Jones MacKinnon 2

‘One-stop shopping for NHL scouts’ at 2013 Memorial Cup


On Friday, the 2013 Memorial Cup will get underway as host Saskatoon takes on OHL champ London in the tournament opener.

But it’s Game No. 2 most will be paying attention to.

On Saturday, WHL champion Portland — led by top-ranked draft prospect Seth Jones — will take on QMJHL Halifax, a team featuring the No. 2 and 3 ranked prospects behind Jones for the 2013 NHL Entry Draft: Nathan McKinnon and Jonathan Drouin.

“I don’t know if this tournament has ever had the top-three ranked players playing in the Memorial Cup,” NHL director of scouting Dan Marr told “We’re looking forward to it.”

“It’s one-stop shopping for NHL scouts,” added Halifax general manager Cam Russell.

In addition to Jones, MacKinnon and Drouin, there will be several other high-profile prospects on hand:

— Three London Knights ranked in North America’s top 25 skaters: center Bo Horvat (15th), center Max Domi (19th) and defenseman Nikita Zadorov (22nd).

— Portland center Nicolas Petan (33rd) and left winger Oliver Bjorkstrand (36th).

— Halifax goalie Zachary Fucale, the top-ranked North American netminder.

“When you get to the Memorial Cup, the team game is most important,” Marr explained. “But when push comes to shove, when something big is on the line, it’s always good to see who can perform under that pressure.

“People will be watching that for sure.”

Bruins list Chara on IR, for now

Zdeno Chara
Leave a comment

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
1 Comment

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: