Zac Rinaldo is going to be in some trouble yet again with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. The Arizona Coyotes forward sucker punched Colorado Avalanche rookie defenceman Samuel Girard Saturday night, which sparked a massive line brawl. Rinaldo, 27, hit Nathan MacKinnon with an open-ice body check near centre ice midway through the second period of what ended up being a 6-2 Avalanche win. Then a couple seconds later he punched Girard with his bare fist as the 19-year-old skated by. Girard’s teammates, including MacKinnon, who initially appeared banged up after receiving the hit, immediately went after Rinaldo. Erik Johnson dropped the gloves with Rinaldo while MacKinnon ended up fighting Josh Archibald in the melee. In addition to fighting majors, MacKinnon and Archibald received game misconducts and Rinaldo was given a match penalty. Johnson only received a fighting major and a roughing minor. All told there was 52 minutes in penalties handed out on the play.
Coyotes’ Zac Rinaldo sucker punches rookie, sparks brawl vs. Avalanche
Sportsnet | Dec 24