FN’s All-Time Greatest Flames Team: Paul Reinhart

The resurgence of the Calgary Flames has been, in part, due to the ability of their defensive group to generate offense. And if you look at the history of the team, arguably the best Flames teams have been anchored by offense-generating blueliners.

So it probably shouldn’t shock you that the latest member of the All-Time Flames Team is one of the team’s best offensive-generating blueliners, Paul Reinhart. While he’s probably best known these days for fathering three pretty decent hockey players, he was Dennis Wideman before Wideman was – a guy that was at his best in the offensive end, generating chances off the rush. On the All-Time Team, he’d be the power-play specialist – or the guy you’d throw out when the team was down a goal or two and you needed to generate a comeback.

CAREER STATISTICS

I’ve always been a big fan of Paul Reinhart. I caught the tail-end of his career, but my recollections are that he was always just a fun player to watch. Originally drafted into the NHL by the old Atlanta Flames, he played a year there before making the move up north to Calgary. Once he swapped the Flaming A for a Flaming C, he stepped it up a notch.

During his tenure in Calgary, Reinhart was a just-shy-of-point-per-game player. He played a ton, often playing on the blue and at forward during the same game. Even when he was playing on the back end, his skill and speed made him basically a fourth forward on the ice. Injuries slowed him down near the end of his tenure – he was limited to 32 games in 1985-86 and 14 games in 1987-88 – and Cliff Fletcher eventually cashed out and got a draft pick for him. Granted, the draft pick turned out to be nobody worth remembering, and Reinhart ended up having a couple productive seasons in Vancouver before retiring.

He never won a Stanley Cup with the Flames – ironically, he was traded before the season they won the Cup – but he sure was a really great contributor when he was wearing a Flames jersey. The Flames winning a Cup without him makes it a little bit easier to stomach him wearing a Canucks jersey for two seasons.

GREATEST MOMENT(S)

FLAMES MILESTONES

  • 13th in All-Time Flames Games Played (517)
  • 6th in All-Time Flames Assists (336)
  • 10th in All-Time Flames Points (445)
  • 5th in All-Time Flames Power-Play Assists (155)

LEGACY

Paul Reinhart wasn’t the best defenseman the Flames had during his tenure. He happened to play on a Flames club that was really deep. That gave him a bit of a benefit, as he was able to get some easier match-ups and favourable situations in which to play.

But man, Reinhart sure made the most of it. He was an insanely useful offensive player and made his teammates more dangerous just by being on the ice. If he hadn’t been riddled by back injuries during his career, he might have been even better. As it stands, he was still pretty damn good.

  • The GREAT Walter White

    This “all time greatest Flames team” thing is embarrassing……

    When you use the word “GREAT ” you should be referring to something truly special and amazing…….

    WW

  • KACaribou

    Unlike many of the writers and readers here, I actually saw hundreds of Flames games with Paul Reinhart on our back end. And there are few Youtube highlights for those unfortunate enough to have not had the honour.

    Paul Reinhart was before his time really. He was a skilled D-man who scored a lot of points. He would have fit in very well today where the NHL relies on skill not size, fighting, and clutching.

    The knock on him as I remember was that he was a bit soft. Not soft compared to you and me, or the writers who contribute to this blog, or today’s NHL players; but soft compared to 1980s NHL hockey, and the Flames/Oilers bloodbaths.

    Probably the third best skilled D-man the Flames have ever had: behind McInnis and Suter of course.

    Very good choice Ryan, in my opinion.

    • KACaribou

      Agree with this comment.

      I do recall that Badger Bob did, from time to time, use this Reinhart up front at centre because of his playmaking ability. Not a lot of minutes there, but some.

      As KACaribou notes, Paul wasn’t the toughest guy on the back end, but wasn’t the softest either. I think you could peg (Scary) Kari Eloranta for that!

  • KACaribou

    He WAS a fun player to watch. He had both the skill and the anticipation to make some amazing plays. As I have said before, my only regret of the 1989 Flames Stanley Cup win was that Paul wasn’t there, having been traded to Vancouver the previous summer. He played two seasons for Vancouver and, fortunately for them, his bad back didn’t cause many issues: he scored 57 points (17 goals!) in 67 games his final season.

    In the 3 seasons he lost lost the most games to injury(back issues), he excelled in the playoffs: 1984 24 regular season games 21 points, 11 playoff games 17 points, 1986 32 regular season games 33 points, 21 playoff games 18 points, 1988 14 regular season games 4 points, 8 playoff games 9 points! The Calgary Flames best defenseman trophy is named for him.

    His sons have inherited varying levels of his abilities: Sam and Max have both shown that knack of anticipation. Max’s first NHL point was a classic Reinhart move of doubling back until someone got open.