When news broke that Zac Rinaldo had been signed to a two-year deal last season, some Bruins fans were left scratching their heads. If the Bruins were trying to stray away from the rough and tough image, why sign a goon? He will be able to help out on the penalty kill, Sweeney said. Unfortunately, as we witnessed last season, he is unable to do so or much of anything outside the borderline hits.
In the absence of guys like Shawn Thornton and Milan Lucic, the Bruins needed a stand-up guy, one who would answer to the call when a teammate went down. Rinaldo COULD have been that guy…except he wasn’t. As Adam McQuaid got drilled into the boards from behind and ended up concussed by the play, he simply skated back to the bench. A move that left many of us scratching our heads and wondering what the hell management saw in this guy to think he was worthy of a third round pick.
The Boston Bruins are a team that are top heavy, they have numerous amounts of forwards and not enough roster spots to fill them. Why would the Bruins choose to keep a player that a) isn’t a necessity, b) doesn’t stick up for his teammates and c) just plain isn’t very good? The answer, they shouldn’t.
Zac Rinaldo appeared in 52 games for the Bruins last season, registering a single goal, three assists and 83 penalty minutes. In order to stand a chance at earning a spot, he would need to come into camp with an entirely different attitude. Playing with an edge would be beneficial for the Bruins, so long as he isn’t playing ON the edge and costing them. However, with the NHL cracking down on physicality and really monitoring previous offenders, good luck having them turn a blind eye to any type of hit from a player with a dirty reputation.
Ultimately, the Bruins can do much better than Zac Rinaldo. With their overload of young talent, his skates wouldn’t be too tough to fill. Any one of the young guns down in Providence would jump at the chance to become a part of the Boston family and guarantee they wouldn’t skate away from a teammate in need. The Bruins need to stay away from the agitators (hence why Brad Marchand has shaped up his game) and focus more on aspects that will help them win.