Zac Rinaldo suspended indefinitely by AHL days after getting five-game NHL ban

Zac Rinaldo may be facing a suspension in the AHL to go along with his five-game NHL ban. Rinaldo was handed a match penalty for checking to the head halfway through his first game with the Providence Bruins.

Boston Bruins winger Zac Rinaldo has had quite the week.

Rinaldo, 25, was waived by the Bruins on Sunday before suiting up against the Tampa Bay Lightning, but he took part in the contest. During the game, he levelled Cedric Paquette with an illegal check to the head. Monday, Rinaldo cleared waivers and was assigned to the Providence Bruins. That was followed by the NHL hitting Rinaldo with a five-game ban for his hit on Paquette.

Rinaldo finally got back into game action Friday in what was his first AHL contest since the 2012-13 season. His outing lasted all of 31:20 before he was heading to the dressing room thanks to a match penalty for a check to the head. Rinaldo also received a minor for high-sticking on the play.

The check has put Bridgeport Sound Tigers defenseman Kane Lafranchise on the shelf. According to Michael Fornabaio of, Lafranchise is listed as day-to-day.

Because Rinaldo was handed the match penalty, the play is subject to review. Per the AHL rulebook: “A player incurring a match penalty shall incur an automatic fine of two hundred dollars ($200) and the case shall be investigated promptly by the President who shall have full power to impose such further penalty by way of suspension or fine on the penalized player or any other player involved in the altercation.”

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It’s worth noting that match penalties like the one handed to Rinaldo come when the officials rule there was intent or an attempt to injure. The rulebook states that the referee “may assess a match penalty if, in his judgment, the player attempted to or deliberately injured his opponent with an illegal check to the head.”

Saturday morning, The Providence Journal’s Mark Divver reported Rinaldo had been suspended indefinitely for the check pending a league review.

Yes, this means Rinaldo is suspended in the NHL as a member of the Boston Bruins and in the AHL as a member of the Providence Bruins. That’s a rare feat.