The NHL’s Department of Player Safety has suspended Philadelphia Flyers’ forward Zac Rinaldo eight games for his hit on Kris Letang.
He will lose $73,170.72 in salary during the suspension.
Rinaldo received a major penalty for boarding and a game misconduct for his hit during the first period of the Flyers’ 3-2 overtime win on Jan. 20.
Rinaldo waived his right to an in-person heading and had a phone hearing on Monday.
The 24-year-old is considered a repeat offender.
He was suspended four games last season for his hit on Sabres’ defenseman Chad Ruhwedel.
Rinaldo received a two-game suspension for dangerous hit on Detroit’s Jonathan Ericsson in February 2012.
Letang, who is believed to have suffered a concussion as a result of the Rinaldo hit, practiced Monday and could be an option for the Penguins Tuesday when they play host to the Winnipeg Jets.
Rinaldo is eligible to return to the Flyers’ lineup on Feb. 17 when Philadelphia plays host to the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Luke Adam has excelled at the AHL level, but he’s had trouble proving that he can be an effective forward with the Buffalo Sabres as well. The 24-year-old’s NHL pursuit was dealt another blow today when he was placed on waivers, per the team’s website.
Adam wasn’t able to stick around long enough to be one of the final selections as Buffalo still has 38 players left on its training camp roster, including 21 forwards. Instead, Adam was one of 13 players that the Sabres cut today.
Buffalo also sent forwards William Carrier, Dan Catenacci, Colin Jacobs, Justin Kea, Jordan Samuels-Thomas, Kevin Sundher and Phil Varone to the AHL’s Rochester Americans as well as defensemen Brady Austin, Jerome Leduc and Chad Ruhwedel.
Brendan Lemieux was returned to OHL Barrie while Justin Bailey will report to OHL Kitchener.
Adam is the only player in that group that has to clear waivers. He signed a one-year, two-way contract that will pay him $150,000 in the minors or $650,000 annually at the NHL level.
The Buffalo Sabres have re-signed defenseman Chad Ruhwedel to a two-year contract.
From the press release:
Ruhwedel (5/7/90, 5’11”, 181 lbs) has played in 28 games for the Sabres since signing an entry-level contract with the club in April 2013. While playing for the Rochester Americans in 2013-14, Ruhwedel notched 28 points (4+24) in 47 regular-season games, which ranked him second among the team’s defensemen. He also appeared in five playoff games and recorded five points (2+3), which was second-most on the team.
With Ruhwedel done, the Sabres still need to get restricted free agent Tyler Ennis under contract for next season.
Related: Grigorenko: ‘No one’s fault but mine that I didn’t go into the NHL’
The NHL buyout period is coming soon and with it so will the decision on Ville Leino’s future with the Buffalo Sabres.
Leino has three years left on a contract with Buffalo that comes with a $4.5 million cap hit. Sabres GM Tim Murray told WGR radio in Buffalo they’re still deciding what the proper course is in how to handle Leino’s situation.
Murray said there’s a strong possibility that they’ll use the compliance buyout on Ville Leino. Murray says they must still cross the t’s and dot the i’s and have one more conversation with the owner about it.
As for Leino, his agent told John Vogl of The Buffalo News they haven’t had much talk with the Sabres.
“I have had few very short discussions about Leino with Tim Murray,” Leino’s agent, Markus Lehto, told The News by email.
The buyout period begins 48 hours after the end of the Stanley Cup Final or June 15, whichever comes first, and ends June 30. The Sabres owe Leino $11 million and a buyout would cost them $7.3 million (two-thirds of the amount owed). The Sabres signed Leino to a six-year, $27 million deal in the summer of 2011.
One possible issue for Buffalo should they use a compliance buyout on Leino: Hitting the salary floor.
It’s projected to be around $50 million next season and as of right now, according to CapGeek.com, the Sabres have nearly $39 million committed to the cap. Lopping off $4.5 million means Buffalo will have to spend $15 million against the cap to compete. They have five restricted free agents to get signed, two of whom are due for a raise in Tyler Ennis and Marcus Foligno. Cory Conacher, Jamie McBain, and Chad Ruhwedel are also RFAs.
Flyers tough forward Zac Rinaldo will have to answer to the NHL for his hit on Sabres defenseman Chad Ruhwedel.
The NHL Department of Player Safety announced Rinaldo will have a hearing on Monday with Rinaldo for an illegal check to the head. It will be a phone hearing and that means the most he can be sat down for is five games. With the regular season winding down and playoffs on the horizon for the Flyers, a long enough suspension could eat into the postseason.
Rinaldo was assessed a match penalty for his high hit on the rookie Sabres defenseman and has a history. He was fined $5,000 on Feb. 4, 2012 for two separate incidents and then received a two-game suspension for charging nine days later. None of that will be considered by the league in his suspension, however, since it was over two years ago at this point.
Here’s video of the play from CSNPhilly.com from last night in case you missed it.