Staal says no issues with eye, will be ready for Rangers camp

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Some good news on Rangers day — defenseman Marc Staal reported that “all is well” with his injured right eye.

What’s more, Staal will be ready to go when the Blueshirts open training camp on Sept. 11 — this according to Stephen Whyno of the Canadian Press.

The news comes six months after Staal was struck in the eye with a puck during a game against Philadelphia. The injury cost him 27 regular season games and 11 of New York’s 12 playoff contests, as Staal attempted to return during the Boston series but quickly removed himself from the lineup, saying “on the ice it didn’t go particularly well.”

The 26-year-old blueliner has said his eye will never be the same but, in June, also said he didn’t expect it to be a problem in the future.

“My belief is that once everything settles down and I get comfortable with it, I’ll never have to be asked about it again,” Staal explained. “I don’t think it’ll be an issue.”

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: