Stefan Meyer was traded on Thursday by the Florida Panthers to the Phoenix Coyotes in exchange for Steve Reinprecht. Meyer had been drafted by the Panthers in the 2nd round (55th overall) in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.
Reinprecht and Meyer were both free agents this summer and neither were expected to sign again with their respective teams. It appears to be a winning situation for both teams. Rather than losing players for nothing to free agency both teams received someone in return. The Panthers get a respectable center and the Coyotes get a potential prospect that still has a chance at the show.
Stefan Meyer only appeared in four games for the Panthers during his tenure with the NHL team, all four games were during the 2007-2008 season. Meyer has spent the previous four seasons playing for the Rochester Americans in the American Hockey League. With the Amerks he played in 266 games, scored 64 goals, 66 assists, and 363 penalty minutes.
Meyer was named the Amerks Rookie of the Year after the 2005-2006 season when he played in 68 games and tallied 28 points (12 goals, 16 assists). His best season was the 2007-2008 season when Meyer played in 70 games scoring 21 goals and 19 assists.
Meyer is serious (like most players) about wanting to play in the NHL and said he’s going to do everything he can to get a spot with the Coyotes. The key to success for Meyer is playing alongside other play makers, like a Janis Sprukts. Meyer lacks speed to be the play maker, but put on a consistent line with others where chemistry can be created could lead to further success for him.
More on Reinprecht from the Amerks Press Release:
“Steve is a smart, high character, hard working player who fits our club’s need for a second line center,” said Sexton. “We are constantly looking to upgrade our team speed and he brings this to our club as part of his skill set. He also possesses an ability to win face-offs, another area our team looked to improve on this off-season. Steve served as an assistant Captain in Phoenix and played an important role with Colorado winning the 2001 Stanley Cup. We look forward to the championship attitude and experience he will add to our team.”
Reinprecht, 33, has recorded at least 40 points in five of his eight NHL playing seasons, including a pair of 50-plus point seasons (2002-03/2005-06) and a Stanley Cup championship with Colorado in 2001. He recorded a career high 52 points (22+30) during the 2005-06 season, while playing for both Calgary and Phoenix.
The Edmonton, Alberta native has played in 552 NHL games for Los Angeles (1999-2001), Colorado (2001-03), Calgary (2003-04/2005-06) and Phoenix (2006-09) scoring 120 goals with 214 assists and 162 PIM. He has appeared in 50 postseason games, all with Colorado (2000-03), recording 20 points (10+10).
Reinprecht played four years at the University of Wisconsin (1996-00). He lead the Badgers and the nation in Division I scoring with 66 points (20+44) in his senior season, earning WCHA player of the year honors, while also being nominated as a Hobey Baker Finalist.
The Panthers immediately announced that Reinprecht signed a three year contract with the team, TSN reported that Reinprecht’s three-year deal has a cap hit of $2.050 million. He will get $1.8 million in the first year and $2.175 million in each of the following two years.
Meyer will never have his Amerks jersey retired, or remembered for much as an Amerk in the history books, but Meyer was my sons first “favorite Amerk.” My son has proudly wore his Amerks and Panthers jerseys with Meyers name on them for the past two seasons. Making a positive impression on a young kid who dreams of playing hockey is something an athlete should be proud of, I wish Meyer the best of luck with his continued career out West.