Anze Kopitar will indeed join his brother’s team in Sweden


It’s official: Anze Kopitar will play alongside his brother Gasper for the Swedish second-league team Mora IK, Helene Elliott reports.

He could start playing for the team by next week, according to Elliott.

The team amusingly asked for donations to help cover Kopitar’s insurance costs, although if it appears that might not be an issue if the dedicated site is any indication.

Sweden’s top league is still mulling over the decision to accept NHL players during the lockout, which opens up the chance for the lower league (HockeyAllsvenskan) to steal a few big names.

St. Louis Blues forward Patrik Berglund might just tear up that league, too, as he signed with Vasteras.

(Both forwards chose familiarity/family when making their overseas hockey-playing choices, as Berglund made it to the NHL after working up through that club’s system.)

So, how many points per game do you expect Kopitar to collect in that 14-team league?

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: