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'Kill or be killed': Rinaldo fighting for his NHL career with Flames

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CALGARY – The coach likes his speed.

The players like his energy.

The league likes suspending him.

Everyone is familiar with Calgary Flames hopeful Zac Rinaldo, who finds himself in the unfamiliar position of being one of six PTOs in camp.

Brought in to fight for his NHL career, not to mention his teammates, the 29-year-old native of Mississauga, Ont., has impressed early with a weapon few think of when they recall the man suspended five times.

“Rinaldo can fly – I didn’t know he was this fast,” said coach Bill Peters, who emphasized his team’s desire to get quicker ahead of Monday’s 3-2 split-squad exhibition overtime loss at the Saddledome against the Vancouver Canucks’ youngsters.

“I’ve been impressed with his work ethic and his ability to forecheck. He understands how to track.”

Rinaldo also understands he’ll need to focus on his main weakness, which is crossing the line.

“My mentality is kill or be killed – always has been,” said Rinaldo, who played 23 games last season for the Nashville Predators, his fourth stop in an eight-year NHL career.

“You don’t want to see me ramped up, I’m telling you right now. If I do get ramped up and I do go over the edge … I’ve learned the hard way. You guys have seen that. I’ve been suspended here and suspended there and fines here. As long as I’m level headed I’m myself.”

It’s that sort of loose wire the Flames have been missing since Brian........

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