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Zac Rinaldo chimes in on Gustav Nyquist suspension: ‘I would be in jail’

02.16.17 at 3:35 pm ET
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Zac Rinaldo disagrees with the NHL's suspension of Gustav Nyquist. (Jerome Miron/USA Today Sports)

Zac Rinaldo disagrees with the NHL’s suspension of Gustav Nyquist. (Jerome Miron/USA Today Sports)

The NHL’s Department of Player Safety has a polarizing job.

It’s almost impossible to find a suspension that everyone has agreed with, and there are many in the league that feel that there are different sets of rules for different players based on their status as a top-six forward or defenseman versus a depth piece.

And the fallout of Red Wings forward Gustav Nyquist’s straight-up vicious spear to the face of Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon last Sunday won’t help dispel that theory any time soon.

In one of the more heinous slashes you’ll see this season, Nyquist tried to explain to the media that the incident was accidental, but later fessed up to the DoPS that he was going for a retaliatory slash/crosscheck, and was handed a six-game ban and fined over $158,000 (one that he will not appeal) for the incident.

“While we accept Nyquist’s explanation that he did not intend to spear an opponent in the face, there are two factors that elevate this incident to a level more serious than merely accidental or reckless,” the league’s disciplinary system explained. “First as Nyquist conceded he is attempting to use his stick in a retaliatory fashion. Second, no matter how he specifically intended to retaliate with his stick, Nyquist is completely responsible for using his stick to deliver a blow that was extremely dangerous and easily could have resulted in a major if not career-threatening injury.”

A malicious, potentially ‘career-threatening injury’ from the stick of somebody that’s twice scored at least 27 goals at this level is worth just six games. That obviously doesn’t sit well with those that feel they’ve overly punished given their role.

Insert Zac Rinaldo.

The agitating energy winger, who has five goals and two assists and just 20 minutes in penalties in 29 games for the P-Bruins this season, took to Twitter on Thursday to voice his displeasure with some of the perceived double standards with the league.

On the surface, Rinaldo, who was placed on waivers and by all means banished to the AHL after another run-in that came with a five-game suspension for this hit on Lightning forward Cedric Paquette last season, is not wrong. The biggest difference though, is that this was Nyquist’s first incident, while Rinaldo has been suspended four times in his career.

Rinaldo, an unrestricted free agent this summer, still has to serve that five-game suspension upon any NHL recall.

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