The Zac Rinaldo trade was one of the worst moves the Bruins have made in the past year.
52 games. 3 points. Minus-5. 83 penalty minutes. Was that worth a 3rd round pick, Boston?
Sunday’s game against Tampa Bay solidified Boston’s waste even more. For the second time this season, Rinaldo made a play that the NHL deemed worthy of taking a deeper look at. For the first time this season, Rinaldo failed to escape the repercussions for his play – his dirty play.
Take a look at the hit that Rinaldo made on Sunday.
That hit earned Rinaldo a 5-game suspension, as it should have. Rinaldo, a player with a history of over-the-line play, made clear contact with the head of Cedric Paquette, targeting the head while making a play that was completely unavoidable.
A day later, Rinaldo was put on waivers, and was on his way to the AHL, while being handed a 5-game ban for his hit.
But here’s where things get interesting.
Rinaldo’s suspension only applies while he’s on an NHL roster. This means that he is free to play in the AHL, where he currently presides, but will have to serve a five-game ban when he returns to an NHL roster.
If Don Sweeney is smart, Zac Rinaldo will remain in the AHL for the remainder of the season.
With Boston sitting on the bubble of a playoff spot, the team cannot afford to waste a roster spot on a suspended player (of course, they shouldn’t be giving Rinaldo a roster spot in the first place). They have stronger options at left wing that can fill in Rinaldo’s vacancy. Tyler Randell has five times as many goals as Rinaldo does in half the number of games. The fact of the matter is that Boston has too many young players to work with, and too many difficult hockey games that need to be won to waste a roster spot on a suspended Zac Rinaldo.
Yes, Boston lost some grit when they parted ways with Milan Lucic, Shawn Thornton, Gregory Campbell, and Daniel Paille. But Rinaldo is not the answer. He doesn’t produce whatsoever from an offensive stand-point, and certainly doesn’t do much to keep pucks out of Boston’s own net. Need more? Rinaldo isn’t evem providing the “enforcer” role that Boston brought him in for.
Just take a look at how he responded when Zach Sill knocked Adam Mcquaid out after sending him face-first into the boards.
Yup, Zac Rinaldo, just feet away while watching his defenseless teammate get cheap-shot from behind and apparently injured, skated right on by Zach Sill, leaving Patrice Bergeron (of all people) to step in and have a word with Sill.
Not sure what future holds for Zac Rinaldo w/B's, but he lost me when he didn't jump on Zack Sill after he slammed McQuaid's head into glass
— Joe Haggerty (@HackswithHaggs) March 1, 2016
Zac Rinaldo has no reason to wear a Bruins uniform, and to even consider wasting five-games worth of a roster spot in order to bring him back would be a complete mistake.
If Sweeney & co. are smart, they’ll cut their losses, and Zac Rinaldo will have played his final game in what was a short and unappreciated career in Boston.
Cam is a Broadcast Journalism student at the University of Maryland. He’s the Boston Bruins Beat Writer at The Hockey Writers, and is an avid college hockey fan. Find him on Twitter @CamHasbrouck!