We’ve had a host of stories about players making plans in case the lockout stretches deep into what would be the regular season, but the league’s biggest star might be cooking up his own plans.
Pavel Lysenkov of Sovietsky Sport heard from Evgeni Malkin at a charity game in Russia and finds out Sidney Crosby could be bound for Russia if the NHL season is wiped out.
Also Malkin said – Crosby will not play in KHL in 2012. May be after Christmas if all NHL season cancelled.
Consider how ugly it would be for the NHL to have another season lost to a labor dispute. Two seasons in eight years wiped out because they can’t figure out their own system.
Then if you added Crosby, arguably the NHL’s biggest star, playing in the league that considers themselves the NHL’s main competition, that’s about as bad as PR can get.
That’s not to say that Crosby playing in Russia would legitimize the KHL, just that the NHL and NHLPA not being to get out of each other’s way would be costing North American fans a possible season of a healthy Crosby (and Malkin).
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.
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: