Max Reinhart found himself in the bowels of the Scotiabank Saddledome talking to media after a Calgary victory.
But instead of waiting for the media to converge on the Flames’ dressing room, Reinhart instead found him walking down the dark tunnel that meets with the benches of the storied rink after emerging from the visiting club’s habitat.
Reinhart, returned to major junior a week prior, had been handed a defeat at the hands of Calgary’s other hockey franchise: the Hitmen.
It was the first time the Vancouver, BC. native had been back since being cut by the Flames and his reassignment to the Kootenay Ice.
Reinhart was up for the game, a chance to show the Flames what he could do from the comfort of their own rink.
“At the start it was exciting,” said Ice standout, who had 34 goals a season ago and helped Kootenay to a Memorial Cup berth.
Then, reality sunk in.
The Hitmen used three goals in the third period in a come-from-behind effort to down the Ice in what was Calgary’s home opener. Reinhart was held pointless in the affair.
Reinhart spoke about avoiding the dreaded slump that can come with the letdown of leaving an NHL camp.
“Well I was avoiding it,” he said before being blanked in Calgary. “I’ll have to find a way to not fall into that little slump that everyone goes into every once in a while.”
While he has been held pointless in two of his five games since returning to help Kootenay defend its WHL title, Reinhart has four goals and six points on the season to lead the Ice.
But his contributions to his club have not been purely offensive. Reinhart is serving as a mentor to one new member of the team – brother Sam.
“I give him a lot of credit to my early success having a couple goals here in the first five games,” said Sam, who has three goals and four points on the season. “It’s just made the transition – off ice especially – just living with him this year with the same family, it’s made it a lot easier.”
“I think it helps for sure, a little bit of familiarity,” Max said. “You don’t feel alone. We live together too so he’s got someone to talk to all the time.”
Sam’s the second of two brothers that have looked up to Max’s success. Middle brother Griffin is currently ranked among the 2012 NHL Entry Draft’s top-10 prospects.
Selected in the third round of the 2009 draft, Max isn’t exactly sure how to impart the wisdom of his experience on Griffin.
“I wasn’t going to get the same media attention he is so I’m not sure what to tell him when he’s rated in the top-10, 15 picks. That was never me,” Max admitted. “If he ever wants advice I guess I could give him some.”
The eldest Reinhart isn’t about to turn down advice either.
Returning to Cranbrook, the Flames left Reinhart with some areas the six-foot forward can work on to bring himself closer to the Calgary lineup next year.
“It’s more off ice stuff that I’ve got to accomplish and I’ll try to do that as much as I can throughout the season,” he revealed.
Something Max Reinhart appears to have a head start on early in his final year of major junior.
Aaron Vickers is the managing editor of Future Considerations and can be found on Twitter. For all the latest Future Considerations news and posts, follow FC’s Official Twitter Feed, on YouTube and on Facebook!