Zac Rinaldo

Bruins GM Don Sweeney explains placing Zac Rinaldo and Max Talbot on waivers

Ken Laird
February 28, 2016 - 1:59 pm

The Bruins placed two of their frequent fourth-line forwards on waivers over the weekend, as Max Talbot and Zac Rinaldo had their contracts and rights exposed for other NHL teams to claim. Talbot cleared those waivers, while Rinaldo will remain available to a claim by another team through Monday at noon. Boston General Manager Don Sweeney explained the decisions to the assembled media before Sunday night's game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. "There's certain times a year when you have an opportunity before deadlines to create flexibility," Sweeney said. "Both those [moves] represent that. I've had talks with both players. Zac [Rinaldo] is playing tonight. There are plenty of players that have gone on waivers and nothing has happened. In both counts that might be the case. But we have certain deadlines we have to adhere to. In order to create flexibility with some of the discussions we've had that was something we had to do. As difficult as those conversations are to have, you have to have them and do what's best for the hockey club." Players that have cleared waivers can be loaned to the American Hockey League, saving NHL teams their equivalent salary cap hit up to a max of $950,000. Talbot's cap hit this season is $743,279 and Rinaldo's is $850,000. Talbot, 32, has played 36 games this year with two goals and four assists on the campaign. Talbot was not in Sunday's lineup and has been a healthy scratch for six of Boston's last seven games. Rinaldo, 25, was acquired by the Bruins last summer from Philadelphia in exchange for a third-round draft pick. Through 51 games played, Rinaldo has one goal, two assists, and 81 penalty minutes. "I still believe that Zac is a player that we needed, the type of player that we needed," said Sweeney. "Did I know that Tyler Randell would be able to come in and fill a gap? Did I think Landon Ferraro necessarily would come in and fill another gap? No, those are things you don't necessarily have a feel for before the season started." Sweeney continued: "I felt that our team lacked energy at times last year and I think Zac has done a good job in that regard. Has he produced to the level maybe he's capable when you watch him in practice every day? No, he'd probably be the first to tell you that. But I think his game has certainly come a long way where he's put himself in questionable situations ... even penalties he takes now most of them are borderline calls in a lot of occasions. I think he infuses a lot of energy. He's been used on the penalty kill a little bit, again something he can probably grow at because of the way he skates, the courage that he has. I think it's infectious for our club. He's fit in well. We'll see whether somebody else thinks that, we might lose that asset and we'll go from there. But it allowed us this time, deadline, for flexibility's sake."