Blue Jackets to pass on unvaccinated Rinaldo

Los Angeles (AFP) –


Forward Zac Rinaldo has been barred from attending the Columbus Blue Jackets training camp because of the NHL journeyman's refusal to get the Covid-19 vaccine.

The 31-year-old Rinaldo is the second person from the Blue Jacket's organization to have a falling out with the team over getting the vaccine in the midst of a global pandemic that has killed over four million worldwide.

Last week, Columbus parted ways with Canadian assistant coach Sylvain Lefebvre over his refusal to be vaccinated.

"We're going to have 67 players in our camp and they're all going to be vaccinated," Columbus president John Davidson said. "Everything we do, we do together as a team."

Rinaldo spoke out against the vaccine at a Canadian political rally last week, saying he was "pro-choice."

General manager Jarmo Kekalainen said "the ball is in his court right now" regarding Rinaldo's future with the team.

Rinaldo has scored 18 goals and has 758 penalty minutes in 354 career NHL games with Philadelphia, Boston, Arizona, Nashville and Calgary.

Throughout his career, Rinaldo has split his time between the NHL and American Hockey League and has never scored more than five goals in an NHL season.

Rinaldo will begin the season with the Blue Jackets farm team in Cleveland.