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09-27-2011, 08:28 PM
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Hockeypete49's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: South Jersey
Country: Isle of Man
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Originally Posted by GKJ View Post
Pretty much everything that has happened and is progressing toward in the NHL, points to Rinaldo getting a shot to stick. And that's really it. People are touting his "underrated skills," even Ian Laperrierre, but there are few - if any (I'm looking and having a hard time finding someone who isn't strictly a goon) - who have stuck in the NHL and had a career high of 30 points as a forward in juniors, and 9 in a full AHL season. There really isn't anything that shows that he has or will have NHL skills, when he didn't even prove it in the OHL or AHL. This is like taking a cue from the Islanders.

Everyone knew from the start, Rinaldo was going to get his chance. He hasn't done anything to blow it yet, that is to his credit. Last night he got away with what could have been a 5-minute charging call had the man he was trying to hit not gotten out of the way.

One pre-season doesn't change a career-long's worth of...whatever he is. One whole season in the AHL might, but until he shows that he has some kind of game (pest skills + skating is not a game), then he is about as much of a prospect as Mike Zagurski was for the Phillies. That doesn't mean he 100% can't cut it in the NHL, that just means that it's very, very likely that he won't.

Rinaldo has shown very little in the terms of an offensive game at any point in his career. Dan Carcillo scored a great goal against Detroit two pre-seasons ago, and it was proof that he had he had the puck skills to be a solid third-line pest who can score as needed, until there was proof that he really didn't. But that's neither here nor there, if certain people didn't want to show up and discuss it when Holmgren showed him the door, then we don't need to do it now.

Even as creepish as Sean Avery is, beyond his shenanigans, he has proven to have some semblence of an actual NHL-caliber game (although I'm fairly confident that this will be his last season in the NHL). The AHL is the place to find that, and once Shelley returns, he will have the season to prove that he does. In a pre-season game where the Flyers lost two forwards, Rinaldo still did not break 10 minutes, while Harry Z (who almost no one is talking about), gets to kill penalties and defend 1-goal leads.

Some guys get a shot, pretty much stick around. And no, Trevor Gillies doesn't count. There's not much room in the NHL for small guys with no game, and the NHL isn't the place to suddenly discover it. The way the league is going, in two years if you can't take a regular shift, you'll probably get blacklisted. It bears saying that Zac Rinaldo's junior numbers are significantly worse than that of Riley Cote and Ryan Hollweg. I can't even find anyone, who isn't a big nasty goon, who has worse numbers in juniors. I'm not that interested in going into Islanders-territory where guys who can't play are getting thrown out to "mix it up."
Erik Godard?

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