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Zac Rinaldo faces NHL hearing for Kris Letang hit

01/26/2015 12:51 EST | Updated 03/28/2015 05:59 EDT
It’s a good bet ZacRinaldo won’t take the ice with his Philadelphia Flyers teammates for Tuesday night’s home game against Arizona.

The Flyers tough guy is scheduled for a hearing Monday with the NHL for his hit on Pittsburgh Penguins defenceman Kris Letang during a Jan. 20 contest.

Rinaldo, 24, waived his right to an in-person hearing with the NHL’s department of player safety. An in-person hearing must be offered for any suspension that could exceed five games.

“More than likely I’m gonna get suspended,” Rinaldo told reporters recently. “Just the way the league is going right now. Especially with Letang, a star player, it being me with some history and him getting hurt doesn’t help me in my situation.”

Rinaldo, a fourth-year centre, was suspended four games in April for an illegal hit to the head of Buffalo Sabres defenceman Chad Ruhwedel and served a two-game ban in 2012.

He’s expected to be handed at least a six-game suspension for the hit from behind on Letang that resulted in a five-minute major penalty and a game misconduct. Rinaldo was also assessed a cross-checking penalty earlier in the game.

After the game, he appeared to show little remorse for the hit.

Letang stayed on the ice but was able to eventually skate off with a member of the Penguins' training staff. He didn’t return to the game and hasn’t played since, though he did take part in an optional morning skate on Jan. 21.

Pittsburgh hosts the unbeaten-in-five Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday.

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