Brian Gionta

Habs captain Gionta might miss start of season, Emelin out ’til December

Montreal GM Marc Bergevin gave health updates on forward Brian Gionta and defenseman Alexei Emelin on Tuesday, suggesting that both could miss chunks of the season with their respective injuries.

Gionta, the club’s captain since 2010, is still recovering from a torn biceps and might not be ready for the beginning of the year, according to Bergevin.

The 34-year-old suffered the injury during Montreal’s opening-round playoff loss to Ottawa, the second time in as many years he’s torn his bicep.

Bergevin did say, however, that if Gionta isn’t ready for the beginning of the season, “it won’t be much longer than that.”

As for Emelin, he was lost for the year in early April after tearing knee ligaments in a collision with Boston’s Milan Lucic.

The 27-year-old rearguard, who led the team in hits (110) last season, underwent surgery in May, at which time it was reported he’d be facing six months of recovery.

Bergevin said he does not expect Emelin back until December “at the earliest.”

It’ll be interesting to see how Emelin progresses as the Winter Olympics draw near.

He was named to Russia’s preliminary 35-man roster back in January and is one of the country’s most physical blueliners, so his presence would be vital for the Sochi Games.

Russia was pounded in a 7-2 quarterfinal loss to Canada at the 2010 games in Vancouver. “They came like gorillas coming out of a cage,” Ilya Bryzgalov said after the loss, noting that Canada took the body early and often in the lopsided affair.

Report: Sean Avery was arrested last week

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From the Southampton Press:

Sean Avery, the former National Hockey League player, was arrested by Southampton Village Police last week on two criminal charges.

According to authorities, Mr. Avery was arrested September 30 following a routine traffic stop on Jennings Avenue in the village at about 4:09 p.m. He was charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief and two counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, all misdemeanors.

Police said the criminal mischief charge involved an incident the day before, when Mr. Avery allegedly threw objects at passing vehicles.

As for those counts of possession, according to the newspaper, Avery was found to have “two prescription drugs, acetaminophen with oxycodone and roxicodone.”

He was released on $500 bail and ordered to appear in court at a later date.

Did we mention he’s supposed to get married this weekend?

H/t Gawker

Devils send ’15 first-rounder Zacha back to junior

2015 NHL Draft - Round One

Pavel Zacha was this close to making his NHL debut.

Just days prior to opening their season against the Jets, the Devils returned Zacha — the sixth overall pick at this year’s draft — back to his junior club in OHL Sarnia.

The move comes after Zacha, 18, impressed throughout training camp and the preseason. He appeared in four exhibition games for New Jersey, scoring one point while endearing himself to the organizational brass, coaching staff and players.

“He understands the game. He plays with a maturity. It’s crazy to think an 18-year-old coming out of high school is up here and playing with the maturity and understanding of the game with the new system,” Kyle Palmieri told “I think he’s got a lot of raw talent there as a power forward. He’s got the body for it, the puck-handling skills and the nose for the net.”

At 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, Zacha has the frame and physical stature to play at the NHL level, and looked the part for long stretches of the exhibition season, getting turns on New Jersey’s top line.

The decision to send him back to junior is probably the right one, however.

Zacha only turned 18 in April and has limited experience even at the OHL level; ’14-15 was his first year with Sarnia, though he did appear in 38 Czech League games (for Liberec) the season prior.