Donald Brashear, Eric Boulton

Former NHL enforcer Donald Brashear to try his hand at mixed martial arts

When you’re an enforcer in the new NHL it’s tough to keep your career chugging along if all you’re capable of doing is just dropping the gloves and having a go of it at the opposing team’s brawler. These days you have to bring a little extra to the table and for former NHL enforcer Donald Brashear he wasn’t able to keep up with things.

After playing his last NHL game back in January 2010 with the New York Rangers, he was demoted to the minor leagues where he stayed until he was traded to Atlanta and then released. Since then, Brashear’s been making his home in a low level Quebec professional league. With that not being anywhere near as glamorous as the NHL or even the AHL, Brashear is taking his bare-knuckle skills to an arena that’s much more befitting his skill set.

Brashear is set to become a mixed martial arts fighter as he’s apparently signed a deal with a Canadian promotion called Ringside MMA. It’s not just a career change for Brashear though as there are some extenuating circumstances for him switching from hockey to fighting. Patricia Vincent of says that Brashear might just be running from the law.

Now playing in the Ligue Nord-Américaine de Hockey (LNAH), Brashear has recently been investigated for an incident that allegedly occurred at the end of a game against the Trois-Rivières team on March 25.  Charges of assault were filed against Brashear, who was also suspended for five games.

The complaint has been filed against Brashear, on behalf of the alleged victim, Eric Labelle, by the Trois-Riviere team, Caron et Guay, and is now in the hands of the crown prosecutor.

Perhaps we can just say that Brashear was just getting warmed up for his latest career choice instead and call it a day. It’s fascinating to see this kind of move for the 39 year-old Brashear but if nothing else he’s shown over the course of his NHL career that he’s capable of throwing lefts and rights. If Brashear gets licensed in time he could be ready to fight in the promotions June 4th event in Quebec City. Let’s just hope that Brashear knows he can’t just grab on to the jersey and hug it out when he’s inside the octagon.

Kassian suspended without pay, placed in Stage 2 of Substance Abuse Program

Anaheim Ducks v Vancouver Canucks
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Zack Kassian may have avoided major injuries stemming from his Sunday car accident, but it likely sent the signal that he may need help.

The response: he was placed in Stage Two of the Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program (SABH) of the NHL and NHLPA on Monday.

According to the league’s release, Kassian “will be suspended without pay until cleared for on-ice competition by the program administrators.”

Speaking of being suspended without pay, here’s a key detail:

The 24-year-old ended up with a broken nose and broken foot from that accident. The 2015-16 season was set to be his first campaign in the Montreal Canadiens organization after a tumultuous time with the Vancouver Canucks.

Kassian spoke of becoming more mature heading to Montreal, but the Canadiens were critical of his actions, wondering how many wake-up calls someone can get.

In case you’re wondering about the difference between stage one and two:

Add Lecavalier to list of expensive Flyers healthy scratches

Vincent Lecavalier

Are the Philadelphia Flyers aiming for some sort of record when it comes to expensive (potential) healthy scratches?

While lineups are obviously subject to change, notes that Vincent Lecavalier appears to be among a rather rich group of Flyers who are expected to sit during their season-opener.

Also likely to be in street clothes: Sam Gagner and Luke Schenn.

That’s $11.3 million in cap space rotting on the bench.

“I really don’t know what to say,” Lecavalier said. “I’ll practice hard and be ready when they call me up.”

The quotes from Lecavalier, Gagner and Schenn only get sadder from there, a reminder that there are human beings attached to these numbers – whether you focus on disappointing stats or bloated salaries.

Flyers fans with the urge to reach for an Alka-Setzler can at least take some comfort in knowing that the team will see $6.8 million in savings after this season, as both Gagner and Schenn are on expiring deals.

It could be a long season, though, and this Lecavalier headache may not truly end until his contract expires following the 2017-18 campaign.