The Philadelphia Flyers and General Manager Ron Hextall just keep making moves this offseason. The most recent was a trade that sent forward Zac Rinaldo to the Boston Bruins in exchange for a 2017 third round draft pick.
The Flyers acquired a little more cap relief in the deal, while the Bruins acquired some of the physical style of play they lost when Milan Lucic was traded to the Los Angeles Kings. Rinaldo is no Lucic, by a long shot, but he brings a physical edge to the game. In 58 games played last season, Rinaldo had one goal and five assists for six points and had a team high 102 penalty minutes. The forward is only 5’11”, 185 pounds, but he isn’t afraid to throw his weight around. In the 58 games last season, he had 216 hits while only averaging 8;55 of ice time per game.
In just over four seasons with the Flyers, Rinaldo played in 223 games, scored eight goals, had 16 assists and tallied 24 total points. He also racked up 572 penalty minutes. He isn’t afraid to drop the gloves to come to the aid of a teammate or try to spark his team. He can be over aggressive when going for a hit, which has led to suspensions over the course of his career. Rinaldo is a fourth line player which the Boston Bruins have often referred to as their Energy Line, though Rinald’s energy can be costly at times.
The 25-year-old is prone to taking bad penalties at critical moments of a game or taking a penalty that can change the momentum of a game in favor of the opponent. Rinaldo has also been suspended for more games (14) than he has goals scored (8) in his career. He needs to learn to keep his emotions in check in order to stay in the lineup and not become a healthy scratch on a consistent basis. He also gets called for some penalties that other players may not get called for because of his reputation around the league. He can also get under opponents skin and get them off of their game.
The Flyers made the move to gain a little more salary cap flexibility since Rinaldo’s extension (two years, $1.7 million) was set to kick in this season. The Flyers only save about $850,000 in cap space, but they need every penny because they have players to re-sign, and need to sign a backup goalie. Hextall has done a good job of clearing cap space and getting ride of bad contracts, but he still has some work that needs to be done.