Blue Jackets ban Zac Rinaldo from training camp for refusing to get COVID vaccine

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The Columbus Blue Jackets have taken Zac Rinaldo out of training camp because the 31-year-old NHL forward refused to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Rinaldo, a nine-season NHL veteran who spent the last two seasons with Calgary, will start the preseason with the minor-league Blue Jackets team in Cleveland.

“Forward Zac Rinaldo, with whom we signed a two-pronged contract this summer, is not vaccinated and because of that – and it is his decision – the plan is to launch him in the American Hockey League. and he’s not coming to our training camp, ”team president John Davison told reporters on Tuesday, a day before the camp opened.

“We’re going to have 67 players in our camp and they’re all going to be vaccinated,” Davidson continued. “Everything we do, we do as a team. “

In August, Rinaldo, 31, signed a bilateral deal, which allows the Blue Jackets to move him between the NHL club and its AHL affiliate, the Cleveland Monsters. A long demotion would cost Rinaldo dearly, who would earn $ 750,000 if he plays the season with Columbus, but only $ 275,000 if he spends the year in the minors, a Blue Jackets spokesperson confirmed to DailyMail. com.

As Managing Director Jarmo Kekalainen said on Tuesday, “the ball is in [Rinaldo’s] court right now.

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The Columbus Blue Jackets have taken forward Zac Rinaldo from training camp because the 31-year-old NHL veteran refused to get a COVID-19 shot. Rinaldo, a nine-season NHL veteran who spent the last two seasons with Calgary, will start the season with the Blue Jackets branch in the minor league in Cleveland

Rinaldo disapproves of vaccination mandates and expressed his support for the People’s Party of Canada at a September 16 rally in Hamilton, Ont., As the group opposes injection requirements, according to ESPN.

The move follows a similar decision on Friday in which the Blue Jackets fired assistant coach Sylvain Lefebvre because he, too, had refused to be vaccinated.

“Lefebvre has decided not to receive a COVID-19 vaccine and therefore will not be able to perform the tasks requested of him given current NHL protocols,” the team’s statement read.

NHL coaches and other team personnel who interact closely with players should be fully immunized.

The league and the NHL Players’ Association have not imposed a vaccination mandate on players, but the restrictions – including the possibility of not being able to cross the border from the United States to Canada without a long quarantine – have supported team vaccination rates.

Former Blue Jackets assistant coach Sylvain Lefebvre has been replaced on coach Brad Larsen's staff by Steve McCarthy because

Former Blue Jackets assistant coach Sylvain Lefebvre has been replaced on coach Brad Larsen’s staff by Steve McCarthy because “Lefebvre has decided not to receive a COVID-19 vaccine and therefore will not be able to to perform the duties assigned to him given current NHL protocols, “according to a statement from the team

Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly estimates that 98 percent of players will be vaccinated, leaving between 10 and 15 players without among about 700 of 32 teams across North America.

As Rinaldo learned on Tuesday, teams will be able to suspend unvaccinated players without pay if they cannot participate in hockey activities under protocols, which could include games in Canada.

“If you are not vaccinated, you are part of an American team, you travel to Canada to play in Canada, there is no exception at this stage for this player to be exempted from quarantine. 14 days, ”Daly said. The Associated Press. “Most of our American clubs don’t do 14-day road trips to Canada (so) this player would usually be left at home because he can’t participate if he’s going to Canada. So, these are the types of disruptions that we will see with unvaccinated gamers.

Fully vaccinated players will have all COVID-19 positives treated as hockey injuries and will still be paid. Unvaccinated players will also have their movements restricted while on the road. And there will still be regular coronavirus testing for vaccinated players.

“I think it was an incentive and motivation for most of the players to get the full shot, even if they had concerns about it,” Daly said. “But that was supposed to be it. “

Three teams – Calgary, Toronto and Caroline – have confirmed all of their players are vaccinated, and Philadelphia expects to be 100 percent soon.


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