Isles to Return Griffin Reinhart to WHL

The Islanders will return Griffin Reinhart to Edmonton of the WHL, according to Arthur Staple of Newsday.

“We sent Griffin down since if he’s not getting in the lineup and getting those minutes he should go back to juniors and get that experience,” Jack Capuano said.

Kevin Schultz

With Cal Clutterbuck ready to return to the roster, the Islanders had to take someone off of it to make room. Waiver exempt Matt Donovan and Brock Nelson have played well enough to keep from getting sent to Bridgeport, and the Islanders generally don’t like to try and send veterans through waivers, leaving Reinhart as the option that made the most sense.

Reinhart didn’t make the top-six defenders out of camp and might have gotten a chance to play this week had the Isles not gotten off to a hot start; Jack Capuano rarely changes the lineup after a win.

The Post spoke to Reinhart yesterday, and he doesn’t seem keen at all on the idea. Usually players will tow a line of ‘whatever coach thinks is good for me is good for me':

“It’s a little frustrating not playing, but I’ve been in junior several years now, and I don’t think there’s too much more for me to be learned down there,” Reinhart told The Post on Tuesday morning. “So I think just practicing here — even if I was just practicing here all year, and playing a few games — I’d learn more from these guys than going back to junior.”

Whether you want to read into that or not, Reinhart seemed content with the decision in a now deleted tweet (deleted probably because he was the one breaking the news).

This is the irritating and arguably unfair nature of the NHL-CHL agreement that bars 19-year-old CHL-eligible players from playing in the AHL. It generally impacts top prospects like Reinhart, Ryan Strome before him and Nino Niederreiter before both. The players get caught between the CHL and NHL, the former a league they’ll dominate and get bored with and the latter a challenge, maybe too tough.

You won’t see Reinhart again until probably the spring when the CHL season is over and at that point it may be Bridgeport not Long Island, but the long look he got this year is certainly promising for his future.