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Fun and games for Reinhart family

by Mike G. Morreale

CALGARY -- There was a moment during practice for Team Cherry at Scotiabank Saddledome on Wednesday when Sam Reinhart engaged in a 1-on-1 battle with his father at center ice to the delight of those in attendance.

There were no high sticks or taps to the shin, just an all-out game of keep-away. Paul Reinhart acknowledged afterward that long gone are the days when he used to win those little scrums with his sons.

"It's not even close anymore with any one of them [Sam and older sons Max and Griffin]," Paul Reinhart said. "I stopped trying to compete with them a while ago. I used to have an advantage with a little bit of knowledge but that's long gone. Their strength and puck control and their stamina is way too much for most of us."

Reinhart will serve as an assistant coach for Team Cherry at the 19th BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in Calgary on Wednesday (9 p.m. ET, NHLN-US, Sportsnet). His 18-year-old son, Sam, will serve as captain for Team Cherry.

Sam Reinhart is regarded as one best prospects for the 2014 NHL Draft; he's No. 4 on NHL Central Scouting's midterm ranking of North American skaters

"We do that quite a bit," Sam Reinhart said of the 1-on-1 game with his father. "Growing up we played a lot of 2-on-2 with my dad and brothers. You'll see the same thing if Griffin and I are on the same team or Max and I were on the same team. We usually do a lot of 1-on-1, puck-possession stuff."

Paul Reinhart just enjoys practicing, no matter where it is.

"I think the most fun you have as a hockey player is practice, and within that practice time there's always those moments when you get to just play around and work on your skills," he said. "I'm a big believer in puck possession. Therefore, any time you can work a 1-on-1 drill or 2-on-2 drill and encourage things that you might not encourage so much in a game, that's beneficial."

In addition to working with his son, Paul Reinhart also spent some time with defenseman Jacob Middleton, No. 87 on Central Scouting's midterm list. Reinhart worked on puck control in the skates with Middleton, a drill the Ottawa 67's defenseman never had done before.

"It was the first time I ever seen anything like that," Middleton said. "I've picked pucks up at my feet, but never anything to that extent.

"These coaches have been through the [NHL] so sharing their experiences with us is huge; it makes me want to stay on the ice even longer."

Here are the likely line combinations for Team Cherry and coach Jim Peplinski:

Michael Dal Colle - Sam Reinhart - Ivan Barbashev

Nicholas Ritchie - Ryan MacInnis - Conner Bleackley

Matt Mistele - Robert Fabbri - Nikolay Goldobin

Daniel Audette - Chase De Leo - Nikita Scherbak

Haydn Fleury - Aaron Irving

Anthony DeAngelo - Jacob Middleton

Alexis Vanier - Roland McKeown

Ty Edmonds (first half of game)

Alex Nedeljkovic (second half of game)


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