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Is Reinhart the answer at Second Line Center?

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This article by Chad Dedominicis lays out a good case for why it should be attempted. Particularly when looking at his line mates when he was a center during the 2017-18 Season. 

https://www.diebytheblade.com/2019/6/6/18654796/buffalo-sabres-should-consider-moving-reinhart-back-to-center-jason-botterill

If no plausible alternatives can be found via trade or in Free Agency, this could  be a very realistic possibility. 

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Just now, Brawndo said:

This article by Chad Dedominicis lays out a good case for why it should be attempted. Particularly when looking at his line mates when he was a center during the 2017-18 Season. 

https://www.diebytheblade.com/2019/6/6/18654796/buffalo-sabres-should-consider-moving-reinhart-back-to-center-jason-botterill

If no plausible alternatives can be found via trade or in Free Agency, this could  be a very realistic possibility. 

Just read the article myself. God was that usage terrible. 44% d-zone starts as a fresh center is bone-headed. Im not sure moving him to center is the answer, but if that’s the case they should let Casey develop on his wing and look for a 3C in free agency. 

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I remain one of the few interested in beating this dead horse. He was a great centre as a junior, his skill set cries centre and 15 games as a 21-year-old with a new coach, and bad wingers is not the definitive proof the majority of you consider it to be.

From the article:

"I started with the easy part and looked at his most common teammates (wingers) during that stretch. They were Zemgus Girgensons, Seth Griffith, and Nick Baptiste. He also at times had Benoit Pouliot, Jordan Nolan, Matt Moulson, and Justin Bailey on his wings.

Only one of those players are still an every day NHL player in Girgensons. That alone tells us a lot.

In those 12 games, Reinhart averaged a zone-start rate of 44.8%. Thus, meaning he started more of his shifts in the defensive zone for head coach Phil Housley. Giving a young player adjusting to a new position with bad teammates, considerably more defensive zone starts is an interesting coaching tactic."

Edited by dudacek
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1 minute ago, dudacek said:

I remain one of the few interested in beating this dead horse. He was a great centre as a junior, his skill set cries centre and 15 games with bad wingers is not the definitive proof the majority of you consider him to be.

From the article:

"I started with the easy part and looked at his most common teammates (wingers) during that stretch. They were Zemgus Girgensons, Seth Griffith, and Nick Baptiste. He also at times had Benoit Pouliot, Jordan Nolan, Matt Moulson, and Justin Bailey on his wings.

Only one of those players are still an every day NHL player in Girgensons. That alone tells us a lot.

In those 12 games, Reinhart averaged a zone-start rate of 44.8%. Thus, meaning he started more of his shifts in the defensive zone for head coach Phil Housley. Giving a young player adjusting to a new position with bad teammates, considerably more defensive zone starts is an interesting coaching tactic."

I'm willing to beat this horse too, mostly because I think the evidence is clear that Sam needs to be on his own line driving production. I'm envisioning a scenario where he and Mitts basically rotate in and out depending on who is having the better night. Center by committee is better than relegating Sam to the wing. 

Either way, he needs his own line. 

 

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1 minute ago, dudacek said:

I remain one of the few interested in beating this dead horse. He was a great centre as a junior, his skill set cries centre and 15 games with bad wingers is not the definitive proof the majority of you consider him to be.

From the article:

"I started with the easy part and looked at his most common teammates (wingers) during that stretch. They were Zemgus Girgensons, Seth Griffith, and Nick Baptiste. He also at times had Benoit Pouliot, Jordan Nolan, Matt Moulson, and Justin Bailey on his wings.

Only one of those players are still an every day NHL player in Girgensons. That alone tells us a lot.

In those 12 games, Reinhart averaged a zone-start rate of 44.8%. Thus, meaning he started more of his shifts in the defensive zone for head coach Phil Housley. Giving a young player adjusting to a new position with bad teammates, considerably more defensive zone starts is an interesting coaching tactic."

The biggest concern I would have with Sam at center is he excels when playing below the slot and I’m not sure his skating is strong enough to cover the defensive responsibilities of a center back-checking.*

 

*not saying he’s bad at back-checking now, just that there would be more onus on him as a center  

 

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IF there are no better options, he’s one of the better choices to TRY. But, he’ll need quality wingers. And if it’s tried, I hope it’s for a good chunk of games. Not just 3 or 4.

