The Philadelphia Flyers and LW Zac Rinaldo have agreed to a two-year contract extension worth $1.7 million. The cap hit of $850,000 won’t start until the 2015-16 season.
He is currently in his second year of a two-year deal wroth $1.5 million with a cap hit of $750,000 for the 2014-15 season. Rinaldo was to become a restricted free agent at the end of this season. The 24-year-old is known as more of an enforcer than a scorer around the league. He had 153 penalty minutes and 231 hits in 67 games played for the Flyers last season. He averaged just 7:41 of ice time per game and had about 2.23 hits per minute of ice time.
Rinaldo will check anything that moves and he brings energy to the game when he’s playing with discipline. He’s known to lose that discipline by fighting, taking the bad penalty, or throwing a bad hit during a game. He has been suspended twice in his short career for illegal hits. The winger can play either side and will drop his gloves whenever needed. He will also draw opposing players into taking penalties.
The Flyers could have waited to extend his contract, but decided to get it done early, which surprised a lot of people including Rinaldo.
“I’m surprised that we’d even started to talk about it so early, but I am thrilled,” Rinaldo said. “Philadelphia is where I started my NHL career and this is where I want to be so I am really happy. This definitely gives me a lot of confidence by the Flyers showing that they have confidence in me. I know they want to see me get better as a player, and this is the place to do it.”
The forward has gotten better at controlling his emotions during the course of a game, but still takes the bad penalty or loses his cool. He also need to work on when to go for the big hit, and when to pull up because a player is in a vulnerable position.
Craig Berube used him as a fill-in on the penalty kill unit last season and he seemed to do a decent job.
Rinaldo was taken in the sixth round of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft by the Flyers. In 165 career games, he has seven goals, 11 assists, 18 points, 470 penalty minutes and averaged only 7:44 of ice time per game.