Zac Rinaldo suspended 4 games for head hit on Sabres' Chad Ruhwedel (Video)


One of the goals of the Department of Player Safety has been to try and educate NHL players to make smarter hits. Why pick the head when you can go through the body for a check?

This was a question likely posed to Zac Rinaldo of the Philadelphia Flyers during his phone hearing Monday after his hit on Buffalo Sabres defenseman Chad Ruhwedel Sunday night.

Rinaldo launched himself into Ruhwedel early in the third period and was assessed a match penalty for an illegal check to the head with intent to injure.

Scroll to continue with content

The DoPS has decided the Flyers forward will sit for their four remaining regular season games.

Via the NHL, Rinaldo will forfeit $15,384.60 in salary for the four games.

Going for the loose puck before Ruhwedel's shot, Rinaldo takes himself out of a perfect angle to make a clean hit. He skated himself into that illegal hit and rather than launching himself into the body, he ends up getting the head.

“Just had a lot of speed going at him," Rinaldo said. "I put my shoulder down. As I hit him he shot the puck and my shoulder hit his head, clearly.”

Ruhwedel was diagnosed with a concussion and there's currently no timetable for his return to the Sabres' lineup.

- - - - - - -

Sean Leahy

is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!