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1 minute ago, #freejame said:

The biggest concern I would have with Sam at center is he excels when playing below the slot and I’m not sure his skating is strong enough to cover the defensive responsibilities of a center back-checking.*

 

*not saying he’s bad at back-checking now, just that there would be more onus on him as a center  

 

I think he skates at least as well as a certain Selke candidate that used to be his linemate.

I've long compared Sam's game to Henrik Sedin. He did alright as an average skater.

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I like the Skinner/Reinhart combo a lot. Sign Eberle to play with Jack and line 1.

Casey, Kyle and Conor is a much better line 3 than line 2

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1 minute ago, dudacek said:

I think he skates at least as well as a certain Selke candidate that used to be his linemate.

I've long compared Sam's game to Henrik Sedin. He did alright as an average skater.

I don’t disagree with this, but I don’t remember O’Reilly playing the stop and start game as much as Sam does. It’s more the accelerating getting back that concerns me. A good coach can get players to buy into new responsibilities, though, and with the right set of wingers I think he could excel. Hockey is moving away from the traditional responsibilities anyway, but it’s hard to not expect more from centers. 

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I guess we're back to this again. So long, great center depth and hello Reinhart back at center with mediocre at best talent to play with. I guess this is how Botterill plans to keep the price down on Reinhart's next contract. Reinhart spending half of next season centering guys like Girgensons, Sobotka, Okposo, and Thompson will be a sure fire way to ensure he starts offs on a scoring slump and ends the year with less than 50 points in scoring. Very shrewd.

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2 minutes ago, Drunkard said:

I guess we're back to this again. So long, great center depth and hello Reinhart back at center with mediocre at best talent to play with. I guess this is how Botterill plans to keep the price down on Reinhart's next contract. Reinhart spending half of next season centering guys like Girgensons, Sobotka, Okposo, and Thompson will be a sure fire way to ensure he starts offs on a scoring slump and ends the year with less than 50 points in scoring. Very shrewd.

nowhere on this board or in the article does it recommend any of those line mates. Why would you assume he’s centering the fourth line?

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24 minutes ago, #freejame said:

nowhere on this board or in the article does it recommend any of those line mates. Why would you assume he’s centering the fourth line?

I never said the 4th line. Look at the roster. We have too many bums who belong on the 4th line so they can't all play there. Would you prefer Sheary and Rodriguez? I guess it could be those guys but the point remains the same.

Eichel is the face of the franchise and he's already earning the big bucks so he'll get the best players on his line (Skinner and I guess Olofsson if Reinhart moves to center) and we don't have enough good players to put with Reinhart on the second line. If they are looking at putting Reinhart at center then it's obvious that we don't have enough centers so I doubt they move Mittelstadt to wing. If they were willing to do that they should leave Mittelstadt at center and put Reinhart on his wing rather than the other way around.

https://www.nhl.com/sabres/stats

Edited by Drunkard

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1 hour ago, dudacek said:

I remain one of the few interested in beating this dead horse. He was a great centre as a junior, his skill set cries centre and 15 games as a 21-year-old with a new coach, and bad wingers is not the definitive proof the majority of you consider it to be.

From the article:

"I started with the easy part and looked at his most common teammates (wingers) during that stretch. They were Zemgus Girgensons, Seth Griffith, and Nick Baptiste. He also at times had Benoit Pouliot, Jordan Nolan, Matt Moulson, and Justin Bailey on his wings.

Only one of those players are still an every day NHL player in Girgensons. That alone tells us a lot.

In those 12 games, Reinhart averaged a zone-start rate of 44.8%. Thus, meaning he started more of his shifts in the defensive zone for head coach Phil Housley. Giving a young player adjusting to a new position with bad teammates, considerably more defensive zone starts is an interesting coaching tactic."

The flip side of this is that we really can't afford to go into the season with such a big question mark at such a critical position. Again. There's no way Botterill does this two years in a row, is there? That would signal a catastrophic failure of an offseason. If they choose to give Reinhart a chance at 2C, it should only be done with a viable alternative present on the roster. For instance, if we acquire Miller (or equivalent) who we know can play 2C at a competent level, that's one thing. But if the only alternative is Mittelstadt, that's recipe for killing the season before it starts. 

