Mikael Samuelsson

Welcome back: Detroit signs Samuelsson — two years, $6 million


What’s old is new again in the Motor City.

That’s because a former Red Wing — Mikael Samuelsson — is back in Detroit, having signed a two-year, $6 million contract. The deal has an average annual cap hit of $3 million and includes a full no-trade clause.

Samuelsson spent four years in Detroit following the lockout, winning a Cup in ’08 before losing in the finals the year after. While his highest offensive outputs were with Vancouver — including a 30-goal effort in 2009-10 — the 35-year-old played some of his finest hockey wearing the winged wheel and was a good fit with Detroit’s puck possession style.

Samuelsson spent the second half of last season in Florida and performed strongly, scoring 28 points in 48 games before leading all Panthers with five playoff assists. GM Dale Tallon had expressed an interest in retaining his services, calling Samuelsson a “character guy” that “played well for us.”

Expect the veteran Swede to quickly mesh back into the lineup as many of the key figures from his time in Detroit — Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, Johan Franzen, Valtteri Filppula and Niklas Kronwall — are all still with the team.

Bruins list Chara on IR, for now

Zdeno Chara
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Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.

It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.

The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.

As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.

Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?

The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.

This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.

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: