File this away under ‘things you don’t see every day.’
Buffalo Sabres forward Sam Reinhart dressed for the game against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday night.
After the anthems, the teams took their seats on the bench as usual, and that’s where Reinhart stayed for the entire sixty minutes of the game.
Look at his stat-line from the score sheet:
In his post-game media scrum, head coach Dan Bylsma commented on Reinhart.
“Earlier in the day, Sam Reinhart violated a team policy, and the discipline was not playing in tonight’s game,” said Buffalo coach Dan Bylsma, who declined to elaborate on the infraction. “We’re going to move forward from here. Disappointing, but it happened and we dealt with it. We’re going to move on from here.”
The message is “for everyone,” Bylsma said. “We’re part of a team. We do things as a team. That’s hopefully the lesson.”
The Sabres declined to make Reinhart available for comment.
A source told Vogl that Reinhart had been late to a team meeting at the hotel.
Vogl added the perspective of captain Brian Gionta:
“It’s tough, but we’re trying to build something here and we’re trying to maintain a culture,” captain Brian Gionta said. “By no means was it something huge, but it’s something that is against what we’re trying to get to and be as a team.
“It’s not fun either way,” Gionta said. “It doesn’t matter how it plays out. He’s a good kid. He’s going to learn from it. We’ll be better as a group for it.
“It’s for everybody,” Gionta said. “It’s not just Sam. It’s everybody. It’s keeping everybody to the same level, and that’s what we want to do. We’re building a culture here, so everybody needs to learn from it.
“It’s a huge part moving forward. It’s about the long term of this franchise and where we go and how we grow as a team and as an organization. While it’s a small hiccup tonight, it’s better in the long run for what we’re trying to get to.”
In a normal situation, Reinhart would have been in the press box; however, Kyle Okposo fell ill before the game. The team has no extra forwards to put on the ice in Reinhart’s place, so he dressed and sat.
With the final games in sight and the Sabres out of the playoffs, the offseason couldn’t come soon enough. Reports out of Buffalo had Bylsma and the players at odds throughout the season.
Who knows if that will result in Disco Dan keeping his job or not.
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