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57 minutes ago, dudacek said:

I like the Skinner/Reinhart combo a lot. Sign Eberle to play with Jack and line 1.

Casey, Kyle and Conor is a much better line 3 than line 2

How about we sign somebody to play with Sam instead? We finally found a winger who fits like a glove with Jack and you want to break that up for the sake of a Sam at center experiment? A pox on your house. 

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2 minutes ago, TrueBlueGED said:

How about we sign somebody to play with Sam instead? We finally found a winger who fits like a glove with Jack and you want to break that up for the sake of a Sam at center experiment? A pox on your house. 

Agreed. Olofsson and Nylander can both play each side. Find a strong 3c or ok 2c in case Casey needs more protection but leave Reinhart as the 2nd line RW. 

Skinner - Eichel - 

 - Mitts - Reinhart

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1 hour ago, dudacek said:

I remain one of the few interested in beating this dead horse. He was a great centre as a junior, his skill set cries centre and 15 games as a 21-year-old with a new coach, and bad wingers is not the definitive proof the majority of you consider it to be.

From the article:

"I started with the easy part and looked at his most common teammates (wingers) during that stretch. They were Zemgus Girgensons, Seth Griffith, and Nick Baptiste. He also at times had Benoit Pouliot, Jordan Nolan, Matt Moulson, and Justin Bailey on his wings.

Only one of those players are still an every day NHL player in Girgensons. That alone tells us a lot.

In those 12 games, Reinhart averaged a zone-start rate of 44.8%. Thus, meaning he started more of his shifts in the defensive zone for head coach Phil Housley. Giving a young player adjusting to a new position with bad teammates, considerably more defensive zone starts is an interesting coaching tactic."

I feel your pain on those quotes, my friend.

 

1 hour ago, darksabre said:

I'm willing to beat this horse too, mostly because I think the evidence is clear that Sam needs to be on his own line driving production. I'm envisioning a scenario where he and Mitts basically rotate in and out depending on who is having the better night. Center by committee is better than relegating Sam to the wing. 

Either way, he needs his own line. 

 

Yes -- last year he was able to elevate the 2nd line from the RW spot, even without much talent with him on that line.  I think scoring depth is a huge issue for this team and having Reino on the 2nd line is an important part of the cure.

 

1 hour ago, #freejame said:

The biggest concern I would have with Sam at center is he excels when playing below the slot and I’m not sure his skating is strong enough to cover the defensive responsibilities of a center back-checking.*

 

*not saying he’s bad at back-checking now, just that there would be more onus on him as a center  

 

This is my concern too -- I don't think he can skate well enough to cover a center's defensive responsibilities.

 

1 hour ago, dudacek said:

I like the Skinner/Reinhart combo a lot. Sign Eberle to play with Jack and line 1. 

9 minutes ago, TrueBlueGED said:

How about we sign somebody to play with Sam instead? We finally found a winger who fits like a glove with Jack and you want to break that up for the sake of a Sam at center experiment? A pox on your house. 

I'm with TB on this.  Skinner, assuming he signs, should be permanently stapled to Eichel. 

But by all means, let's get some talent to play with Reino on the 2nd line.

 

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I agree that not acquiring a top six forward repeats the error of last year, and I want it to be a centre. I’m just concerned about the options. Overpaying a Kevin Hayes is not the answer. Trading Risto may just be closing one hole by opening another. I’m not sure either move is better than adding a Eberle-level winger for cap space and moving Sam to centre.

 

I don’t think we will sign him, but acquiring Duchene or someone like him sure makes the lineup look better.

Skinner Eichel ???

??? Duchene Reinhart

Sheary/Mittelstadt/Rodrigues/Okposo

 

Thompson, Olofsson and Nylander scrap it out to be ???, with the 3rd line guys waiting to pounce if they aren’t ready.

 

Edited by dudacek

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35 minutes ago, dudacek said:

I agree that not acquiring a top six forward repeats the error of last year, and I want it to be a centre. I’m just concerned about the options. Overpaying a Kevin Hayes is not the answer. Trading Risto may just be closing one hole by opening another. I’m not sure either move is better than adding a Eberle-level winger for cap space and moving Sam to centre.

 

I don’t think we will sign him, but acquiring Duchene or someone like him sure makes the lineup look better.

Skinner Eichel ???

??? Duchene Reinhart

Sheary/Mittelstadt/Rodrigues/Okposo

 

Thompson, Olofsson and Nylander scrap it out to be ???, with the 3rd line guys waiting to pounce if they aren’t ready.

 

I'm just going to say it: I'm fine with giving up defensive depth for forward talent.

Being able to clear the zone doesn't mean anything if you can't do anything with the puck outside your own blue line.

I'd rather have a forward corps that is dangerous enough to open up the ice for our mediocre defense, even if it's just guys sneaking behind the defense on hail mary stretch passes. How many chances did other teams have against us this past season picking up outlet passes in the neutral zone because our forward corps weren't a threat outside of the Eichel line?

TEAM defense can improve even if we suffer a loss at the defensive position.

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2 hours ago, #freejame said:

I don’t disagree with this, but I don’t remember O’Reilly playing the stop and start game as much as Sam does. It’s more the accelerating getting back that concerns me. A good coach can get players to buy into new responsibilities, though, and with the right set of wingers I think he could excel. Hockey is moving away from the traditional responsibilities anyway, but it’s hard to not expect more from centers. 

This. It's not so much about Sam being able to play C, it's more about his wingers and someone always taking defensive responsibility if Sam gets caught below the goal line.

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Too many variables at this point to know whether it makes sense, but:

If Mittelstadt doesn't show marked improvement and you don't trade for a 2C, you might not have an option.

In addition, Skinner resigns, Tage, Nylander and Olofsson are ready, you have an abundance of wingers

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1 hour ago, Drunkard said:

I never said the 4th line. Look at the roster. We have too many bums who belong on the 4th line so they can't all play there. Would you prefer Sheary and Rodriguez? I guess it could be those guys but the point remains the same.

Eichel is the face of the franchise and he's already earning the big bucks so he'll get the best players on his line (Skinner and I guess Olofsson if Reinhart moves to center) and we don't have enough good players to put with Reinhart on the second line. If they are looking at putting Reinhart at center then it's obvious that we don't have enough centers so I doubt they move Mittelstadt to wing. If they were willing to do that they should leave Mittelstadt at center and put Reinhart on his wing rather than the other way around.

https://www.nhl.com/sabres/stats

Half of the argument in favor of playing Sam at center is he’s never had solid wingers and then list off a bunch of garbage (granted it’s the only rostered options at the moment).  If Eichel is the player many here think he is, he doesn’t need the best players. He need one two-way forward and one shooter (or a player who can play in front of the net). Players like Jack are supposed to help you be able to spread your talent out. Jack+Oloffson/Reinhart+Skinner should, in theory, be greater than Jack+Skinner/Reinhart+Oloffson. Also, if it takes Reinhart four seasons to play center, why would moving Mitts to the wing be indicative of him not being able to play center in three years time?

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1 hour ago, dudacek said:

I agree that not acquiring a top six forward repeats the error of last year, and I want it to be a centre. I’m just concerned about the options. Overpaying a Kevin Hayes is not the answer. Trading Risto may just be closing one hole by opening another. I’m not sure either move is better than adding a Eberle-level winger for cap space and moving Sam to centre.

 

I don’t think we will sign him, but acquiring Duchene or someone like him sure makes the lineup look better.

Skinner Eichel ???

??? Duchene Reinhart

Sheary/Mittelstadt/Rodrigues/Okposo

 

Thompson, Olofsson and Nylander scrap it out to be ???, with the 3rd line guys waiting to pounce if they aren’t ready.

 

Overpaying for a Kevin Hayes-level center may not be ideal, but it does plug the hole. It's a guarantee. The ceiling may not be as high as Reinhart blossoming as 2C, but the floor is considerably higher than what could easily be 2018 redux by counting on Reinhart and/or Mittelstadt to be playoff-caliber 2Cs. 

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