NHL suspends Flyers’ Rinaldo for four games


The NHL decided to suspend rugged Philadelphia Flyers forward Zac Rinaldo four games for an illegal check to the head on Buffalo Sabres defenseman Chad Ruhwedel from Sunday night. The Flyers only play four more regular season games in 2013-14, so Philly fans won’t see the hard-hitter again until the playoffs (assuming they hold onto a spot in the East).

The league cites Ruhwedel’s concussion, the nature of the hit (stating that Rinaldo “launched” into his head, which was believed to be the main point of contact) and prior history in making the decision.

Rinaldo, 23, was already suspended by the league once and fined on two other occasions during three abbreviated seasons (165 regular season games, seven in the postseason) of NHL work. He received a match penalty during the play as the Flyers bested the Sabres 5-2 on the night.

Rinaldo will be short $15,384.60 thanks to the suspension.

Update: The Flyers responded to the suspension with this statement:

Dropping like flies: Johnson, Killorn hurt in Bolts’ exhibition

Montreal Canadiens v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game One
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You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.

We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.

“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.

These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.

Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.

It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.

Raffi Torres gets match penalty for being Raffi Torres

Raffi Torres

With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.

It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.

Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:

It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).

As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.

Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:

This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.

Update: Bullet dodged?