Philadelphia Flyers Opinion: Fed Up With Zac Rinaldo


Philadelphia Flyers Opinion: Fed Up With Zac Rinaldo

There once was a time in professional hockey when an individual could make a team’s roster solely because he possessed the ability to fight successfully on a nightly basis. These players were known as enforcers and they normally were not the most skilled in the area of hockey fundamentals. The number one job was to protect their team’s star players and punish players on the opposing team for acting “unethical”. In today’s game, there is very little room for the enforcer on any NHL roster. The league still has its tough guys; but they normally bring more to the table than just the ability to knock someone else off their skates and onto the ice.

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Philadelphia Flyers forward Zac Rinaldo has made a name for himself by throwing punches while on skates for the past four seasons. It can be argued that he truly provides no other valuable asset to the orange and black. In 223 games with the Flyers, Rinaldo has scored 8 goals, distributed 16 assists, and racked up a +/- number of -30. For those of you not adding things up, that is only 24 points in four seasons! That is not good even for fourth-line standards.

Many believed that Zac Rinaldo’s aggressiveness might turn into valuable defense; however, that has not been the case. Rinaldo’s style of play has made him much more of a risk than an asset on the Flyers. In his four years, he has accrued a 572 penalty minutes. Rinaldo has the ability to commit stupid penalties at the worst possible time, and his team has suffered because of it. His dangerous hits have awarded him numerous suspensions, and a nasty reputation.

Unlike other brawlers in the NHL, Rinaldo is not an enforcer. The 24-year-old from Hamilton, Ontario is nothing more than a bully. He does not protect his teammates; he just goes looking for ways to get involved in conflict. The Flyers have suffered way more than they have been rewarded for having Rinaldo on the ice. He is a loose cannon that could, and most likely will, go off any minute.

To put it bluntly, Zac Rinaldo is waste of space on the roster of the Philadelphia Flyers. Players like Wayne Simmonds and Ryan White are considered tough guys; but they have so much more to offer than their fists. When Rinaldo is on the ice, he is actually more valuable to the opposing team because they will most likely be on at least one power play that is a result of his reckless play.

Zac Rinaldo is far from a financial burden but the Flyers still need to find a way to get rid of him. His trade value is somewhere between a bag of peanuts and a bowl of popcorn so it is that Hextall will be able to find anybody willing to take number 36 off of his hands. Even if Rinaldo is under contract until the summer of 2017, he should not play another game for the Flyers unless he can transform his game completely.

It is a rare occasion when I dislike a player who puts on the orange and black. However, when you are a guy that has put numerous players careers at risk, you deserve to be disliked by everyone. Although I will always want the Flyers to play tough, there is a fine line between tough and just plain dirty. Sadly, Zac Rinaldo has crossed that line way too many times.

Mar 19, 2015; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Calgary Flames left wing Brandon Bollig (25) and Philadelphia Flyers center Zac Rinaldo (36) fight during the second period at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

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