Boston Bruins Masterplan Now Includes Zac Rinaldo

Continuing a string of, at least from the outside, confusing decisions made by new Bruins GM Don Sweeney, the Bruins acquired Philadelphia Flyers forward Zac Rinaldo in exchange for a 3rd round pick in 2017.

The 25-year-old forward has two years remaining on a brand new contract that will see him paid $850,000 per year. He was a fan-favorite in Philly and by all accounts a well-liked player.

Zac Rinaldo
(Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

On the ice, he scored just one goal and five assists through 58 games last year. He also posted a -5.3% CF%Rel. He’s posted negative relative possession numbers in all four of his NHL seasons.

That kind of assessment runs through most metrics for Rinaldo. He was at -9.3% scoring chances for relative (41.6% total), -4.9% shots for relative (44.5% total), and -14.8% goals for relative (35.5% total).

Not trying to pile on Rinaldo, who is young and the Bruins may see the opportunity for him to thrive inside a role within their system, but his Total WAR (wins above replacement, via War on Ice) is -3.2. That says that instead of giving up a 3rd round pick, you should be able to find a replacement player through free agency (who costs no picks) for a similar price.

Similarly, Stephen Burtch’s dCorsi (also at War on Ice) has him at a dCorsi of -23.03 last season, meaning that he was under performing in his role — limited minutes and low expectations.

On the Flyers end, GM Ron Hextall continues to chip away at the team’s cap problems. The Flyers now have about $7.6 million in available cap space.

This all adds up to a bit of a confusing move on the part of Boston. A 3rd round pick is nothing to scoff at when guys like Martin Marincin and Eric Gryba drew a 4th round pick and a prospect. Eddie Lack barely drew more than that for Vancouver, who received a 3rd round pick and a 7th round pick in a trade that sent Lack to Carolina. Early in the 2014-15 season, Jordan Leopold cost the Blue Jackets just a 5th round pick.

These aren’t totally comparable trades, but 3rd round picks don’t get thrown around for a fourth line player. While the criticisms are plentiful, it’s maybe too early to fully determine what is happening in Boston. Free agency opens on Wednesday and there’s a lot of summer left to go.

Zac Rinaldo HERO chart

The confusion among hockey minds runs deep.

RELATED: Diagnosing the Disarray of the Boston Bruins

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