Columbus Blue Jackets forward Zac Rinaldo will not participate in training camp this year.
Blue Jackets president of hockey operations John Davidson told reporters Tuesday that since Rinaldo is unvaccinated, he is not welcome at camp, according to The Athletic's Aaron Portzline.
All 67 players participating in training camp are vaccinated, Davidson and general manager Jarmo Kekalainen also revealed Tuesday.
All 67 players in training camp are vaccinated, per #CBJ POHOP John Davidson and GM Jarmo Kekalainen.— Aaron Portzline (@Aportzline) September 21, 2021
Columbus' decision to bar Rinaldo from training camp comes after he spoke at an "anti-vaccine passport" rally in Hamilton, Ontario last week, saying, "I'm not anti-vax, I'm not anti-mask. I'm pro choice."
Rinaldo signed a two-way contract with the Blue Jackets as a free agent in August. He appeared in just four games for the Calgary Flames last season.
Last week, the Blue Jackets fired assistant coach Sylvain Lefebvre over his refusal to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. While players aren't required to be vaccinated, anyone in close contact with players, such as coaches and trainers, must receive the shots.
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said last week he expects 98% of players to be vaccinated before the 2021-22 season. He added only 10-15 players are expected to be unvaccinated.
Several NHL teams have since announced 100% vaccination rates, including the Carolina Hurricanes, Toronto Maple Leafs, Calgary Flames, Philadelphia Flyers and Boston Bruins.