San Jose Sharks v Phoenix Coyotes

Report: Sharks’ Burns could play Saturday


Brent Burns, the San Jose Sharks 27-year-old defenseman who hasn’t played a game this season due to a lower body injury, could play Saturday, according to a report from CSN Bay Area.

Burns is coming off off-season hernia/groin surgery, and has been a participant at practice this week. The Sharks host the Phoenix Coyotes Saturday.

“It’s an indication he’s getting closer. I think the better indicator is the amount of participation of him in practice in comparison to other weeks,” Sharks head coach Todd McLellan told CSN Bay Area.

“He was physical today, he did every drill, [and] he was involved in the power play and penalty kill part of it.”

McLellan added that Burns playing Saturday “…may be pushing it.”

Burns, a former first-round pick of the Minnesota Wild, had 11 goals and 37 points in 81 games in his first season with the Sharks last year.

Burns is only two years removed from a career season, in which he tallied 17 goals and 46 points with the Wild.

According to Curtis Pashelka of the San Jose Mercury News, Burns will make the Sharks’ upcoming road trip through the Central Division, beginning Monday against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

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: