FlamesNation chats with Max Reinhart

Ryan Pike
July 17 2012 07:34AM

 

 

Max Reinhart played an awful lot of hockey last year.

After a regular season slightly shorted by an injury and a trip to Hockey Canada's World Junior try-out camp, Reinhart took his Kootenay Ice into the WHL playoffs for a fourth straight time. After being eliminated from the playoffs, he jumped to the American Hockey League and joined the Abbotsford Heat in time for their playoffs.

FlamesNation's Ryan Pike chatted with the eldest of the three hockey-playing second-generation Reinharts at Flames development camp.

Ryan Pike: You played a lot of hockey last year. How did your season go?

Max Reinhart: Obviously it would've been nice to get a bit of rest in the spring, I think going to Abbotsford and actually playing some pro hockey for the first time, I probably learned as much then as the last four years because of all the good players that are up there in that league. I got to experience that and get it under my belt, that experience. I think that was probably the most important part of my year, just getting into some games up there, especially some key playoff games. It really got me the confidence that I can perform at that level.

RP: How was the transition from being a leader and veteran in Kootenay to being a rookie in Abbotsford?

MR: It was alright. They made it very easy. Obviously I knew a lot of the guys from these camps and playing against them in the WHL. I think that the biggest adjustment was just getting into a new system at the end of the year there. I ended up producing pretty good numbers in the first couple games, and that just got me some confidence and I was able to get myself in the line-up and make a role for myself. That was really just my goal when I was there and kind of get noticed a little bit.

RP: As you head into next season, are you focused on making any particular team?

MR: Obviously the goal is to be in the NHL as fast as possible. That's my goal this summer. I think I have a legitimate shot and it's up to me for these next couple months to get ready and be able to put myself in that spot and hopefully earn my way on right from day one. But if not, I got to be working hard and just when I'm in Abbotsford, I got to make sure I stick out when I'm there and dominate down there so they have no choice but to bring me up. That's my goals for the summer, to make the Calgary Flames, and I feel like this is the closest I've been to being able to crack it. Hopefully this is my year and I'm going to work very hard to get there.

RP: Does the fact that the Flames used so many call-ups last season, even bringing up Sven Baertschi from the WHL, motivate you heading into next season?

MR: It just shows players in the organization that there is opportunity. I noticed everybody getting called up and I'm dying to get my shot and I'm going to work hard to get it.

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Now in his fourth season covering the Calgary Flames and the NHL, Ryan Pike is a Calgary native and FlamesNation's managing editor. He's trying to keep his head up, his stick on the ice and is giving it 110% every shift. You can also find his work at The Hockey Writers and the Wrestling Observer.
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#1 gussey
July 17 2012, 09:12AM
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Love this guy already. Love the way he talks, he's all about working hard and really wants to make the flames. No excuses. That's awesome

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#2 McRib
July 17 2012, 11:11AM
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Max Reinhart had 1.279 points per game in the WHL last season. If he would have played in all 72 games he would have had 92 points, not to mention he was playing on a very mediocre team last year and had some minor injuries. He also had 1.42 Points Per Game in the 2011 Memorial Cup run.

If that isn't offensive upside don't know what is.

Personally think he will be a solid second line centre down the road just such a smart player, great on both special teams goes to the right areas.

Griffin has to be the most overrated player in all of junior!! 4th overall are you kidding me.... He can thank Max & his Dad Paul for building up his name. Reilly, Dumba, and Pouliot will all be better NHL players.

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#3 McRib
July 17 2012, 11:35AM
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If Mason Raymond had any sort of Hockey IQ he would be a star, haha. Max Reinhart has him beat big time in terms of intelligence. Think his style really compares to Daymond Langkow, maybe a few less points but you never know. If Max played the whole year think he easily would have broke 100 points.

On another note Sam Reinhart is a stud!!! Glad we got Max in the third and really like his attitude but man Sam was unreal as a 16 year old.

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#4 Kent Wilson
July 17 2012, 11:50AM
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@McRib

Mitch Wahl scored 96 points in his 20-year old season. Daymond Langkow scored 142 points in his 19 year old season. 90+ points as a 19-20 year old in the WHL is good, but it doesn't really point to a high ceiling at the next level.

Now, if he had been doing that since he was 18...

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#5 McRib
July 17 2012, 01:18PM
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Pavel Datsyuk had 8 points in a tier two league his draft year. Henrik Zetterberg had 3 points in a tier two league in Sweden his draft year. Detroit won multiple Stanley Cup's on the ability to find guys who may not have been big scorers in junior/semi pro but had POTENTIAL.

After watching every team play at least once in the WHL last season, I have to say no one forward had as much Hockey Sense as Max, so I like his potential (will maybe other than his brother Sam).

A good counter example is Brandon Ranford. He scored 92 points last season in the WHL but will NEVER play in the NHL, because he is a horrible skater, doesn't head into the corners and is nonexistent on the back check. He is someone the Flames definitely would have drafted too high in the 90s.

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#6 ALL THE WAY IN
July 17 2012, 01:20PM
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Wahl did break his face in several places, which would explain his downfall. I don't think he would've been a complete bust, if the Volpati incident never occurred.That kind of injury during the development stages probably shattered his confidence.

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#7 McRib
July 17 2012, 01:26PM
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The funny thing is Wahl is only 22 and the Flames have him signed for another year, what if he has a great year and stays healthy????

He played alright with limited ice time in Hamilton last season, with a full summer to train. why not? Of course the Flames probably have already given up on him. He showed with the 30 games he played in the ECHL that he definitaly has the talent to play in the A, he finished second on the team in scoring playing in half the games.

He will be great when someone else picks him up

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#8 SmellOfVictory
July 17 2012, 01:35PM
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I somewhat agree with our friend, McRib. I think Reinhart is the type of player who will outstrip projections based his junior NHLE rapidly, simply due to the type of skillset he has. Not saying he's going to be a first liner necessarily, but the projections as being primarily a checking forward are some that I'd hold off on until we see how he does in the AHL as well.

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#9 T&A4Flames
July 17 2012, 02:15PM
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Reinhart just strikes me as the kind of kid that rises to challenges. Going into a league with tougher competition, I expect he will step up. I can certainly see him as a #2 C in the few couple of years.

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#10 Steve
July 17 2012, 03:21PM
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I liked watching Max at Dev Camp. Seemed like his sweater was always flapping in the wind, legs pumping, hair flying.

I definitely think he can be top 6.

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#11 Frank
July 17 2012, 04:47PM
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Love this guy as well. It's a shame Feaster is so Sutter-esqe in his reluctance to give any of the youngsters a legit chance to make the team. Dont believe me? Take a look at the roster.

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#12 ALL THE WAY IN
July 17 2012, 08:43AM
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I thought Reinhart had a decent showing at camp and he proved to be an impact player at the ahl level in a small sample size, but o think he will play the year in Abby with the occasional call up.

Ryan in your opinion, which NHL player would be a good comparison for Reinhart, in terms of potential?

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#13 jeremywilhelm
July 17 2012, 08:51AM
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Daymond Langkow

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#14 Kent Wilson
July 17 2012, 08:54AM
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Craig Conroy might be a closer comparison...Langkow was a big time scorer in junior. Not sure Max has 60+ point potential at the NHL level in him.

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#15 Baalzamon
July 17 2012, 09:27AM
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I always said Manny Malhotra myself. Maybe with a little more offensive upside.

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#16 Kent Wilson
July 17 2012, 09:32AM
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@Baalzamon

Yeah, he could be in the Sammy Pahlsson school of centers as well.

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#17 jeremywilhelm
July 17 2012, 09:35AM
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I wasn't comparing point totals, just playing style and hockey awareness. Still stick with Langkow.

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#18 ALL THE WAY IN
July 17 2012, 10:05AM
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On the high-end I hope he becomes a Patrice Bergeron or a David Krejci type player (wishful thinking, I know) but I wouldn't be mind if he settled into a Conroy/Pahlsson type player. If one of our 3rd rounder picks actually became an NHLer, I think we win either way.

On the plus, he seems to be a very determined player and judging from scouting reports and CHL totals (on a offensively challenged team) he could become a very valuable member of the Flames for years to come.

Thanks to Mr. Pike for continuing to scratch my itch!

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#19 FireOnIce
July 17 2012, 10:28AM
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I don't think Reinhart will ever be a first liner, but I like the comparisons to Pahlsson/Conroy and even Langkow (minus the obscene scoring at the junior level). Diamond in the rough material for sure.

Now, imagine if we had ALL three Reinharts on the ice at the same time. Two centers and a d-man (well, move a Reinhart to the wing) - could be totally awesome.

Time to call up Garth Snow and fleece Griffin out of him.

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#20 Bikeit
July 17 2012, 11:11AM
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I was thinking more along the lines of Mason Raymond. Not the wheels of Mason, similar size players, but a little better IQ which is why he is at center. Definitely the kind of guy they needed to find lower in the draft. Hope his ceiling is high.

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#21 ALL THE WAY IN
July 17 2012, 12:31PM
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...And then Kent threw dirt on the camp-fire, while we were making smores. Point taken though...

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#22 Austin
July 17 2012, 12:35PM
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Max Reinhart's ceiling is probably a very good two-way top 6 center. But at least if he continues on his current path, he should be able to make the NHL at some point in his career. I just hope he can become a top 9 center at the least.

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#23 McRib
July 17 2012, 12:50PM
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The year Daymond Langkow scored 142 points Marty Murray scored 128, how’s he doing? Iginla that same year only had 71 points and had to wait till 11th to be taken. Junior success rarely predicts NHL success. If you looks at some of the players playing in the WHL in the 1994-1995 season you may notice that the league wasn't nearly as competitive as it is now and other than a couple Kamloops Blazers no team had much in terms of future NHL stars.

Mitch Wahl has been injured for two years and the Flames gave up on him, thats irrelevant.

Gabriel Landeskog THE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR had 66 points in the OHL as a LATE BIRTHDAY so he had an extra year development, and then had 52 points in the NHL.

Honestly a lot of the big scorers in junior are guys who grow early and have a couple of intangibles but don't develop a complete game and bust. How is Daniel Tkaczuk’s 100 points working for us?

Max Reinhart is extremely intelligent, can skate, shoot and if he gains some leg strength projects as a better prospect than he did in junior. Saying a guy can’t score in the NHL because he didn’t put up lofty numbers in junior is the most ludicrous things I have ever heard. Rob Blake one of the greatest offensive defenseman of the past 20 years only had 13 points his draft year.

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#24 McRib
July 17 2012, 01:47PM
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Honestly after watching Max Reinhart's performance in the Memorial Cup Run two years ago, just can't help but think he will be more than just a third/fourth line grinder.

Think his season last year was kind of unnecessary and he just went through the motions, too good for the WHL not old enough for the AHL, playing on a mediocre team.

Reminds me of Devin Setoguchi's last season in the WHL playing for Prince George (according to NHLE Seto's final 65 point junior season, should have only translated into 19.5 points in the NHL. Funny because Seto is only 25 and has already scored more than 35 points four times)

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#25 BCFLAME
July 17 2012, 05:04PM
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Yeah, I've watched Reinhart here in BC and the kid's a keeper. Agree with most of what McRib says, although Kent's counter-arguments are logically what may happen if the kid doesn't live up to his potential.

The Conroy comparison is a good one, although amongst current players he reminds me most of Dave Bolland of the Blackhawks as regards 2-way play and physique. Of course, Reinhart is not an agitator in the way Bolland can be.

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#26 Baalzamon
July 17 2012, 07:35PM
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@Frank

so we thought last year, and yet Roman Horak--HORAK!!--started the season in the NHL.

Besides, it's ultimately Hartley's decision who plays and who doesn't, never mind who Feaster signs as a free agent.

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#27 Austin
July 17 2012, 10:53PM
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@Baalzamon

Babchuk was a good example of this under Brent, hopefully it stays that way. I don't think Reinhart is ready for the NHL yet though, obviously if injuries pop up last year in training camp anything can happen, but other than that it's probably still Horak/Bouma that have the best chance of earning their spot on the team other than Sven.

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#28 MC Hockey
July 18 2012, 11:54AM
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Frank wrote:

Love this guy as well. It's a shame Feaster is so Sutter-esqe in his reluctance to give any of the youngsters a legit chance to make the team. Dont believe me? Take a look at the roster.

Have to agree with Frank that one mistake by Feaster is overloading with 1-way contracts making it harder for prospects at forward to make the team and also helped cause the Irving situation.

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#29 Baalzamon
July 18 2012, 12:26PM
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@MC Hockey

it wasn't a barrier last season. Certainly, the injuries helped, but even when the team was relatively healthy you saw Sarich and Babchuk riding the pines in favour of Brodie and Smith, you saw Stajan scratched (briefly) so Horak could stay in the NHL, you saw Karlsson seeing no action whatsoever in favour of repeated callups to Irving. It's the coach's decision who plays, not the CFO, the GM, or the player's agent. If Baertschi, Brodie, Bouma etc. play well enough to make the team, they'll be on the team.

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