BUFFALO, N.Y. - Sam Reinhart misread a text regarding the team's morning stretch Tuesday, causing him to be 5-6minutes late. A punctual problem that led to a one-game suspension.
"It's a coaches decision," Reinhart said after practice Thursday. "It's a management decision. From my perspective I would have rather battled it out with my teammates. I don't think five minutes in the morning is gonna influence my preparation for a game, but it was a team stretch and I should have been on time."
The punishment for being late changed just 24 hours before the Reinhart incident, previously resulting in a missed shift or so. But Tim Murray and Dan Bylsma felt things needed to be stronger, despite Reinhart's explanation of the situation.
"I mean ... sh*t happens," Reinhart said. "Sorry to swear, but I didn't sleep in, I didn't... it wasn't something that I could... it was just a misread text. I woke up, I thought the times were different, so that's going to happen. But it is what it is."
"He was disappointed and, yeah, I would say angry at what transpired in Columbus, as he should be," head coach Dan Bylsma said.
A lot was made that Reinhart served the suspension from the bench. NHL rules under the collective bargaining agreement state that every team much dress 18 skaters for a game, and with Kyle Okposo getting sick just hours before the puck dropped, that left the team no choice but to put Reinhart in uniform. That part of the punishment was the toughest for the second-year player.
"I was just trying to keep myself in the game, my teammates in the game," Reinhart said. "I was trying to watch close. The first and third I was with the defensemen, I was trying to watch their game, help them out there from a forward's perspective and just stay engaged."
Reinhart should be back in the line-up when the Sabres host the Islanders Sunday.