Published by hockeybuzz.com, 3-30-2017
Who amongst us hasn't been late for work?
I know I have. Sometimes it's a brain fart, other times it's getting behind a school bus and still other times it may have been a situation where a series of events set me back just enough for me to punch the clock late. And I must admit, there were times in my long employment career where I was like, "Meh, to hell with it, I'll get there when I get there."
Such are the foibles of youth.
When it comes to the Sam Reinhart benching in Columbus Tuesday night, I highly doubt there's a soul in Sabreland who thinks that Reinhart's tardiness was a case of the 21 yr. old saying, "to hell with it."
When Reinhart was being scouted amongst the traits mentioned by those who followed him was his professionalism, how he carried himself and the respect for the game of hockey. When he was sent back down to junior he got his emotions out in that meeting with GM Tim Murray and went back to junior with the mindset that he'd do what was asked of him regardless of how little time his schedule afforded him. The dictate from Murray was to go back and get stronger and despite the rigors of a WHL schedule eating up most of his time, Reinhart hit the gym whenever he could and when he came into camp with a little more meat on his bones, Murray was satisfied that the 18 yr. old did what he could to the best of his ability.
So when Murray and head coach laid out a zero-tolerance rule concerning tardiness two days prior to the Columbus game, Reinhart was the last person anyone thought would break it. "To me it's unfortunate that anybody that broke the rule the first time after it gets changed at that point," Murray told Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News. "To have it be a second-year player like Sam, he might have been the last guy. If I had made public we tweaked the team rule and who is the last guy I think would break it, he might have been the guy I would have brought up. I would have said, 'It won't be Sam.' But it was."
The incident occurred prior to the Columbus game when the team, minus a morning skate was scheduled to stretch at 10:30 a.m. Reinhart had a brain fart. “When I woke up I was sitting in my bed and misread the text. It was a team stretch that was 10:30," he explained to the gathered media today. "I thought it was 11."
Reinhart intimated to the press that defenseman Jake McCabe texted him that they were starting. The second year forward said he ended up being "five or six minutes late."
It was Sam Reinhart and his friend, linemate and roommate Jack Eichel pretty much expressed how everyone in Sabreland feels about it today, “I don’t think anyone in this room’s really looking at Sam and upset with him about it," Eichel told the media today. "He’s a good kid. He comes to the rink early every day. He’s here. He was a couple minutes late for a meeting, and that happens. Just like anything, you handle it like a professional and move on from it, learn from it."
Said Reinhart today, “I just tried to let them know, ‘[Stuff] happens. I’m sorry to swear, but I didn’t sleep in. It wasn’t something … it’s just I misread a text. I woke up, and I thought the times were different. That’s going to happen, but it is what it is."