“First and foremost he brings speed,” Sexton said. “Number two, (Nathan Horton) did a good job last year in the middle, but anybody who saw us play regularly knows he’s really a shooter and not a setup guy. We felt strongly to get maximum productivity out of Horty, we needed a center who could play with either him or Michael Frolik….Steve fits the bill. Lastly, we wanted to improve our overall team. (Reinprecht) has good skill, puts up decent numbers, won a Stanley Cup, he’s good on faceoffs, which is a critical area for us, and he has a pretty good percentage in shootouts.”
While Reinprecht has spent much of his career as a third liner, Sexton said he believes the Edmonton native has the “skill and smarts to be a second line player.” Reinprecht has recorded at least 40 points in five of his eight NHL seasons. A four-year starter at the University of Wisconsin – where he was linemates with Dany Heatley – Reinprecht served as Badgers captain his junior and senior seasons. He was also an assistant captain in Phoenix.
“Steve is a high-end, quality guy,” Sexton said. “I talked to Keith Ballard (Reinprecht’s teammate in Phoenix) and he raved about him. Keith said to me he thought he’d fit in real well with our group.”
Last year, Reinprecht, who spent time in Phoenix on the first-through-fourth lines, told the Arizona Republic he hadn’t changed his game during his stints in L.A., Calgary and Colorado.
“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,” he said. “I always want to play the best I can.
“It’s a team sport, and that’s the main thing. The biggest thing you want to do is win, and whatever is best for the team, and whatever is going to help you win, you want to be a part of it.” NHL AWARDS VOTING
The final voting for Thursday’s NHL Awards for the Panthers. Coach Peter DeBoer finished 12th in the Jack Adams, Michael Frolik 10th in the Calder, and Jay Bouwmeester 14th in the Norris. QUOTE OF THE DAY
“I have been more worried about getting my name on a roster than winning the Vezina Trophy.” Bruins goalie Tim Thomas after taking home the award last night in Vegas for the best goalie during the 2008-09 season.