Gary Bettman

Bettman: Get the Isles to Brooklyn ASAP


You may recall earlier this month when it was reported that the New York Islanders may depart for Brooklyn after the 2013-14 season, one year earlier than their move from Nassau Coliseum to the Barclays Center was originally planned.

Well, that would be just fine with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman.

“I’d like to see them in the newer building as soon as possible,” said Bettman, speaking at the Associated Press Sports Editors commissioners meeting, per Newsday.

For now, the Isles’ lease at Nassau Coliseum expires at the end of the 2014-15 season. And according to Bettman, the Islanders are “prepared to fulfill their obligations under their burdensome lease.”

But, “If Nassau County was inclined to let them go earlier, I know they would go.”

The Islanders — who are headed to the playoffs for the first time since 2007 — believe that the move to Brooklyn will, among other things, help them attract free agents that may not have wanted to play at the team’s current rink (which is, in fact, anything but current).


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: