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After lifting waivers on Friday afternoon, the Columbus Blue Jackets announced that forward Zac Rinaldo are not assigned to their American Hockey League-affiliated Cleveland Monsters.
Rinaldo, 31, currently has a one-year contract with the team. He was not allowed to participate in the club’s training camp because the Hamilton, Ont. native is not vaccinated.
“Our position was very clear that our organization is committed to doing everything it can to ensure the health and safety of our players, coaches, staff and fans,” Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said in a statement. “Given the impact that COVID-19 continues to have in our communities, we believe the best course of action given Zac’s vaccination status is not to report him to Cleveland at this time. respect to make a personal choice regarding whether or not to be vaccinated “We have a responsibility to do what we believe is best for our organization. We will honor Zac’s contract, but if he wants to use other opportunities to play this season, we will allow him.”
Last month, the team fired newly hired assistant coach Sylvain Lefebvre for not being vaccinated.
Rinaldo played in 374 NHL games over nine seasons with the Philadelphia Flyers, Boston Bruins, Arizona Coyotes, Nashville Predators and Calgary Flames.
In four games with the Flames last season, Rinaldo registered five-minute penalties.
The Blue Jackets open their regular season at home against the Coyotes on October 14.
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