Justin Braun

Report: Sharks’ Braun has a fractured hand


Justin Braun is heading back to North America after fracturing his hand, according to Matias Strozyk of Elite Prospects. He had been playing with the Finnish squad Tappara Tampere.

Although it’s not clear how much time Braun will need to recover from his injury, it’s worth noting that if the lockout ends soon and he’s not healthy, he could be in a bit of a messy situation.

Based on the NHLPA’s pre-lockout memo, the San Jose Sharks will be able to suspend him without pay until he’s capable of playing if he’s not healthy by the end of the lockout.

Before the work stoppage, Braun was projected to make $1 million in the first season of his three-year, $3.75 million deal with the San Jose Sharks. He earned that deal after establishing himself with the Sharks and logging an average of 16:33 minutes per game through 66 contests in 2011-12. His ice time ballooned to 17:55 minutes per game in the playoffs.

He had three assists in six SM-liiga games before leaving the country.

Sabres place Lehner on IR; Recall Lieuwen

Connor Brown, Robin Lehner
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They’re just one game into their regular season, but the Buffalo Sabres have already had to shift things around in their crease.

The Sabres announced that they have placed starting goaltender Robin Lehner on injured reserve after he was knocked out of Thursday’s game with a lower-body injury.

In a corresponding move, the club has recalled Nathan Lieuwen from their AHL affiliate in Rochester.

The 24-year-old didn’t play in the NHL last season, but he did have a 1-4-0 record with a 2.98 goals-against-average and a .906 save percentage in seven games during the 2013-14 season.

Lieuwen was Buffalo’s sixth round pick, 167th overall, in the 2011 draft.

The Sabres also announced that they have loaned defenseman Jake McCabe and goaltender Linus Ullmark to the Rochester Americans (AHL).

McCabe was a healthy scratch in Thursday’s game against Ottawa, while Ullmark is being activated off I.R. after having double hip surgery during the off-season.



Chara ‘doubtful’ for game against rival Canadiens

Brad Marchand, Zdeno Chara
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It looks like the Boston Bruins will be without their captain again on Saturday night.

Head coach Claude Julien told members of the media that Zdeno Chara is considered doubtful for tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.

Chara suffered an upper-body injury during the preseason and he’s already been forced to miss Boston’s season opening loss to the Jets.

Per CSN, Chara says he’s improving but he won’t return to the lineup until he’s as close to 100 percent as possible.

“Every area of the injury is improving,” said Chara. “Hopefully it’s not long before I’m free of any kind of discomfort. That’s what we’re doing right now…we’re being patient. For sure you don’t want to come back, and be half of what you are…and basically hurting yourself and the team. And you’re putting yourself in a position where you could be missing more time. At this time of the season, I think it’s important to be as close as you can be to 100 percent.”

Based on the number of defensive mistakes they committed on Thursday, the Bruins need Chara back as soon as possible: