Rhino cheering from press box

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 4:07 PM ET

 VANCOUVER -- He can only wave one pom-pom.

 And, truth be told, he'd rather not be reduced to role of cheerleader.

  Still, Steve Reinprecht is happy to be with the boys and lending some support.

 "It's tough standing by and watching," said Reinprecht, whose left arm is in a sling because of a second shoulder operation in less than a year. "I wouldn't want to be anywhere else and supporting the guys if I can't be out there."

 Reinprecht's season came to a halt due to a left shoulder that required surgery, again. A ligament and piece of bone were torn off the socket, plus there was a second fracture.

 The procedure was performed March 22 and he's expected to be back to 100%, or as close as possible, in five to six months.

 "Everything went great and the doctors are really happy. Now it's just a matter of rehabbing and getting stronger," he said.

 Reinprecht said this surgery had nothing to do with the injury that needed repairs last summer.

 All the problems stemmed from his first action, a pre-season game, when he lost his footing and fell into the boards.

 "That was the catalyst for everything. That tore the ligament and it just spiraled from there," he said. "It was the start to a tough year."

 Although he continued to play through the pain, constant wear and tear forced Reinprecht out of action for good early last month. By his last game, he could barely hang on to his stick and it was obvious he couldn't continue.

 That's on top of missing 17 games due to a broken ankle that he played a handful of outings before an X-ray proved it was more than just a bone bruise. Despite never being close to 100%, he collected seven goals and 22 assists in 44 games.

 The forward acquired with Rhett Warrener for Chris Drury and Steve Begin insists he'll be in action should there be a training camp in September.

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 RUSTY IN RETURN: Jumping back into the fray of a regular season after missing 10 games isn't easy. Having that return on the opening night of the playoffs is that much harder. That's what Toni Lydman did, although it was to mixed results.

 "It showed I was a little rusty but you can't use that as an excuse," Lydman said. "I should be better."

 What caused Lydman to miss the final 10 regular-season outings was never divulged by the Flames, although common belief was a concussion from a Jamal Mayers elbow.

 - - -

 LONG TIME COMING: Although he's 38 years old and a veteran of more than 1,200 NHL regular season and playoff games, Marc Bergevin experienced a first the other night. In Wednesday's opener, his family finally was on hand to see him play a game in Canada.

 "My wife said, 'People don't even get up to go to the bathroom (until intermission), they just watch the game all the time,' " he said with a grin. "I told her that's what it's all about in Canada."


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