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31Days: Reinprecht's Take

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers
Welcome to's 31 Days Of Fun. This is the second day of our run (August 13-September 12 taking us right up to the start of training camp). Join us on Facebook or Twitter each day as we will be having our key people, staff, players, prospects - EVERYONE - answering your questions. One prize will be awarded every day! 

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Our third day saw a Q&A with new Panthers center Steven Reinprecht. Remember, you can send your questions to anyone in the organization via twitter, facebook or through email.

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Acquired by the Panthers in June for Stefan Meyer, center Steven Reinprecht looks to make an impact with the Cats after inking a three-year deal with the team on June 19. Reinprecht answers your questions.

Question - Do you see yourself fitting in as a 2nd line center?

Reinprecht: I'm just looking to come in there and try and help the team whether I play whatever position they put me at and play the same way every night, provide some offence, play responsible defence and try and help the team get to the playoffs.

Question - Why did you forego a chance at unrestricted free agency to join Florida?

Reinprecht: They showed a lot of interest and they are organization and a team on the rise. They just missed the playoffs last year and I'm excited about the opportunity about playing there. As for free agency, it wasn't a hard decision (to skip it), this was the right fit for me. I'm excited about it and so is my family.

Question - Did you have to make a snap, quick decision when the potential trade was mentioned to?

Reinprecht: No I got a "heads-up" that "Florida is expressing interest - what are your thoughts?" and I spoke to my agent and its always fun in signing with a team that shows a lot of interest.

Question - For those fans who don't know much about you yet, could you describe your style of play and what you will add to the team?

Reinprecht: Responsible two-way game, providing as much as offence as I can without shortchanging the defence. I like to make sure I'm playing responsibly on both ends and maxmimizing my offence.

Question - What was it like breaking into the NHL with a veteran, Stanley Cup winning team like the Avs?

Reinprecht: It was a great place to play in the sense that there was a lot of guys to learn from. Being a young guy on that team to watch guys like Sakic, Forsberg and Ray Bourque - to watch them everyday in practice and in games and see how they approach the game and how they react to different situations. They taught me how to become a professional player and learning the NHL game.

Question - What was it like playing for a coach like Gretzky, were you in awe?

Reinprecht: Well remember, I grew up in Edmonton too. He was a tremendous player and some of his feats and record may never be duplicated and likely won't be. At the end of the day though, he's the Coach and you listen to what he says.

Question - You know both Keith Ballard and Jordan Leopold right?

Reinprecht: I know Bally, I played with him in Phoenix. He's a player who plays with a lot of energy and intensity and he's not the tallest guy but he's fearless and energetic both on and off the ice. I know Leo from Calgary and I played against him and Bally in college. I had my best games against Minnesota!

Question - Playing around this summer with a new stick or any changes?

Reinprecht: No. I've played essentially with the same stick, Easton, since 2002. The label has changed but its essentially the same stick I've used since the Easton composites came out. I wear Bauer 9000s skates, I'll go through new pairs but I wear the same ones and have for years.

Question - When are you coming down to Florida?

Reinprecht: I'll be there with my family in a couple of weeks. My son, he just turned one, a couple weeks ago - he's always up for fun. Our family is really looking forward to coming to Florida.
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