Zac Rinaldo suspended in AHL while serving suspension in NHL

Zac Rinaldo has been suspended the second time in a week, but this time it happened in a different league.

Rinaldo was suspended for the third time in his NHL career last Tuesday, for his reckless hit to the head of Tampa Bay Lightning forward Cedric Paquette. The hit not only cost Rinaldo five games, but the Bruins waived him following the announcement.

Here’s what the NHL said about that hit (H/T Stanley Cup of Chowder):

“Rinaldo steps down from his defensive position and delivers a high hit, making the head the main point of contact, on a hit where such head contact is avoidable…while we accept Rinaldo’s argument that he is attempting to deliver a legal, full-body check on this play, Rinaldo mistimes this hit, leading to him taking an angle of approach that makes Paquette’s head the main point of contact.”

Unsurprisingly, Rinaldo cleared waivers and was assigned to Providence in the American Hockey League. What should have been an opportunity for Rinaldo to learn a lesson turned into another suspension, as in his first game Rinaldo received a match penalty for a check to the head to Bridgeport Sound Tigers defenseman Kane Lafranchise.

Mark Divver of the Providence Journal reports Rinaldo has been suspended indefinitely pending league review.

The hit leaves Rinaldo suspended in both the NHL and AHL. It’s another stupid hit by Rinaldo and he’s running out of chances. At this point in his career, there’s no real reason for a team to carry him on the roster as he doesn’t contribute anything more than knuckles.

Depending on the length of his suspension, Rinaldo may be loaned to the ECHL and there’s a good chance he’d get suspended there as well.

About Liam McGuire

Social +Staff writer for The Comeback & Awful Announcing.