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Abbotsford News Thursday, March 14, 2013

MAX FACTOR

Rookie Reinhart learning the ropes | B3

B1

RYAN WALTER

Building a no-excuses culture | B6

FACEOFF MAR 2013

STREET FIGHTER Taking a closer look at Barry Brust’s video gameinspired mask B4

Clint Trahan photo

FACEOFF MAGAZINE is the official fan guide for the Abbotsford Heat

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B2 Abbotsford News Thursday, March 14, 2013

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Abbotsford News Thursday, March 14, 2013

The education of Max Reinhart

H C R U O Y R O F R E ENT B B A e h t o t S T E K C I 2T HAN

Rookie season has been trying at times, but youngster is maturing ABBOTSFORD NEWS

Now that’s a beefy slap-shot!

C R U O Y R ENTER FO S T O B B A e h t o t S T E K C 2 TI John Morrow photo

DanKINVIG Pondering the roller-coaster rookie season of Max Reinhart, Abbotsford Heat head coach Troy Ward took a shot at encapsulating the challenges that first-year professional hockey players face. “It’s all about maturity, it’s all about experience, it’s all about failure, it’s all about success,” he mused. “You’ve got to be able to handle this league as a man, because it’s a man’s league, and oftentimes we have boys playing it. That’s it in a nutshell.” In other words, it ain’t easy to make the transition to the pro game, even for a prospect as well-regarded as Reinhart, a third-round draft choice by the Calgary Flames in 2010. The North Vancouver-born centre got off to a slow start to the 2012-13 campaign, mustering just two assists in his first 19 games. Part of it was a function of ice time – with the NHL lockout in full swing, the Heat had a surplus of depth and experience up front. Reinhart was a fixture on the fourth line in the early going, though he did see time on the power play. The freshman turned the corner offensively as the calendar flipped to 2013 – he registered 10 points (one goal, nine assists) during a 14game stretch in January and February. It’s no coincidence that the outburst dovetailed with the end of the lockout, which saw a handful of Heat players recalled by the Flames, thus pushing Reinhart up the depth chart. But while the hot streak boosted the 21-yearold’s scoring totals, the number that jumps out in his stat line is the plus/minus. His -24 rating is second-worst in the AHL, just ahead

of Adirondack Phantoms blueliner Brandon Manning (-25). “I knew there were going to be ups and downs, and that’s been pretty much the best way to describe my season so far,” Reinhart reflected. “I haven’t had much consistency, and that’s kind of what I’ve been looking for. “I’ve been trying to find a role on this team, and not only that, also trying to adjust to playing against bigger, stronger, faster players.” Reinhart’s uneven start to his first full pro season may have come as a surprise to some, given the instant success the youngster had after joining the Heat at the tail end of last season after the conclusion of his campaign with the WHL’s Kootenay Ice. He scored two goals in the Heat’s regular season finale, then posted a goal and an assist in four playoff dates. But Ward doesn’t put much stock in those late-season AHL auditions – he believes they’re not true barometers of players’ readiness, based on the fact their confidence is sky-high from their recently completed junior or college season, and they’re riding a wave of adrenaline for their pro debut. “I anticipated this with Max,” Ward said. “We have to be patient and let this young man mature and grow up. Good things are happening, even though the numbers don’t show it. “He’s getting great experience right now, he’s got good teammates, and he’s getting a lot of things covered playing on the power play and penalty kill. It’s just a matter of patience.” Reinhart said he’s grown in confidence as the season has worn on. “I kind of struggled at the start of the year,

not really knowing what I could do and what I couldn’t do (on the ice),” he said. “But I’ve gotten more comfortable out there. “The last couple months have been pretty positive, getting a couple of points and starting to feel a little more free out there.” Reinhart boasts some impressive hockey bloodlines – his father Paul played 11 NHL seasons with the Atlanta/Calgary Flames and the Vancouver Canucks, and younger brothers Griffin and Sam are elite prospects. Griffin, 19, was the No. 4 overall pick in the NHL draft last spring by the New York

Islanders, and currently plays with the WHL’s Edmonton Oil Kings. Sam, 17, was a teammate of Max’s in Kootenay last year, and he’s a potential first-round pick in 2014. Max has relished playing in Abbotsford, as he’s able to drive home to North Van for homecooked meals on a regular basis. He and his brothers also connect regularly, sharing the ups and downs of the hockey life. “We talk a lot, give each other updates on what’s going on,” he said. “Our lives have been really similar so far, and it’s nice to be able to share it with somebody.”

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Abbotsford News Thursday, March 14, 2013

Abbotsford News Thursday, March 14, 2013

FRESH PAINT Barry Brust’s Street Fighter mask is a reflection of his personality DanKINVIG ABBOTSFORD NEWS

With a job description that includes staring down 100-mile-per-hour slap shots, it’s clearly no picnic being a hockey goalie. But there are perks to the job, and helping to design a flashy paint job for your mask is one of them. “I think it’s why a lot of guys become goalies – they want to get their mask painted,” Abbotsford Heat netminder Barry Brust said with a chuckle. “It’s a fun part of being a goalie.” Most pro ‘tenders get a fresh paint job every season, and Brust asked Head Strong Grafx, a mask painting company out of Belleville, Ill., to put together a Street Fighter-themed design for his first season with the Heat. The end result is striking, no pun intended. It features Ken and Ryu, iconic characters from the classic video game, on the sides – Ken on

the left, Ryu on the right. The Calgary Flames’ logo is on the top, and Ryu is throwing it like a fireball. “Brusty” is emblazoned on the chin in red letters, flanked by a pair of Abbotsford Heat logos. “It was just a fun little idea,” Brust explained. “I wanted them to use the flaming C like they’re throwing a fireball ninja-style, like they do in the game. “I used to play Street Fighter all the time with my friends (as a kid). It brings back a lot of good memories.” As a youngster, Brust’s favourite NHL goalie masks were Ed Belfour’s “Eddie the Eagle” and Curtis Joseph’s “Cujo” set-up. Those were cuttingedge looks at the time, and are now considered classics. Brust got his first paint job during his junior hockey days with the WHL’s

Spokane Chiefs, and after turning pro in the Los Angeles Kings system, he really started tapping into his creativity. One of his masks featured a “Nightmare on Elm Street” motif – a reference to the fact that the Kings’ AHL affiliate, the Manchester Monarchs, play in a rink located on Elm Street. He also had a Hollywood-themed paint job during his time in the Kings organization, and commissioned a Maverick-themed mask while with the AHL’s Houston Aeros. But his current Street Fighter lid is his favourite so far, and given his combative style, it seems to suit him. “There’s pressure with it sometimes – you’ve got to be creative a little bit,” he said. “But it’s nice, because you get to put a little attitude on a blank slate.”

Clint Trahan photos

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B5


B6 Abbotsford News Thursday, March 14, 2013

a few

Building a no-excuses culture

words

from the

prez Ryan WALTER

This week I wanted to give you something different. I’d like to bring you inside the dressing room and focus on what AHL and NHL coaches talk about on a weekly basis. You may also have conversations around this subject in your family or business. What I want to focus on is the key to not only being a better player, but also to having a better life. What coaches want from their players, you want from your employees, and moms and dads want from their children is … No More Excuses. The very best, in any field, refuse to make excuses. As a matter of fact, they don’t even use this word. The best-of-the-best choose to take responsibility for their actions, their attitudes, and their mistakes, and never offer an excuse for not accomplishing their goal. They just find a way to do it. The greatest gift we could ever give ourselves and each other is to help our team continually apply both sides of the success coin: Never offer an excuse for our actions, and always take responsibility for our attitude and actions. Hockey players frequently use the excuse that the refereeing wasn’t very good. I have conservatively calculated that over my 15 NHL seasons as a player I took around 12,000 faceoffs (including playoffs). In my day, players were allowed more leeway in cheating their positioning, and the linesman dropping the puck had a lot of influence on which centre won the faceoff. Early in my NHL career I focused on the linesmen and complained that they were negatively affecting my faceoff percentage. My trade to the Montreal Canadiens, with its culture of intense media scrutiny combined

