Bruins

B's acquire Rinaldo from Flyers for third-round pick in '17

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B's acquire Rinaldo from Flyers for third-round pick in '17

The Bruins made another move on Monday that raised eyebrows when they announced a 2017 third round pick had been sent to the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for energy forward/agitator Zac Rinaldo.

The 25-year-old Rinaldo has eight goals and 24 points in 223 career games, and has amassed 572 penalty minutes during his four seasons with the Broad Street Bullies.

To his credit the 5-foot-11, 169-pound center is fearless, and will throw his body around against much bigger, stronger opponents while dropping the gloves in fights he can’t hope to win. He will play the kind of game that will be in the face of opponents, and Bruins fans should warm up to him once they see Rinaldo flying around in a Black and Gold uniform.

But Rinaldo also has more games suspended (14) in his career than goals scored (eight), and takes some pretty undisciplined penalties at times while trying to get under the skin of opponents. There’s also no way in the wide, wide world of sports that he’s worth a third round pick in trade, and one has to wonder if other NHL general managers are lining up to see if they can get that kind of inflated haul for some of their players.

On its face this is the kind of crap-stirring player that could bring the Bruins back closer to the modern day Big Bad Bruins style clearly preferred by Bruins President Cam Neely, but it’s also a clear cut case of bad asset management. One begins to wonder exactly what the master plan is from the Bruins front office over on Causeway Street after witnessing their scattershot method to constructing the Bruins roster over the last few days.

Last season the Flyers 2008 sixth round pick skated in 58 games with the Flyers during the 2014-15 campaign, registering one goal and five assists for six points while leading the team in penalty minutes with 102.

Rinaldo is signed for the next two years at an $850,000 cap hit prior to hitting unrestricted agency, so the Bruins won’t be overpaying for a player that barely averaged eight minutes of ice time last season. But it also makes one wonder where the 31-year-old Max Talbot fits into the picture after he was brought in to be the fourth line center for the Black and Gold following his deal from the Colorado Avalanche at last spring’s trade deadline.

McDavid, MacKinnon, Matthews? Who are the top 10 centers in the NHL right now?

McDavid, MacKinnon, Matthews? Who are the top 10 centers in the NHL right now?

The NHL is absolutely loaded with great centers.

Whether it's a young talent like Auston Matthews, Nathan MacKinnon, Connor McDavid or Aleksander Barkov — all of whom are under 25 years old — or more established talent like Sidney Crosby, Steven Stamkos, Patrice Bergeron, or Anze Kopitar, trying to determine the league's best center is a tough task.

But while some of these guys are off to slow starts, others' talents are on full display through a quarter of the 2019-20 NHL season.

Joe Haggerty is continuing his look at the Top 10 players at each position with a look at the league's best centers.

Click here for the Top 10 centers in the NHL right now.>>>>>

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Bruins' Brett Ritchie (infection) out again vs. Sabres with flare-up of previous injury

Bruins' Brett Ritchie (infection) out again vs. Sabres with flare-up of previous injury

BRIGHTON, Mass. — Bruins power forward Brett Ritchie's on-again, off-again status is off again as he won’t be in the lineup vs. the Buffalo Sabres after “a flare-up” of an injury that previously kept him out of the lineup.

This will be the eighth game of the season that Ritchie has missed with a couple of different injuries, but this is related to an infection issue that took the 26-year-old out of the lineup for a handful of games. Ritchie had been out for two weeks prior to returning on Tuesday night against the Devils and had just one shot on goal in 13:15 of ice time in the win over New Jersey.

“He’s had a flare-up of a previous injury last night,” said Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy. “So that will leave Lindholm with Bjork and Heinen. If Ritchie was healthy, he’d be on the wing and [Lindholm] would have to work his way into the lineup. Maybe he’d be the 13th or 14th forward mixed in.”

Ritchie has had pockets of decent play this season and got off to a good start when he scored in the season opener in Dallas, but the two goals and three points in 14 games played this season hasn’t been very impactful play from a guy the Bruins hoped would bring size, strength, physicality and ruggedness to their forward group.

Cassidy added that he “fully expects” Patrice Bergeron to play against the Sabres after missing the last two games with a lower body injury, and the further expectation is that Torey Krug will return this weekend against the Minnesota Wild, though he was skating in a no-contact jersey at Thursday’s run-through.

Here are the projected Bruins line combos and D-pairings vs. the Sabres based on Thursday’s morning skate:

FORWARD LINES

Brad Marchand Patrice Bergeron David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk David Krejci Charlie Coyle
Anders Bjork Par Lindholm Danton Heinen
Joakim Nordstrom Sean Kuraly Chris Wagner

DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS

Zdeno Chara Charlie McAvoy
Matt Grzelcyk Brandon Carlo
Urho Vaakanainen Connor Clifton

STARTING GOALIE

Tuukka Rask

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