Sabres' Reinhart said playing for Team Canada gave him a feel of the post season

September 04, 2019 - 2:40 pm

Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) - Sam Reinhart is one of the few veterans back in Buffalo skating. Jimmy Vesey and Casey Nelson joined the group on Wednesday.

Reinhart said he had a good offseason with his training staff back in Vancouver. Reinhart played for Team Canada at the World Championship in May winning a Silver Medal. Reinhart had three goals and two assists in 10 games and Jason Botterill has said it was important for the winger and for Jack Eichel to play important games since Buffalo wasn't in the playoffs. Reinhart said, "It's an exciting opportunity because the goal is to play some meaningful games." Reinhart added it was a long time between the season and the tournament and the goal was to be at his best once they got near the end.

Ralph Krueger went over to Slovakia during the tournament to meet with Reinhart and Eichel. That was something that meant a lot to the winger, "Yes it did. It shows a lot of the commitment he has coming in here.

"He wants to learn, he wants to get involved as soon as possible, so I had some good talks with him over there and then in Vancouver at the draft."

Reinhart believes that Krueger is a good person that is easy to talk to plus he makes it known what he expects out of each player.

I had wondered if it's difficult on a player to have had three coaches in five seasons. Reinhart admitted it is, but didn't really want to talk about it because he wants to look into the future, not the past.

Before each player leaves, he talks to the strength and conditioning staff to find out what they'd like them to do over the summer. Reinhart feels he accomplished those goals, "There are certain goals that I set for the summer and coming into here with both the staff here and with all my guys back home, so I think we accomplished that, I think it gives me a lot of focus moving forward into camp."

The draft was in Vancouver, so Reinhart contacted Botterill and went out to dinner with him, the Pegulas and Krueger. Reinhart also wanted to be on hand as the Sabres announced their No. 1 pick, Dylan Cozens. Reinhart said, "I know how overwhelming that experience is and you're meeting so many people, so I think if you can meet somebody that's established on the team, it just provides that much more comfort and to have someone there that's been through that experience as well, so I thought it would help out by me being there and I also wanted to show my commitment to the Sabres organization."

The Sabres have brought in some new players, but to make huge strides this season, they will have to get huge improvement out of Casey Mittelstadt and Tage Thompson and big contributions from Victor Olofsson and Henri Jokiharju. Reinhart through experience believes those guys will be better, "I remember what I learned after year one and what it takes to grow as a player as well as a person on and off the ice and there's so much more that you have to do and commit to, especially in the offseason and I think they all recognized that and I'm excited to see how they all progress."

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