A Little R&R | Rosehill, Rinaldo Sign 2-Year Extensions with the Flyers >

by Michael DeNicola

Thursday, April 18, 2013 --

On Wednesday afternoon, the Philadelphia Flyers announced two contract extensions; Zac Rinaldo, our 22-year old little fireball forward, signed on-board for two more seasons worth $1.5-million ($750K AAV). Jay Rosehill, the 27-year old ogre acquired by trade with the Anaheim Ducks this season, agreed to two-years, $1.35-million ($675K AAV).

Both forwards are bottom-six role players, Rinaldo more-so than Rosehill. 

Zac's an interesting story -- he first made his climb to the Big Club back in 2011's post-season when the Flyers got swept by the Boston Bruins. For whatever reason, at the time, coach Peter Laviolette saw something in the 5'11", 180-pound winger. Whatever that 'something' was, it has certainly blossomed positively this season. In fact, Rinaldo's been one of the brighter spots throughout this dark, miserable 2013 stretch. 

For the majority of his NHL career, Zac was a mind-numbing liability. He'd take more stupid penalties rather than drawing them, and it often left me screaming at my television, wondering why this kid continually given his chance to skate in an orange & black uniform. As far as I was concerned, he served no purpose other than to habitually put us on the penalty-kill.

Some fans loved his intensity and enthusiasm; after all, the kid is a relentless energy skater who doesn't ever seem to run outta gas. 

It wasn't until around February of this calendar year that something clicked inside the psychopathic mind of Zac Rinaldo. All of a sudden, he found a way to dormant his aggression and channel it effectively through his play. Zac has drawn more penalties than he's committed. He drops the gloves at appropriate times rather than chucking them aside at the slightest sign of incursion. He's even morphed into -- dare I say -- an outstanding forechecker and offensive weapon.

Before, Zac was NEVER given ANY benefit of the doubt from the on-ice officials. This may just be my inner bias talking, but there have been handfuls of times that Rinaldo's been penalized unfairly only because of his reputation. 

Today, all of that seems to be a permanent thorn from the past, as Zac has established a neutral relationship with the League's referees. Because of this new-found connection, Rinaldo's been able to mold a positive axiom to his game and it has generated success.

So, then why only a two-year extension?

Well, hold your horses. I'm excited about how Rinaldo's play has done a complete 180 for the better, but we only have a small sample size in this shortened season -- not to mention he's been shelved with a high-ankle sprain for two weeks (and out for the remainder of the regular season). 

With a two-year extension, Rinaldo gets his pay increase (formerly a $544,444 AAV) and two years of stability, and the Flyers organization gets its 'low risk, high reward' facet from the extension. 

I absolutely love this signing, and I'll be cheering for Rinaldo -- a sentence I never thought I'd write four months ago. 

* * * *

Speaking of low risk, high reward; Flyers toughguy Jay Rosehill penned his signature to an extension with the Flyers, and I must admit.... I'm feeling alright with this signing. 

Back when Paul Holmgren phoned the Mighty Ducks and dealt Harry Zolnierczyk for Rosehill, I sat there scratching my head with confusion. Was I livid? No, I wasn't angry. I was indifferent. 

See, Zolnierczyk isn't going to become anything other than a career AHL'er who will be called up and loaned down more than a pair of jeans among eight siblings. He had value on an energy line, but not significant enough to earn him a permanent role with the Flyers active roster. 

Rosehill, on the other hand, is a former Maple Leaf who took swings at the faces of Laperriere, Jody Shelley, and Riley Cote over recent years. As far as I was concerned, Jay Rosehill was a pile of shit, standing at 6'3", and gooned it up harder than his partner in crime, Colton Orr. I wasn't happy about the guy becoming a part of the franchise I love the most in this world. 

I cannot stand to see Jody Shelley wearing a Flyers crest, but at least the guy's a good man and (from what I'm told) is a good leading presence in the dressing room. 

Rosehill was just a punching bag that punched back, with about as much offensive upside as a corpse. Hell, he never skated for a single second with the Ducks in a game; he had been playing for their AHL affiliate all season long. 

We acquired Rosehill for a number of reasons; Jody Shelley's been serving time on IR with a hip injury and Tom Sestito took a waiver flight out west to Vancouver, so our roster was without its designated bruiser -- and Rinaldo had turned a new leaf (no pun intended). And prior to the trade, Holmgren was getting a tad sick and tired of opposing thugs taking shots on our star captain, Claude Giroux. After all, it was Jake Voracek that had to skate in and enforce justice on Washington's Steve Olesky back on March 31..... yea, Jakub friggin' Voracek.

Nuh 'uh, no more. Enter Jay "Flowermountain" Rosehill.

Jay's partaken in the expected fisticuffs since sliding on the Flyers sweater, but he's also added value in the forechecking department. He's more often skating on (waiver wire pickup) Adam Hall's line, and the both of them have been quite a fourth line team. 

Rosehill's blocked shots, he has a goal (thanks to redirecting a Couturier clapper), and he's agitated the opposing benches.

With Jody Shelley FINALLY (I seriously cannot capitalize that word enough) coming off the books this offseason, the Flyers have an opening for their goon. Rosehill fills that void while bring extra stuff to the table, and also costs half of what Shelley's wastefully sucking off our cap ($1.1-million AAV). 

Mixed with a low amount of years and a low amount of cap dollars, Jay fits right in.

So, I'm fine with the Rosehill signing, and extremely happy and optimistic about the Rinaldo signing. I have no qualms with either player anymore, and acknowledge their usefulness. 

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Zac Rinaldo 04-18-2013.jpg 

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