Friday, June 19, 2009

Reinprecht traded to Florida

The Phoenix Coyotes have traded Steve Reinprecht to the Florida Panthers in exchange for minor-league forward Stefan Meyer. The Panthers have signed Reinprecht, who would've been become a UFA if not signed before July 1, to a 3-year deal.

From the Panthers website: Official release, more on the trade
Panthers Assistant GM Randy Sexton: Steve is a smart, high character, hard working player who fits our club’s need for a second line center. We are constantly looking to upgrade our team speed and he brings this to our club as part of his skill set. He also possesses an ability to win face-offs, another area our team looked to improve on this off-season.

Reinprecht: It doesn’t matter where I play, who I play with, what the situation is, I make sure I go out there, work my hardest, try to provide some offense, and I take care of our defensive zone. I always want to play the best I can.

For schmucks like Gandalf (kidding!) who didn't get much of a chance to see Reino as a Badger, here's a bit of a refresher: A forward from Edmonton, AB, Reinprecht wore the Cardinal & White for 4 seasons (1996-2000). In 154 games, he recorded 72 goals and 90 assists for 162 points. During his All-American season, he recorded 26 goals and 40 assists for 66 points to lead the nation in scoring.

In addition to his All-American honors, he was 1st-Team All-WCHA and WCHA Player of the Year in 2000, Hobey Baker Finalist in 2000, and 2nd-Team All-WCHA in 1998. And in addition to leading the Badgers in both total points and assists during the 1999-00 season (Dany Heatley had more goals, but Reino had more points), he also led the Badgers in goals and and total points during the 1998-99 (16-17-33) and 1997-98 (19-24-43) seasons.

And, of course, he wore the "C" during his junior and senior seasons. He was named Team MVP during his sophomore, junior, and senior seasons, sharing the honor with Graham Melanson in 1998-99 and Joe Bianchi in 1997-99.

Reino sounds like a really nice guy, and he sure was a heck of a player for the Badgers. His line with Dany Heatley and David Hukalo was a major reason why the Badgers did as well as they did in ’99-’00, accounting for 43% of the teams goals that year. As far as the Hobey goes, he probably should’ve won, but he didn’t, and there’s nothing that we can do about it now.

After leaving Wisconsin, Reinprecht played part of a season with the LA Kings, 2 & 1/2 seasons with the Colorado Avalanche (where he won a Stanley Cup in 2001), 2 seasons with the Calgary Flames (with a year in France sandwiched in-between due to the NHL lock-out), and 4 seasons with Phoenix (where he served as an alternate captain).