Zac Rinaldo won't be in the lineup on Thursday against Buffalo. He won't be in the lineup on Saturday against Pittsburgh, either. He's been suspended two games for his charging infraction against Jonathan Ericsson of the Detroit Red Wings Sunday night.
The explanation from Shanahan is pretty clear. (Oh, and by the way, if you think there's some sort of conspiracy afoot because Shanahan played for the Red Wings, you need to relax just a bit.) Rinaldo, who has been in trouble with the NHL law very recently, launched himself up into Ericsson. He left his feet before the hit and as the video very clearly shows, he wound up five inches higher than he should have been. That's a no-no.
A lot of Flyers fans are furious about this hit, and I do agree that two games might be a little much. But considering Rinaldo's history -- both during his NHL career and otherwise -- and reputatiion, we shouldn't necessarily be all that surprised.
All he had to do was stay on his skates and deliver the hit to the body and it would've been highlight-reel quality. He got a little too jumpy on this one, and he'll pay the price for it. I'm not sure it's all that grave an injustice, either.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE / FEBRUARY 13, 2012
FLYERS' RINALDO SUSPENDED FOR TWO GAMES
NEW YORK (February 13, 2012) -- Philadelphia Flyers forward Zac Rinaldo has been suspended for two games, without pay, for a charging incident in which he launched himself to hit Detroit Red Wings defenseman Jonathan Ericsson during NHL Game #829 in Detroit on Sunday, Feb. 12, the National Hockey League's Department of Player Safety announced today.
Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, and based on his average annual salary, Rinaldo will forfeit $5,885.88. The money goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.
The incident occurred at 13:25 of the first period. Rinaldo was assessed a minor penalty for charging.