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NHL suspends Flyers’ Rinaldo for four games

Apr 7, 2014, 6:34 PM EDT

The NHL decided to suspend rugged Philadelphia Flyers forward Zac Rinaldo four games for an illegal check to the head on Buffalo Sabres defenseman Chad Ruhwedel from Sunday night. The Flyers only play four more regular season games in 2013-14, so Philly fans won’t see the hard-hitter again until the playoffs (assuming they hold onto a spot in the East).

The league cites Ruhwedel’s concussion, the nature of the hit (stating that Rinaldo “launched” into his head, which was believed to be the main point of contact) and prior history in making the decision.

Rinaldo, 23, was already suspended by the league once and fined on two other occasions during three abbreviated seasons (165 regular season games, seven in the postseason) of NHL work. He received a match penalty during the play as the Flyers bested the Sabres 5-2 on the night.

Rinaldo will be short $15,384.60 thanks to the suspension.

Update: The Flyers responded to the suspension with this statement:

  1. killerpgh - Apr 7, 2014 at 6:36 PM

    Seems like the standard.

    • elmerbrownelmerbrown - Apr 7, 2014 at 6:44 PM

      not for any pens player

      • hockey412 - Apr 7, 2014 at 7:00 PM

        I cant figure how you are getting thumbs up, unless its just trash talk…neal was just suspended 5, right? Your right i guess that the standard is 5 not 4 – is that your point?

      • elmerbrownelmerbrown - Apr 7, 2014 at 8:00 PM

        Relax its only the court of thumbs

      • hockey412 - Apr 7, 2014 at 8:33 PM

        And me thinks the juror may be voting more than once haha…more power to ya my friend…i was just confused about the logic, or lack thereof.

      • elmerbrownelmerbrown - Apr 7, 2014 at 9:16 PM

        yo guy thats sad

      • elmerbrownelmerbrown - Apr 8, 2014 at 6:38 AM

        Looks like some sad individuals out there

    • killerpgh - Apr 7, 2014 at 6:47 PM

      Although with Rinaldo “only” getting 4 games it does kind of make Deryk Engelland’s 5 games suspension earlier this year seem to long. Both similar in the fact that the player getting hit was leaning over. Except Rinaldo launched his body in the players head and Engelland did not. It’s the 2nd time each players was suspended. If I was watching both these plays I think Rinaldo’s check would get the longer suspension.

      • flyerspsu - Apr 7, 2014 at 7:28 PM

        I thought Engelland got a harsher punishment than he deserved and im thinking Rinaldo would have probably gotten 5 games as well if the season didnt end in 4 games

      • arrow43050 - Apr 7, 2014 at 10:37 PM

        This would have definitely been more than 4 games if the playoffs didn’t start in 4 games. It would be unfair for the Rangers to benefit from the loss of a player from a non-playoff team so I think that unless something horrific happened it wasn’t going to extend into the playoffs. This is as clear an example of launching in the air and trying to hit the head as you can have and this is the type of play the league needs to completely eliminate, not just discourage. This would have been an in-person in the middle of the year. It should have been 10 games because of the type of hit it is, but probably would have been 7-8 games. Rinaldo never makes any attempt at all to get Ruhwedel’s body and there’s no way this can even be considered a borderline play. He wasn’t trying to injure him, but that is the type of play that almost ALWAYS concusses or otherwise injures another player. Players need to know NOT TO DO IT.

      • flyersfan85 - Apr 10, 2014 at 12:37 AM

        It would seem there are those with little time, courage, or verbage to respond. Let me facilitate for those that are lacking.., Im torn between the courage and verbage. So..thumbs up for pussies without adequate verbal ability put thumbing up..and those without the boys on the bottom, or ladies without the ability to replicate testicular fortitude thumbing down.

        I would love a personal banter session..but its playoffs rep with pride..

      • flyersfan85 - Apr 10, 2014 at 12:42 AM

        Guess I didnt leave an option for thumbs up. So if you are a shameless Pens fanboy, or want the Pens, regardless how badly they are reflected to win, to win..put a thumbs up.. because you think you rule.. and this is the SidTheDiveBomberPensFanForLife home page..thumb it up.. show your fanage..

  2. billsin20xx - Apr 7, 2014 at 6:47 PM

    He’s def a PUNK! That whole team is full of them though. Luiweln (spell?) the goalie is also out now for a concussion from an elbow to the head from someone going through the crease.

    • flyerspsu - Apr 7, 2014 at 7:23 PM

      rosehill got completely pushed into Luiwein, he was skating in front of him not even going to make contact when he drilled into Luiweuin

      • flyerspsu - Apr 7, 2014 at 7:24 PM

        got drilled into Luiweuin*, i believe it was weber who gave the shot that sent him into the goalie

      • billsin20xx - Apr 7, 2014 at 9:21 PM

        So you are saying he had to stick his elbow into the goalies head when he was skating thru?

      • flyerspsu - Apr 7, 2014 at 11:38 PM

        Dude rosehill was strolling by the net very slowly not doing much when weber just knocked him into the goalie from a foot away, unfortunately the goalie got hit up high but that was in no way rose hills fault

    • macgrubie - Apr 7, 2014 at 8:03 PM

      what a PUNK comment

      • billsin20xx - Apr 7, 2014 at 9:25 PM

        I thought it was funny the while game where the real “tough” punk flyers wouldn’t get anywhere near Scott when he was on the ice unless they had 2-3 of their buddies with them! LOL it even seemed like the ref’s were laughing about it during stoppages.

      • flyerspsu - Apr 7, 2014 at 11:03 PM

        I suppose if were a sabres fan I’d brag about teams not going near our 6’8′ goon too, not much else to

      • phillyphanatic77 - Apr 7, 2014 at 11:07 PM

        Why would they wanna fight Scott when they’re in complete control of the game? This incident happened in 3rd and Rinaldo (kicked out) or Rosehill are the only fighters on the team. It would’ve been idiotic to fight Scott simply bc he was out for blood. It would’ve only helped Buffalo. The Flyers wanted to take the two points and stay healthy for the PLAYOFFS.

        And how exactly do you know what the refs were talking about?

      • inbullieswetrust - Apr 8, 2014 at 9:01 AM

        Your just upset your team loss. Hey, I be pissed off to uf I was a Sabres fan lol

  3. flyerspsu - Apr 7, 2014 at 6:48 PM


  4. nunan - Apr 7, 2014 at 6:53 PM

    Can’t compare non-related incidents to gauge suspensions. Case by case. Either accept that or continue to get frustrated and question these decisions. 4 is fine.

  5. uncledick - Apr 7, 2014 at 7:12 PM

    Guess he couldn’t legally change his name to James Neal quick enough…

    • hockey412 - Apr 7, 2014 at 7:21 PM

      Neal got 5 right? Am i losing my mind or are you guys? Twilight zone, man…

      • flyerspsu - Apr 7, 2014 at 7:40 PM

        Neal intentionally kneed a down opponent in the head, 3rd suspension, 7th reviewed play, definitely deserved more, 5 games was the absolute least he could have possibly gotten

        Neal got away with his hit on couturier as he claimed it was accidental which was imo worse than this, premeditated, 3 seconds late, and also a jumping blindside headshot like Rinaldos

        and literally 10 seconds of game time later he jumped at girouxs head to deliver an elbow, where he only got a 1 game suspension, both within 10 seconds of play right after the flyers went up 7-4 in game 3 to go up 3-0 in the series, if that isnt premeditated intent to injure i dont know what is

        and then of course after the Marchand incident he delivers a blindside premeditated cross check to the head of Glendenning which he only got a fine for

        and a fun fact, Neal has been called for diving 3 times this year, by rule you are to be suspended 1 game after that 3rd infraction, the NHL elected not to suspend him

      • hockey412 - Apr 7, 2014 at 8:39 PM

        At least you’re not still upset about it. Look neal was wrong, those were dirty, no one was seriously hurt. He paid his ransom. Now this hit was just as dirty as the couturier and giroux hits, and your turning it into a ‘rinaldo isnt bad, neal is’ piece? Whatever, man. Its just lame after a while. Bad hit, deserved four games, he’ll be back and hopefully learned this time. Got nothing to do with neal. Even holmgren says this is harsh, its just not. If this was neal on giroux or hell even gibbons on giroux you’d be calling for castration. Its not a bad sentence.

      • uncledick - Apr 7, 2014 at 8:13 PM

        Rinaldo DESERVED a suspension. I was only pointing out the inconsistency in suspensions, particularly in the case of one James Neal, which flyerspsu bolstered.

      • hockey412 - Apr 7, 2014 at 8:40 PM

        But you think rinaldo’s hands are clean….very little point in me arguing with lunacy.

      • flyerspsu - Apr 7, 2014 at 9:06 PM

        where did I say “Rinaldo’s hands are clean”

        if look all of 3 comments above yours you can see i called the suspension fair, it was a dumb reckless hit where he caught the head and the guy got a concussion as a result, i would just like see those standards consistent with players like Neal who seems to get every pass imaginable until they league has no choice but to suspend him, and even find ways to avoid it like ignoring the diving rule that states you automatically get 1 suspension after the 3rd dive

        as for Neal, not gonna lie, still annoyed he hasnt gotten his yet for all his premeditated headshots, especially on 19 year old Couturier and Giroux in all of 10 seconds out of frustration of going down 3-0 in the series, back in the day he would have gotten pounded, as he should have, but Neal has instead claimed everything he has done has been accidental and refused to even drop the gloves and stick up for them, the thing is Neal can fight too, he just refuses to take any sort of responsibility for some of the dirtiest plays in years, Simmonds should have jumped him after the Giroux hit, he only asked him to fight, he should have known Neal will never stick up for his dirty plays and only cower and refuse take any responsibility

      • killerpgh - Apr 7, 2014 at 9:53 PM

        Did Giroux ever fight a Devils tough guy for his head shot on Zubuis after his temper tantrum when the ref didn’t call penalty and Giroux got himself suspended for the elimination game? Shouldn’t that same theory with Neal having to fight Simmonds mean Giroux has to fight a guy like Clarkson last year?

  6. cjb5671 - Apr 7, 2014 at 7:33 PM

    I love the Flyers but Rinaldo is a moron.

  7. laxman1944 - Apr 7, 2014 at 7:34 PM


  8. slaugin - Apr 7, 2014 at 7:37 PM

    I’ve come to accept the fact that anyone that is not a fan of the team of the violator will kick and scream that justice wasn’t served no matter what the suspension. Signed not a Flyers fan

  9. sumkat - Apr 7, 2014 at 7:37 PM

    About right. I’d of probably given him 3

    Do want to point out that 165 games over 3 season’s is not “abbreviated”. He’s a 4th liner who player a physical style. 55 games a year seems like just a regular old 3 seasons

  10. muckleflugga - Apr 7, 2014 at 7:44 PM

    i’m curious …

    is the sainted and wrongly maligned deryk engelland still talking like daffy duck after his one and out in old cowtown … lmao

    she asked me maybe I could share her sorrow for all the men that tried to treat her wrong

    though just a baby, awaiting her tomorrow it’s rock me baby, rock me baby, all night long

    rock me baby, rock me baby, all night long

  11. macgrubie - Apr 7, 2014 at 8:04 PM

    He seems like he’s been playing more and more on the line and getting more penalties. Hopefully this brings him back.

  12. paulerhythm - Apr 7, 2014 at 8:20 PM

    It is what it is. Rinaldo deserved a suspension, regardless of the length of suspension.

  13. 7mantel - Apr 7, 2014 at 8:31 PM

    NYR fan but I have to think if he wore a different sweater the suspension would have been less severe !

  14. ibieiniid - Apr 7, 2014 at 8:39 PM

    yessss a Court of Thumbs reference already.

  15. phxyotes - Apr 7, 2014 at 8:45 PM

    Rinaldo is a no talent pest and got what he deserved. Screw that guy.

  16. flyboystransport - Apr 7, 2014 at 10:28 PM

    Unnecessary hit.

  17. sjsharks66 - Apr 7, 2014 at 10:51 PM

    To sum all these comments up.

    Neal deserved more then 5 games for the knee. I think if the Thornton incident did not happen the same game, he would have received more. Neals crosscheck was questionable, as was the spear Malkin received. The fine on both players was okay, seeing as how no one was injured.

    Engellend’s 5 games was too much. Probably should have only been 3 games.

    This Rinaldo suspension is fair. It COULD have been 5 games. Going off of how he played the game and the timing in which he laid this hit. I am totally fine with 4 games. I really don’t think the Flyers will miss him. Especially since they play Florida tomorrow and if they win, go to playoffs.

    I admit that I dislike the Flyers. I will always use rational thinking when things like this happen. The people who say he should be thrown out of the league are just lame. Does he need to have a talk with the Flyers about these things, yes. It did good for Cooke and Torres. I believe it would be good for Rinaldo as well.

