Dan Cloutier - AP

Welcome home: Dan Cloutier joins Canucks as goaltending consultant


You can go home again even if you’re the butt of jokes. Former Canucks goalie Dan Cloutier was hired by the team to be their new goaltending consultant.

The former first-round pick of the New York Rangers spent 11 seasons in the NHL and while he never quite lived up to the billing of a top pick, his career never lacked for highlights.

Whether it came from fighting other goalies (Tommy Salo still has nightmares) or giving up crushing center ice goals in the playoffs (Red Wings fans are still thankful), Cloutier had a memorable career. His time in Vancouver as a player was perhaps the high point of his time as a player, leading the Canucks to the playoffs three years in a row and reaching the second round in 2002-03.

Now he’s back in Vancouver to work with the organizations goalies in Chicago of the AHL. There he’ll spend a lot of time with prospect Eddie Lack. Maybe there he can teach him a mean right cross while helping him avoid heartbreaking goals like this one:

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

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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: