Like father, like sons

Robin
Robin Short
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The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. What’s in the cat is in the kitten. What comes by nature costs no money.

Whatever the analogy, it’s certainly like father, like sons for the Reinharts of West Vancouver, B.C.

Fifteen-year-old Sam Reinhart, together with linemate Alex Kerfoot, is lighting it up here at the Telus Cup Canadian midget hockey championship for the unbeaten (heading into Friday’s schedule) Vancouver Northwest Giants.

Friday morning, Reinhart was leading the tourney scoring race with six goals and 12 assists in the four games.

Next season, Reinhart will play in the Western Hockey League, for the Kootenay Ice which made him the 15th overall pick in the WHL’s bantam bantam draft last year.

He’ll join his older brother, Max, on the Ice. Max had 34 goals and 79 points for Kootenay this season after the Calgary Flames made him the 64th overall pick in the NHL Draft last June.

Over in Edmonton, a third Reinhart skates for the WHL’s Oil Kings. Unlike his two brothers, Griffin Reinhart is a defenceman, and the third overall pick in the 2009 bantam draft. Griffin Reinhart had six goals and 25 assists last season and figures to be a top 10 pick in the 2012 NHL Draft.

It’s not hard to figure from where all this hockey talent comes. Paul Reinhart was a star defenceman in the NHL for 11 seasons, until a chronic back forced him into retirement at 29.

Like most Canadian youngsters, the elder Reinhart said, the boys were drawn to hockey, no doubt inspired and perhaps curious about their father’s previous life.

But Paul Reinhart is also quick to point out hockey wasn’t rammed down the boys’ throats, either.

For as much hockey they played, they also played baseball, hit golf balls and, even today, enjoy a game of tennis.

“I think Max might have played spring league hockey once, and that’s when he was 13 or 14,” said the father.

Paul Reinhart was selected 12th overall in that great 1979 draft class, a group that saw Rob Ramage, Perry Turnbull, Mike Foligno, Mike Gartner, Rick Vaive, Craig Hartsburg, Keith Brown and Ray Bourque go Nos. 1 through 8. Michel Goulet was selected 20th overall, and Kevin Lowe 21st.

Despite playing in pain for much of his career, Reinhart still managed nearly a point per game in the NHL, finishing with 560 in 648 starts.

When it was finally too much to take, he walked away from hockey and into the world of high finance in Vancouver. For two years, he didn’t strap on a pair of skates.

Reinhart is back playing now, two or three times a week.

Last year, while entered in a tournament, a couple of players couldn’t make it to the championship game. So Reinhart got his boys out and in overtime, with the father on the bench and the boys on the ice, Griffin scored the game-winner.

The torch had been passed.

IN SHORT

Hats off to the Clarenville Caribous on their Allan Cup win last weekend. But just wondering: whatever happened to the Allan Cup qualification process? I recall in ’87, when the St. John’s Capitals played the eastern Allan Cup playoffs at the old Stadium against a P.E.I. team that a sprinkle of ex-NHLers like Al MacAdam, Hilliard Graves, Bobby MacMillan and goalie Yves Belanger. The Caps won that series, but lost the national final to a Brantford, Ont. Club which had former big leaguers Don Edwards in goal, Stan Jonathan, Rocky Saganiuk, Fred Boimistruck and a few others. And how is it a team can go to the nationals with half its roster, the other half comprised of players from another club? How does it work these days, sign up and go? ... Keeping with senior hockey, how can Grand Falls-Windsor claim it has the record for most Herder Memorial Trophy wins? Grand Falls has won the Herder as the Cataracts, Andcos and, in 1953, the Grand Falls All-Stars. If we go by the logic of a Grand Falls-based team winning the whole enchilada, and I assume we are, noone comes close to St. John’s, which has won the Newfoundland senior hockey crown as the Capitals, Blue Caps, Shamrocks and, with 10 Herders, St. Bon’s. Case closed. End of discussion ... See where the Bruins and Canadiens will face off in Halifax next September in an NHL exhibition. Last Thursday, the Sears Stars on Ice stopped in at the Metro Centre in Halifax for a show. Wonder why we don’t get that stuff at Mile One Centre? No hockey, no figure skating, no national gymnastics, no lawn darts, nothing, really, so far as sports entertainment goes. As for curling, unless it can be played at the Re/Max Centre or Bally Haly, don’t expect another national championship at Mile One given the rotten taste left in the Canadian Curling Association’s chops by previous management at the Scotties women’s championship a few years back ...

Robin Short is The Telegram’s Sports Editor. He can be reached by email at rshort@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Western Hockey League, NHL, Reinharts of West Vancouver Telus Calgary Flames Grand Falls All-Stars Bruins Sears Stars on Ice Metro Centre Max Centre Canadian Curling Association

Geographic location: Edmonton, Vancouver, Halifax Grand Falls Newfoundland

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