Flyers' Rinaldo suspended 8 games
Zac Rinaldo's penalty is the longest ban for an on-ice infraction this season.
ZAC RINALDO was dealt an eight-game suspension by the NHL yesterday for boarding and charging Pittsburgh's Kris Letang on Jan. 20. It is the longest ban for an on-ice infraction handed down this season by league disciplinarian Stephane Quintal.
Rinaldo, 24, waived his right to an in-person hearing in New York, choosing instead for it to be conducted via telephone. He was vacationing in the Caribbean with teammates and friends during the All-Star break, delaying the punishment.
Rinaldo left his feet to nail Letang from behind in the emotional rivalry game, causing Letang's face to smack off the glass. Letang, who has a history of concussions, missed the remainder of the game and Pittsburgh's next game before returning to practice yesterday.
The Flyers have two meetings left with Pittsburgh in April. Rinaldo is eligible to return to the lineup on Feb. 17 against Columbus.
This is Rinaldo's third career suspension. He also has been fined twice. He was last suspended on April 7, 2014, four games for an illegal check to the head of Buffalo's Chad Ruhwedel. Rinaldo will fork over $73,170.73 in salary to the NHL's emergency player assistance fund.
In all, Rinaldo has involuntarily donated $107,213.87 to the fund - which helps former players and their families who have fallen on hard times - in his 4-year NHL career.
Two players have been suspended 20 games for performance-enhancing drugs. Los Angeles' Slava Voynov has been suspended indefinitely since his domestic-violence arrest on Oct. 20. In all, the league has collected $1,203,132.64 through fines and suspensions this season, including the $50,000 the Flyers reportedly were fined for violating the CBA by traveling on Dec. 26.
Forward Ryan White was summoned from the Phantoms to replace Rinaldo. White, 26, skated in 11 games for Lehigh Valley since returning from a torn pectoral muscle on Dec. 31. He has 232 penalty minutes in 141 career NHL games (all with Montreal) and has a style of game reminiscent of current Canadiens forward Brandon Prust.