Concerns raised over financing for new Markham arena

All you have to do is look at the ongoing situation in Glendale to understand the significant risk local governments take when they get involved in the building of stadiums.

So it’s no surprise city councilors in Markham, Ontario – a Toronto suburb – are requesting more information before taking on $325 million in debt to construct a new NHL-sized arena.

“I have a lot of concerns,” councilor Valerie Burke told the Toronto Star. “With everything else we discuss in council, we are given very detailed reports. But with this we have just been given a very rosy picture. We are not being given all the details of the deal.”

Currently the plan calls for businessmen Graeme Roustan and Rudy Bratty to pay back half the $325 million, plus interest. The other half will supposedly come from residential developers via a levy on new homes.

As such, supporters of the arena, including the mayor, believe they can call it privately financed.

Roustan also claims an NHL tenant isn’t required in order to make a profit.

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’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: