Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press
The Arizona Coyotes will be without center Zac Rinaldo for six games thanks to the punch he threw during Saturday’s 6-2 loss to the Colorado Avalanche.
On Wednesday, NHL Player Safety announced Rinaldo was suspended six games for punching defenseman Samuel Girard. The Coyotes play the Avalanche again on Wednesday.
Rinaldo hasn’t made much of a statistical impact for the Coyotes this season. He has just two goals and one assist through 31 games and has a plus/minus of minus-seven, per ESPN.com.
The Coyotes are a mere 8-25-5 in what is shaping up to be a lost season. While the loss of Rinaldo hurts their depth, this doesn’t appear to be a team competing for a realistic playoff spot anyway.
Arizona faces the Toronto Maple Leafs, Anaheim Ducks, Nashville Predators, New York Rangers and Edmonton Oilers in the five contests following Wednesday’s against Colorado.
Look for the Coyotes to rely even more on Clayton Keller, Derek Stepan and Max Domi at the center spot even more during Rinaldo’s absence.