Wednesday night, Arizona Coyotes forward and village idiot Zac Rinaldo was suspended six games for punching an unsuspecting player, Colorado Avalanche defenseman Samuel Girard.
This is Rinaldo’s fifth NHL suspension in six seasons, which makes the six-game ban seem even more lenient.
Rinaldo’s suspension comes from a punch on Girard after the Coyotes forward placed a legal, but rough, hit on Nathan MacKinnon. The incident took place on December 23.
Rinaldo received a match penalty and a fighting major, totaling 15 penalty minutes, for the incident. Girard was taken off the ice and underwent concussion protocol before returning to finish the game.
The former Flyer was offered an in-person hearing, but waived his right instead opting for a phone hearing. In-person hearings are only offered when a suspension will be six or more games.
In the NHL’s video, the Department of Player Safety says Rinaldo was suspended for the premeditated punch of Girard, who showed no intent to fight.
“After hitting an opposing player who appears to be injured from the check, Rinaldo is now on alert and surveys the ice anticipating a confrontation. Girard skates in Rinaldo’s direction while pursuing the play and extends his stick outwards towards Rinaldo.
Rinaldo then drops his gloves and delivers a forceful bareknuckle punch to the face of an opponent who had given no indication that he was anticipating a fight or was in any way a willing combatant. This is a punch to an unsuspecting opponent.”
Rinaldo’s last suspension was for five games in 2016 for a head shot. Rinaldo carries double the penalty minutes (687) to games played (306).
The Avalanche ended up winning the game 6-2.
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