The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed free agent forward Zac Rinaldo to a one-year, two-way contract. Aaron Portzline of The Athletic reports that the deal will be worth $750K in the NHL, $275K in the AHL, and comes with a $300K minor league guarantee.
Rinaldo, 31, has carved out a 374-game NHL career despite never being anything more than a fourth-line presence. In a league that is almost completely devoid of enforcers, there’s still Rinaldo, playing NHL games every year and racking up penalty minutes. In 2020-21 he played four games with the Calgary Flames, averaged fewer than six minutes a night, and fought former teammate Austin Watson.
With 42 career points and 748 career penalty minutes, it’s clear what Rinaldo’s job will be with the Blue Jackets, whenever they put him in the lineup. The 31-year-old forward has never had more than five goals or nine points in a single season. With Columbus going through something of a transition period, trading away Cam Atkinson and Seth Jones, among others, the team will look very different this season. Perhaps Rinaldo will find his way into the lineup more often as they look to establish an identity under new head coach Brad Larsen.