with a high expectation of winning, changed all of that. I decided to adopt the principle of no more excuses. Instead of blaming the linesman or becoming upset with my opponent’s cheating, I focused on adjusting my approach to win the faceoff. As a matter of fact, during NHL home games when I had the advantage of placing my stick in the faceoff dot last, I found that I was moving too quickly and sometimes got kicked out of the faceoff circle. So, I adjusted. I placed my stick on the ice first (giving up my so-called advantage) and forced my opponent to move into the face off dot last, where he often got kicked out of the circle instead of me. No excuses… just find ways to adjust and accomplish the task. John McEnroe was the No. 1-ranked tennis player in the world for four consecutive years, but he has acknowledged that he didn’t maximize his potential. In her book Mindset, Carol Dweck itemizes the various excuses McEnroe gave to account for his failures over the course of his career: - He had a fever - He had a backache - He fell victim to expectations and another time, the tabloids - He lost to a friend because the friend was in love and he wasn’t - He ate too close to his match - Once he was too chunky, another time too thin - Once it was too hot, another time too cold - Once he was undertrained and another time, over trained Can you feel where this is going? When we do not take responsibility for our actions, attitudes and mistakes, the typical first resort

is to find someone or something to blame for our underachievement. When we dole out blame, we refuse to see the need for our improvement or growth. In a world where our opponents are constantly improving, if we hold on to excuses, we will fail! Legendary basketball coach John Wooden said, “You aren’t a failure until you start to blame.” The no-excuses and no-blaming attitude changes everything. We can choose to change the way we do things (focus on improvement) or choose to actively focus on the alleged reasons why we were prevented from doing what we were supposed to do. The philosopher Aristotle said; “We are what we repeatedly do.” Blaming others has an outcome. Developing a No Excuses attitude has an outcome. According to Wooden we remain in the process of learning from our mistakes until we deny them. I have observed that the best in the world make slight adjustments to their vocabulary to help sustain proper focus. They talk a lot about what they want to accomplish, how they are going to accomplish it, and how their teammates are amazing people. The business side of the Heat has seen improvement this season in ticket sales, but it’s still not enough. This past month has been difficult - rumours swirling don’t necessarily help our on- or off-ice teams, but no excuses! We continue to work hard to attract more people into our building so that they can enjoy our incredible guest experience. Email me at rwalter@abbotsfordheat.com when you purchase tickets to one of our next six home games, and I will stop in to visit you at the rink (Let’s show your friends my Stanley Cup ring).

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Abbotsford News Thursday, March 14, 2013

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When Jim Cowden looks back over his 10-year tenure at the helm of the Abbotsford Pilots, he realizes what a special player Brett Kolins is. “Honestly, he might be the best captain I’ve had here,” Cowden said of Kolins. “Him and Dan MacIver, they were two of the best.” Kolins, a 21-year-old blueliner from Abbotsford, has grown into one of the top defencemen in the Pacific Junior Hockey League during his four years with the local junior B club. His game is remarkably well-rounded – he’s able to shut down opposing snipers, and he also racked up 29 points (four goals, 25 assists) in 36 games this season. But his off-ice leadership, according to Cowden, is just as valuable. A veteran of the junior A ranks – he spent the 2009-10 season with the BCHL’s Victoria Grizzlies – he’s a respected presence in the locker room. “He’s vocal, and he leads by example,” Cowden said. “Brett has the right demeanor – he gets the guys going, and

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The Abbotsford Pilots value Brett Kolins’s off-ice leadership as much as his on-ice ability. the guys respect him. You can tell by the way the guys talk and communicate with him. “And you look at the guy

on the ice, and he certainly backs up what he says.” As of press time, Kolins and the Pilots were battling

the Aldergrove Kodiaks in the PJHL semifinals. For updates, visit abbynews.com.

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B8 Abbotsford News Thursday, March 14, 2013

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FaceOff March 2013