Morning Skate: Here's hoping NHL has seen last of Rinaldo


Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while more than halfway through the holiday week.

*There is plenty of opinions out there that the NHL went light on “useless goon” Zac Rinaldo with a six-game suspension for attacking a player who wasn’t prepared to defend himself. Given the track record of Rinaldo and his utter inability to do anything positive as a hockey player on the ice, I’d say this is a reasonable take. But does it really make a difference whether it’s six games or 10 games for Rinaldo? 

The actual act in question wasn’t quite egregious enough to suspend him for a half-season or something truly punitive. It didn’t result in some kind of major injury to the “victim” in this case. It was simply a stupid, punk move from a punk player that has no real code that he lives by when he’s on the ice and is simply trying to hurt people in most instances with his own form of on-ice anarchy. The real hope here is that Arizona smartens up and tells Rinaldo to go take a hike in the minor leagues and he isn’t heard from again in the NHL. That was the hope a couple of years ago as well when the Bruins buried him in the minor leagues. The next redeeming quality he shows on the ice for any NHL team he plays for will be the first one.  

*It’s getting kind of uncomfortable to see just how good and impactful Mathew Barzal has been this season for the New York Islanders while David Krejci sits on the sidelines for the Bruins.

*Five memorable US/Canada moments in the World Junior tournament as it begins winding up to full tilt in Buffalo.

*St. Louis Blues GM Doug Armstrong is rewarded with a four-year contract extension after overseeing a challenging roster reload over the last couple of seasons with the Blues.

*Sean Leahy has New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider out indefinitely after a blood clot problem in his arm. You may remember Adam McQuaid had this same problem a few years ago and missed months while dealing with the blood thinner medication.

*For something completely different: Sights and sounds from the Patriots Week 16 win over the Buffalo Bills? Yes, please.


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