, thats an…… interesting view

    • Joy S. Lee

      “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…”

      I’m guessing a bit here, but he had a tough year in the minors because it seems he personally expected more of himself: to be in the big leagues. I’m glad he wanted better, that’s a good sign. But I don’t think it was a reference to the minors being a negative experience, just a personal disappointment for the player himself.

    • Dwayne Roloson 35

      Strange that you interpreted the word ‘as’ to mean because. I chose to interpret the word ‘as’ to mean while.

      It gives a completely different meaning to the statement

      • BDH

        Great point, its the placement of the comma that suggests my interpretation but I see the alternative. But “tough season” and “toiled” has a negative connotation here, as if even the minors was too much above his level. D men need time to develop and by all accounts he was sucessful in the AHL. If you used tough season and toiled in describing Maricin’s season Lowetide would get carpal tunnel writing a response about MacT and sideburns and so on

  • Alberta Bound Edmonton

    This is one of those wait and see trades. My gut says that trade will end up being a steel. We will look back at this and say.. can you believe we Got GR for the just the 16th and 33rd picks.. NO roster players.. Wow what a trade…

  • nuge2drai

    Oiler Domination To Follow

    Reinhart Nurse playing big minutes together in the AHL would be good for both of these prospects.

    Oilers have the cap space to sign Franson and Green.

    Fayne Franson

    Green Klefbom

    Ference Gryba

    This would obviously leave no cap space to sign any forwards. I’m ok with that, would leave room on the third line for Lander and possibly space on the wing for Draisaitl.

    • mcjesus take the wheel

      No. Chia said the guy they wanted there was still there at #16. They made the trade anyways and they said their guy wasn’t who the Islanders picked at 16. I think this will go down as a bad bad move. I’ve been saying since before he was even drafted that grif was over rated. He got away with a lot in the whl due to size and positioning. He can’t and won’t get away with that in the NHL. I saw someone somewhere recently compare him to Smid. I think we will be lucky if he’s even that.

      • HockeyYoda

        I think that may be too pessimistic of a view. GR was definitely one of Canada’s best defenseman at the world juniors, which is a pretty high level. I don’t think Smid could’ve ever done that. But I do agree it’s s bit of a gamble.

  • CMG30

    For the love of Gourd, just don’t rush him. If he’s ready then fine, but the default should be Bakersfield.

    It’s better he get 20 minutes in the AHL vs. 2 minutes in the NHL.

    • bazmagoo

      Also @ Alberta Bound Edmonton – I’d love to see Darnell and Griffin play a full season in the AHL, just my personal opinion. One question for all those poo pooing on the trade, how many of you would have traded #16 and #33 overall for #4 overall in this years draft? Personally I think this looks like a steal for Chiarelli.

  • OilCanFan1

    2012 draft year by defence first round , as many taken early : 2.R.Murray ,4. Griffin Reinhart , 5. Morgan Reilly ,6.H.Lindholm, 7.M.Dumba , 8.D.Pouliot , 9.J.Trouba ,10 S.Koekkoek , 15.C.Ceci ,22.O.Maata . We took Yakupov with first by the way , while F.Forsberg went #11 . Not too many not playing regular on their NHL teams to be honest . I wonder how a redraft might look in retrospect ?