Griffin Reinhart would clear NHL waivers, league insider predicts

This in from NHL insider John Shannon of Sportsnet, his valuation of Las Vegas d-man Griffin Reinhart, essentially that Reinhart has no trade value at the NHL level at this point and would clear waivers if sent to the AHL. 

Shannon was talking to Bob Stauffer of Oilers Now, when Stauffer mentioned that Vegas is going right now with nine d-men and three of them have yet to play, Brad Hunt, Griffin Reinhart and Jon Merrill.

So far the Knights have gone with Jason Garrison, Lucas Sbisa, Colin Miller, Nate Schmidt, Brayden McNabb and Deryk Engelland.

Shannon suggested that Vegas GM George McPhee is still trying to trade away players. He’s hoping to find a market, so he has yet to send them down to the AHL. “I think he’s just being methodical because he thinks he has some level of assets. And in reality we know that… he doesn’t have near the assets that he truly believes he has.”

Shea Theodore should be in the NHL right now, Shannon said, but because Theodore is still on an Entry Level Contract he did not have to clear waivers to go to the AHL, while Hunt, Reinhart and Merrill do have to clear waivers.

“The thing is they’re going to lose somebody on waivers here,” Stauffer said. “Do you think somebody would claim Reinhart if he went on waivers?”

“No,” Shannon said. “I think Griffin and Brad Hunt are in the same boat.” 

My take

  1. I was surprised to hear this valuation of Reinhart from Shannon, who is a well connected insider. I thought some NHL team, maybe even the Oilers, would take a chance on Reinhart if he was waived. That said, waiver claims are rare in the NHL and league insiders usually get these predictions right.
  2. If Shannon is indeed correct, Reinhart’s value has rapidly dropped. In June 2012, Reinhart was the fourth player taken in the entry draft. That is five long years ago now, so it’s not surprising that his value has crashed since then. But in June 2015, the Oilers traded the 18th and 33rd picks in the 2015 entry draft for Reinhart. For at least one team, Reinhart still had a lot of value just then, and more evidence on that front came when Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli talked about Reinhart immediately stepping into a major role on the Oilers. But that never materialized.
  3. Reinhart stumbled out of the gate in 2015-16 and spent almost all of the remainder of his Oilers career in Bakersfield in the AHL. He did get into a playoff game last spring and held his own in the match.
  4. I watched Reinhart in ten games in the Bake last year and liked his play fine. He was more assertive rushing the puck and could still smother opposing attackers most often.
  5. Edmonton could use a bottom-pairing left shot d-man just now, as it’s possible that the Oilers will want to team up a lefty other than Yohann Auvitu on the bottom pairing with Matt Benning. It all depends on how Auvitu does when he gets his chance. If he can’t hack it on the bottom pairing, having another depth left shot d-man might help. That said, the Oilers might think that Dillon Simpson is just as good a bet as Reinhart. Or they might want some other left shot d-man altogether, not Reinhart, not Simpson, someone more like Auvitu, a pure puck mover. 
  6. What’s interesting here, of course, is that Shannon thinks no NHL team would want Reinhart essentially for the price of his contract, a two-year deal at $800,000 per. Perhaps the speed of the game is fast catching up to a certain style of d-man, the large but average-skating kind. Nonetheless, I’m still a bit surprised at the suggestion that no one would claim Reinhart. At the same time, I doubt Shannon is getting this wrong.

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Source: EDMONTON