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REINPRECHT EMBRACES ROLE AS TOP-LINE CENTER

by Staff Writer / Arizona Coyotes

By: Matt Rosen


Photo Credit: Norm Hall

Steven Reinprecht has spent the first six years of his NHL career with four different teams.  Reinprecht started out with the Los Angeles Kings, before being traded to Colorado, moved to Calgary and now playing on the top line here in Phoenix.  And for the Coyotes center, he believes he has found a home in Arizona. 

"I really enjoy Phoenix," said Reinprecht.  "I think we are moving in the right direction and everybody is on the same page with the same goal of getting to the playoffs and then ultimately (to) try and win the Stanley Cup."

To start the 2006-07 season, Reinprecht is centering the Coyotes top line with Shane Doan and Ladislav Nagy, a role in which he downplays and believes is more of a group effort than individual success.

"I don't think our team really has a number-one center, we have a team that is going to win by committee and have everybody play their roles.

"It's a lot of fun playing with (Nagy and Doan) but at the same time I understand that there will be line shuffling and it's a long year.  We're a team that need everybody chipping in to win and that's what we have to focus on."

Reinprecht, an Edmonton, Alberta native, is a playmaking center who knows what his strengths and weaknesses are on the ice.

"I have to keep my feet moving and skate, that's the biggest asset of my game, trying to use my speed," said Reinprecht.  "When I am skating, I can create opportunities. I can see the open man and I like to be responsible at both ends of the ice."

Reinprecht, 30, has shared the ice with some of the game's best players throughout his career including Joe Sakic and Peter Forsberg when he played in Colorado as well as Jarome Iginla in Calgary.  From those experiences, Reinprecht has learned a great deal from his former teammates and now tries to share his knowledge with the younger players on the Coyotes.

"I've received quite a bit of advice from those guys," said Reinprecht.  "I try to help guys if they are a little younger to break into the league and try to just tell them stuff that I've learned over the years."

Reinprecht shined on opening night in his role as the top center, posting five points (1 goal, 4 assists) against the Islanders en route to a 6-3 win at Glendale Arena. Performances like that certainly make a case for Reinprecht to keep his position on the top line.   

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