Philadelphia Flyers' Zac Rinaldo Is The NHL's Toughest Player

By Steven Smith
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Hockey is, and hopefully always will be, a contact sport. Hockey without the rough and tough physical contact is like football without tackling. It just doesn’t make any sense. Those who live in the Philadelphia area pride themselves on their rough and tough way of life, especially when it comes to the Philly sports. At the same time, they receive a lot of criticism from opposing fans all over the country. Philly athletes are known as “dirty” or “cheap” players. Especially the Philadelphia FlyersZac Rinaldo. I couldn’t help but notice the barrage of hate being directed towards him when the Flyers were playing the Boston Bruins on Sunday, and it’s all from non-Philadelphia sports fans of course; I mean it’s only normal for opposing fans to talk trash on the other team. However, one particular comment really got me going.

I came across a tweet that pretty much said Rinaldo should pick on someone his own size. I hope that person sees this article because Rinaldo is probably the toughest player in all the NHL. The numbers back him up.

According to, Rinaldo has mixed it up a total of seven times this year in 63 games. For this person to say he should pick on someone his own size is absolutely absurd. The average size of those seven other players Rinaldo has fought this year is 6-foot, 196-pounds. Rinaldo stands only at 5-foot-11 and weighs only 169-pounds. Every player he has fought this season is literally bigger than he is. So that takes care of that.

His seven fights are the 11th most in the league this year. Every single player who has more fights than Rinaldo is bigger than he is. Nashville PredatorsRich Clune is shorter, but he has 19 pounds on Rinaldo. You can be the judge of that one. To me, Rinaldo is smaller.

He’s also got 207 hits on the season. That’s good enough for 17th in the league, but keep in mind he has only played in 63 games. He’s one of only 23 guys in the entire league with at least 200 hits.

So the next time you hear somebody say that Rinaldo is a chump, throw those numbers at them and see what they have to say for their foolish comments. Oh, and if they try to say he’s the dirtiest player in the game, besides the Pittsburgh PenguinsJames Neal of course, they aren’t going to have much of an argument there either.

Rianldo may be seventh in the league for penalty minutes, but there are still countless players with more misconducts, game misconducts, boarding calls and instigating calls than he has. You can look it up.

Steven Smith is a Philadelphia Flyers writer for  Follow him on Twitter and “like” him on Facebook.

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