For years the Flames the best #23 of all time was a fixture on the blue line and sometimes at forward and sometimes at centre. Yeah, Calgary had a #23 for a long that did lots of different things on the ice and was successful at every spot. That player was Paul Reinhart.
The Atlanta Flames drafted Reinhart with the 12th overall pick in the 1979 NHL Entry Draft and they wasted no time putting him to work. He would play in 79 games during his rookie season, scoring nine goals and handing out 38 assists and finishing 5th in the Calder Memorial Trophy race.
When the Flames moved to Calgary, Reinhart went with them and continued his upward trend as a player. In eight seasons with the Calgary Flames he would play in 438 games, score 100 goals and collect 298 assists, all while being a Swiss Army Knife at times. Reinhart was such a good offensive defenceman that he could be used at any position on the ice during his time in Calgary.
His best season would come during the 1982-83 season where he would play in 78 games, score 17 goals and hand out a career high 58 assists. His success in that year continued as he would play in 9 games during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, scoring six times and dishing out three assists. He would miss a lot of the 1983-84 regular season with a back injury, but that did not stop him from coming back for the Flames playoff run. During the 1983-84 playoffs, Reinhart was a machine for Calgary and would end up as their leading points scorer in the post season. He would play in 11 games, score six goals and pile up 11 assists, despite only playing in 27 regular season contests.
Reinhart would have two more 60+ point seasons with the Flames, a 69 point effort in 1984-85 and a 68 point campaign in 1986-87. While those were great, he really saved his best effort for the 1985-86 NHL Playoffs. During that season he would miss 50 games once again with back issues, but was a tour de force in the playoffs when he returned. As the Flames marched towards their first Stanley Cup Finals appearance, Reinhart took his play to the next level. He would play in 21 games, scoring five goals and collecting 13 assists. He would finish the playoffs with the 8th most points of any player in the playoffs and play in the second most games of the post season, behind only Lanny McDonald’s 22 games played.
Injuries would hamper the rest of Reinhart’s career after his fantastic 1986-87 season. He would see the ice in only 14 games during the 87-88 campaign and Calgary would trade him to Vancouver in 1988 for a pick in the 1989 NHL Draft. He would spend two quality years with the Canucks, putting up back to back 57 point seasons before retiring in 1989-90.
All in all, between Atlanta and Calgary Reinhart made his mark on the NHL and the franchise. He would play in 517 games, score 109 goals and pile up 336 helpers. He had only one season where his +/- was in the negative (an accomplishment for this era) and one of his two ASG appearances came while in Calgary. He would score his 100th goal of his career with the franchise as well, part of a hat trick he had against the Edmonton Oilers. He’s tied for 6th all time in Flames history in assists (336) and 7th in assist per game (.065)
Post NHL, Reinhart would be involved with the NLL’s Vancouver Ravens for a bit and is a stock market trader and investor.
Bob Murray (1974-75), Larry Carriere (1976-77), Pat Ribble (1977), Miles Zaharko (1978), Ken Sabourin (1989), Stephane Matteau (1991-92), Nevin Markwart (1992), Greg Paslawski (1993-94), C.J. Young (1993), Sheldon Kennedy (1995-96), Aaron Gavey (1997-98), Clarke Wilm (1999-2000), Martin Gelinas (2003-04), Eric Nystrom (2006-10), Scott Hannan (2012), Sean Monahan (2014-20)
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Is Paul Reinhart the best Flames player to wear the #23?
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