NHL Rumors: Arizona Coyotes Forward Suspended Six Games After Punching Opponent

Arizona will be without one of their key players for a stretch after he threw an 'unsuspecting punch.'

NHL rumors Arizona Coyotes forward suspended six games
Jay LaPrete / AP images

Arizona will be without one of their key players for a stretch after he threw an 'unsuspecting punch.'

The Arizona Coyotes will be without one of their players for a stretch of six games. Forward Zac Rinaldo has reportedly been suspended due to a brawl he set off in a recent game. Rinaldo punched an opponent which drew a penalty and now a suspension for multiple games. Here are the latest details on Rinaldo’s suspension and what’s on tap for the Arizona Coyotes as they push through their NHL schedule.

On Wednesday, it was reported by ESPN that Arizona Coyotes Zac Rinaldo received the suspension for his “unsuspecting punch” that he landed on the Colorado Avalanche’s Samuel Girard. The punch occurred in the December 23rd game, resulting in a match penalty assessed to Rinaldo. The hit also started a brawl between the two teams. Colorado ended up winning the game 6-2. Arizona not only took the loss on their record but also the loss of Girard for six games.

It was indicated that Rinaldo’s suspension is also under the “repeat offender” category as he’s been suspended previously. Rinaldo had four other NHL suspensions on his record and several while playing in the AHL. It’s probably not too surprising to know that he is leading the team in penalty minutes, as he’s racked up 32 for the season.

A few seasons ago, Rinaldo found himself suspended for five games as a member of the Boston Bruins after a shot to Lightning center Cedric Paquette’s head. He also received a five-game ban by the AHL for two different incidents that occurred within a two-week time span. Rinaldo is a former sixth-round draft pick by the Philadelphia Flyers back in 2008. For the current season, he’s contributed two goals and an assist for Arizona. His latest incident is shown in a Sportsnet video posted to YouTube (below).

Right now, the Coyotes find themselves with a record of 8-25-5 and are in eighth place in the Pacific Division standings. The team was in action against the Colorado Avalanche once again on Wednesday night in a home game. The other five games which Rinaldo will miss on the schedule include matchups with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Anaheim Ducks, Nashville Predators, New York Rangers, and Edmonton Oilers. Only one of the six games that Rinaldo will miss is an away matchup which takes place on Sunday afternoon at Anaheim.