Chris Pronger Danny Briere Braydon Coburn Matt Carle Michael Leighton

Report: Chris Pronger, Kris Versteeg and Michael Leighton underwent surgeries today

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While the hockey world waits to see which team will be the last member of the NHL’s final four, the Philadelphia Flyers are already looking to next season. CSN Philly’s Tim Panaccio passes along word from the team that Chris Pronger, Kris Versteeg and Michael Leighton had underwent surgeries today.

Pronger had a disk fragment removed from his back. He’ll begin walking rehab soon and will be able to begin core strengthening exercises in six weeks. Versteeg will begin rehab in 10 days after repairing abdominal tears. Leighton will begin his own rehab in a few days after repairing a torn labrum in his hip. This is the second consecutive off-season in which Pronger and Leighton received surgery of some kind.

Those three players aren’t the only Flyers expected to have surgery this summer. As we discussed before, Mike Richards, Andrej Meszaros and Blair Betts are almost certain to go under the knife for various ailments. Hip issues might also force Jeff Carter and Scott Hartnell to undergo surgery as well, although both Flyers are supposed to find out on Friday.

Perhaps the silver lining of getting bumped out of the playoffs more than a month earlier than last year is that players can use that extra time to recover from injuries. Perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising that Danny Briere, Claude Giroux and James van Riemsdyk were the Flyers who carried the torch for much of the playoffs, then. They might have been the healthiest big-minute players on the roster.

Sabres place Lehner on IR; Recall Lieuwen

Connor Brown, Robin Lehner
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They’re just one game into their regular season, but the Buffalo Sabres have already had to shift things around in their crease.

The Sabres announced that they have placed starting goaltender Robin Lehner on injured reserve after he was knocked out of Thursday’s game with a lower-body injury.

In a corresponding move, the club has recalled Nathan Lieuwen from their AHL affiliate in Rochester.

The 24-year-old didn’t play in the NHL last season, but he did have a 1-4-0 record with a 2.98 goals-against-average and a .906 save percentage in seven games during the 2013-14 season.

Lieuwen was Buffalo’s sixth round pick, 167th overall, in the 2011 draft.

The Sabres also announced that they have loaned defenseman Jake McCabe and goaltender Linus Ullmark to the Rochester Americans (AHL).

McCabe was a healthy scratch in Thursday’s game against Ottawa, while Ullmark is being activated off I.R. after having double hip surgery during the off-season.



Chara ‘doubtful’ for game against rival Canadiens

Brad Marchand, Zdeno Chara
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It looks like the Boston Bruins will be without their captain again on Saturday night.

Head coach Claude Julien told members of the media that Zdeno Chara is considered doubtful for tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.

Chara suffered an upper-body injury during the preseason and he’s already been forced to miss Boston’s season opening loss to the Jets.

Per CSN, Chara says he’s improving but he won’t return to the lineup until he’s as close to 100 percent as possible.

“Every area of the injury is improving,” said Chara. “Hopefully it’s not long before I’m free of any kind of discomfort. That’s what we’re doing right now…we’re being patient. For sure you don’t want to come back, and be half of what you are…and basically hurting yourself and the team. And you’re putting yourself in a position where you could be missing more time. At this time of the season, I think it’s important to be as close as you can be to 100 percent.”

Based on the number of defensive mistakes they committed on Thursday, the Bruins need Chara back as soon as possible: