Many people were confused when the Boston Bruins traded for former Flyers tough guy Zac Rinaldo. With only three goals in his last two seasons, and eight in his 223 career NHL games, Rinaldo clearly wasn’t brought into Boston for his offensive threat, or lack there of. The 5-foot 11-inch forward brings something different to Boston, similar to what Bruins fan favorite Shawn Thornton used to bring.
Rinaldo knows that he wasn’t brought in to Boston to score, but was eager to tell Bruins fans that, despite his lack of offensive ability, he still has something important to bring to Boston.
“I’m a very energetic person, I’m like that off and on the ice,” Rinaldo said, according to bruins.nhl.com. “So when I step out on the ice, all of the fans will be able to feel my energy when I’m on the ice.
“And with my teammates, my energy is just going to feed them and hopefully give them a spark, whether it’s me making a smart play with the puck or me hitting someone and giving the guys a little more energy.”
Zac Rinaldo has spent all of his NHL career with the Flyers. Now, after being traded to Boston, Rinaldo is excited for a fresh start with the Bruins. Rinaldo spoke with Bruins GM Don Sweeney, and says that the two had a very good talk about Rinaldo’s expectations with the Bruins.
“It was a very energetic conversation, [Sweeney] and I had, from the beginning to the end,” said Rinaldo. “Nothing but positive things that we both talked about and we’re ready to do whatever it takes to win. It was a very energetic conversation, a very positive conversation.”
GM Don Sweeney has similar thoughts. He brought in Rinaldo for one reason – energy. And while many Bruins fans didn’t understand the trade (what’s new, right?), Sweeney believes that Rinaldo could really help spark a Bruins team that has lost some of their energy guys.
“We felt he was a player that – we wanted a little more energy – I talked about playing with a little more energy in our lineup, and it’s ready-made in that regard,” said Don Sweeney back in early July. “He’s a player that’s still young and he plays with a tremendous amount of courage.”
“He’s got a tremendous enthusiasm for the game, and speaking with him, [he] was very, very excited about being a member of the Boston Bruins and doing whatever he could to help us win,” Sweeney had said.
“So [the media] are evaluating the prices paid and such, and the rest of us our evaluating the conversations we’re having and what those prices are going to be, so when you find a deal that you feel helps your hockey club, that’s what you’re trying to do.”
Many Bruins fans were left clueless when the Bruins made the deal for Rinaldo. Despite the fact that the Bruins didn’t give up too much (a third-round pick in 2017), many Bruins fans saw no reason to sign Rinaldo. Perhaps that was a reflection of the name that Rinaldo has made for himself playing against the Bruins.
The scrappy forward knows that Bruins fans may have had a bad view of him from the past, since his playing style revolves around getting under the skin of opposing players. He hopes that now, as a member of the Bruins, fans will understand his style of play, and appreciate it as a member of their team.
“When I’ve been in Boston, I’ve always made my mark in Boston – I know that Boston’s a really tough team and a tough city, so every time I walked into that rink, I made sure that I put on a show.”
“I think when I played against the Bruins, I really got underneath [their skin] when I was there, but now that I’m part of them and a part of this city, part of the fanbase there, now I’m going to – I want them to know everything that I did against the Bruins I’m going to be doing against every other team, just a little harder.”
If there’s one thing for Bruins fans to look forward to regarding Rinaldo, it’s his dedication to every minute of his game. Just like Rinaldo told the Bruins not too long ago, he tries to play every game like it’s his last.
What do you think? Was Rinaldo a necessary energy-trade, or did the Bruins waste a third round pick in 2017? Let us know below, or talk to us on Twitter @CamHasbrouck and
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!