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Paul Reinhart of West Vancouver, a former National Hockey League all-star defenseman and highly-successful businessman, will bolster the expansion Vancouver Ravens Lacrosse Club as a dynamic addition to its ownership group, Sportworks Entertainment announced today.
Reinhart, one of the most popular players in the National Hockey League during the 1980s with the Calgary Flames and Vancouver Canucks, will join forces with Sportworks Entertainment in leading the Vancouver Ravens into their inaugural season in the National Lacrosse League beginning next month. He is partnering with Tom Mayenknecht of West Vancouver and Bob Smart of North Vancouver, principals in Sportworks Entertainment.
"Paul Reinhart brings to the Vancouver Ravens and our partnership group a powerful combination of tangible and intangible strengths and we're absolutely delighted to have him so passionately and enthusiastically committed to our new franchise," said Mayenknecht, Governor and Managing General Partner of the Vancouver Ravens. "His profile and involvement not only creates significant value and excitement for all of us involved with the Vancouver Ravens, it's a great news day for the National Lacrosse League and for the entire lacrosse and sports community in British Columbia."
The Ravens are one of four new expansion franchises in the 13-team NLL, which opens its 2001-2002 campaign with a nationally-televised November 17th matinee between Vancouver and the Toronto Rock at the Air Canada Centre. The Ravens make history when they host the Rock in a return visit for their inaugural home opener, Saturday, December 1st, at 1:30 p.m. at General Motors Place. Both games will be featured nationally on Sportsnet.
"This opportunity excites me at a variety of levels, but mainly because I think the fans will love this game," said Reinhart, who scored 114 points in two seasons with the Canucks in 1988-89 and 1989-90. "Given what I think the Ravens will provide in terms of great sports entertainment, community involvement and profile for Vancouver, I've never felt so good about the opportunity to help build something from the ground up."
Reinhart will be actively involved in promoting and developing the franchise, serving as a Partner and Deputy Governor of the Ravens, who open their pre-season schedule in Prince George, Friday, Nov. 2nd, with the Northern Cup against the Calgary Roughnecks. They also play the Okanagan Cup, Sunday, Nov. 4th in Vernon (also against Calgary) and the Bionda Cup, Sunday, Nov. 11th at Victoria's Memorial Arena (against the Washington Power).
"The addition of Paul Reinhart to the Vancouver Ravens gives us a partner who is fully-committed to our vision of excellence and our long-term commitment to the community," said Smart, also a full Partner and Deputy Governor of the franchise. "His NHL career and his business accomplishments and contributions are credits to his personal drive and integrity. We consider ourselves very fortunate to have him on board."
"Paul is a great addition to the Vancouver Ravens ownership", said League Commissioner Jim Jennings. "We are pleased to welcome Paul to the League."
A product of his hometown Kitchener Rangers of the Ontario Hockey Association, Reinhart scored 51 goals and 78 assists in his final year of junior hockey and was selected by the old Atlanta Flames 12th overall in the 1979 NHL Entry Draft. He went on to play nine seasons with the Flames, who moved to Calgary in 1980 and two with the Canucks. His acquisition by Pat Quinn and Brian Burke of the Canucks on Sept. 6, 1988 is viewed as one of the best trades in Vancouver franchise history.
Even prior to his retirement from the NHL and the Canucks in 1990, Reinhart demonstrated a business acumen rivaled by few active players in professional sport. In the past 10 years, he has built a reputation for associating himself with successful business enterprises, specializing in companies involved in scientific research and innovation.
"Paul Reinhart knows a good opportunity when he sees it and he's as excited as any of us about the prospects for the Ravens and the NLL," said Mayenknecht. "Paul, Bob and I are looking forward to working together with Paul Dal Monte, Dave Evans and our front office to build a lacrosse franchise that all British Columbians will be very proud of."
The Ravens will play in the Northern Division of the NLL, along with the two-time former champion Toronto Rock, the Ottawa Rebel and their expansion cousins, the Calgary Roughnecks. The Central Division will include the Buffalo Bandits, Rochester Knighthawks, Albany Attack, Columbus Landsharks and expansion Montreal Express, while the NLL is rounded out with an East Division comprised of the New York Saints, expansion New Jersey Storm, Washington Power and defending champion Philadelphia Wings. The NLL, which is played at major venues in each market, carries national television deals with Sportsnet in Canada and CNN/SI in the United States.