Marc Staal

Staal practices with Rangers, participates in drills

There was another good sign on Marc Staal’s road to recovery today as the Rangers defenseman skated with his teammates and participated in drills.

“I decided to jump on the ice for the morning skate for a little bit,” Staal told “I wanted to get involved a little bit. The workouts have gone well. I’m progressing pretty well. The next step was to jump on the ice with the guys. I skated just as hard on my own, but today I did some drills. It was nice.”

Staal was wearing an orange non-contact jersey and still has no timetable for his return, but this development is another in a recent string of positives. In addition to resuming off-ice workouts and traveling with the team, Staal has remained optimistic he’ll return to the Rangers lineup this season.

“I think [given] the rate of improvement the last month or so, I feel that I’ll be back,” Staal told the New York Daily News back on Dec. 1. “That’s the plan. It’s just [to] make sure I’m healthy, get back and start playing.”

Report: Sean Avery was arrested last week

New York City Ballet Celebrates Legendary Fashion Designer Valentino Garavani

From the Southampton Press:

Sean Avery, the former National Hockey League player, was arrested by Southampton Village Police last week on two criminal charges.

According to authorities, Mr. Avery was arrested September 30 following a routine traffic stop on Jennings Avenue in the village at about 4:09 p.m. He was charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief and two counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, all misdemeanors.

Police said the criminal mischief charge involved an incident the day before, when Mr. Avery allegedly threw objects at passing vehicles.

As for those counts of possession, according to the newspaper, Avery was found to have “two prescription drugs, acetaminophen with oxycodone and roxicodone.”

He was released on $500 bail and ordered to appear in court at a later date.

Did we mention he’s supposed to get married this weekend?

H/t Gawker

Devils send ’15 first-rounder Zacha back to junior

2015 NHL Draft - Round One

Pavel Zacha was this close to making his NHL debut.

Just days prior to opening their season against the Jets, the Devils returned Zacha — the sixth overall pick at this year’s draft — back to his junior club in OHL Sarnia.

The move comes after Zacha, 18, impressed throughout training camp and the preseason. He appeared in four exhibition games for New Jersey, scoring one point while endearing himself to the organizational brass, coaching staff and players.

“He understands the game. He plays with a maturity. It’s crazy to think an 18-year-old coming out of high school is up here and playing with the maturity and understanding of the game with the new system,” Kyle Palmieri told “I think he’s got a lot of raw talent there as a power forward. He’s got the body for it, the puck-handling skills and the nose for the net.”

At 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, Zacha has the frame and physical stature to play at the NHL level, and looked the part for long stretches of the exhibition season, getting turns on New Jersey’s top line.

The decision to send him back to junior is probably the right one, however.

Zacha only turned 18 in April and has limited experience even at the OHL level; ’14-15 was his first year with Sarnia, though he did appear in 38 Czech League games (for Liberec) the season prior.