    • phillyphanatic77 - Apr 7, 2014 at 11:20 PM

      Glad you finally openly admit your disdain for the Flyers and I actually agree with your points… people were calling for blood last night and today. Numerous comments how he should be thrown out of the league (which is laughable) or at the least get a Torres type deal… ridiculous. Rinaldo throws a ton of hits and of those, only a miniscule percentage are illegal. Completely understand how opposing fans think he’s a punk, but those calling for 5+ games were clearly biased. I thought 3 games would’ve been appropriate, since the league doesn’t usually take 2 year old suspensions into consideration, but I won’t argue over 1 single game. He crossed the line and the punishment is in line with the crime.

      Clean up your act Zac, the Flyers are a better team with him out there annoying the opposition.

  18. sjsharks66 - Apr 7, 2014 at 11:41 PM

    I don’t like Rinaldo as a hockey player. Off the ice he seems like a good guy. I just dislike how he acts like an animal. I understand he is playing hard and trying to help his team, personally just rubs me the wrong way.

    HOWEVER if he were able to stay away from incidents like this and play hard as a 4th liner, I would really enjoy him. My favorite 4th line player in the league is Glass. I think in a few years with some talks with the Flyers upper management he could tame his game the way Glass does. Plays hard, hits hard and fights hard. Everything you look for in a 4th liner. Without the reputation Rinaldo has gotten.
    I really hope Rinaldo cuts this stuff out. I say the same for Neal, Cooke and Torres ( when they played on the edge.. Neal still does an he has to stop. ).

  19. djshnooks - Apr 8, 2014 at 3:59 AM


  20. toiletclown - Apr 8, 2014 at 6:18 AM

    What a joke, well at least he’s going to have a lot of time to think about what he did when the flyers are at the golf course next week. Hopefully Girouxs baby wrists are OK this season.

    • laxman1944 - Apr 8, 2014 at 9:43 AM


  21. kastout11 - Apr 8, 2014 at 7:50 AM

    I am pretty sure that if the playoffs weren’t starting next week, he might have received more than 4 games. I didn’t think they would suspend him for any playoff games. Bottom line, he is a contributor and to me he is a vital member of the team and actually brings it every night, which cannot be said for all the Flyers. I am glad he will be available for the playoffs, assuming they get in.

    • mcphillthy - Apr 8, 2014 at 8:44 AM

      Damn right. I am a huge rinaldo supporter. I understand his role and how much he brings to this team. I also understand his suspension and agree with it. There is no place in the NHL for these types of hits. He has played so well lately that it was frustrating to see him do this. C’mon zac…. Smh

      • goodolejr - Apr 8, 2014 at 10:07 AM

        He really has made obvious strides to playing a cleaner game but then stuff like this happens. While I completely agree with the suspension and think it was well deserved, the one thing I don’t like was that Shanahan refers to him as a repeat offender. I may be wrong, but I thought there was a rule in the CBA that a player’s suspension history can’t be taken into account to consider him a “repeat offender” if the last suspension was longer than 18 months previous. The fact that he even mentions that in the video means he took that into account when the rules state he shouldn’t have. Again, as a Flyers fan, I completely agree with the suspension. But that whole repeat offender thing is just yet another case of inconsistency.

      • mcphillthy - Apr 8, 2014 at 3:25 PM

        Goodolejr- that is a very valid point you bring up! Not that I think anything gets done or he appeals it on those grounds but it’s a good observation nonetheless.
        I am really disappointed in rinaldo for this. He had been doing so well in walking that line. I guess he relapsed

  22. rrsm53 - Apr 8, 2014 at 8:02 AM

    rosehill and rinaldo serve no useful purpose. Rosehill contributes nothing of value oh yeah he did score the other day against boston his second goal in how many games and years in the league. Rinaldo likes to go after certain players who wont come back at him and when he smack someone who will hand him his hat he wont fight or anything just skates away and then keeps hitting lesser players injuring them.

    But then again that is the Flyers for you. People talk about the Bruins dont see them taking cheap shot to the head they usually get them from others.

    • ibieiniid - Apr 8, 2014 at 8:36 AM

      lol he’s played one game more than a complete season in his career. at least you made it known early on in your post that you didn’t know what you were talking about. i didn’t have to read the rest of it.

  23. flyersfan85 - Apr 10, 2014 at 12:26 AM

    Yes, you in the corner…

    Yes, Zach did the crime and is doing the time, as per Shanny’s

    No, no one has anything else..

    Ok, ladies and gentlemen.. nothing to see here..isnt now, never was..

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