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.