Philadelphia Flyers’ Zac Rinaldo Ejected for Illegal Hit
An ugly week of preseason hockey just got a little worse last night. We’ve already seen Edmonton Oilers forward Ben Eager openly threaten the Vancouver Canucks after Zack Kassian broke Sam Gagner‘s jaw with his stick. Couple that with the various storylines from the Toronto Maple Leafs and Buffalo Sabres melee, and you’ve got much more drama than anyone would expect from the final week of the NHL preseason.
Well, why not add another incident to the list? Last night, in a game between the Philadelphia Flyers and the Washington Capitals, Flyers forward Zac Rinaldo was ejected after he nailed Mikhail Grabovski of the Capitals with a pretty vicious elbow. Grabovski was going after the puck in the corner when Rinaldo chased him down. Rinaldo appeared to lead with his elbow, connecting with Grabovski’s head and sending him to the ice. Discipline came swiftly, as Rinaldo was ejected from the game. He didn’t seem to show much sympathy about the hit, using a slightly inappropriate version of “shut up” when Grabovski confronted him about it.
Any hit like this is always reviewed by chief disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan, who’s been known to suspend players for lesser infractions. However, Shanahan was quick to send out a ruling (via Twitter) claiming that no further discipline will be issued. His reasoning was that, although the hit was violent, Rinaldo’s elbow was tucked and he didn’t charge Grabovski.
So, despite getting ejected from the game for his hit, it looks like Rinaldo will avoid any suspension from the league. Of course, judging how this week has been going around the league, don’t be surprised if this hit comes up when the Capitals and Flyers meet up again in the regular season.