LAKE PLACID, NY - AUGUST 07: Emile Poirier #32 of Team Canada skates against Team Finland during the 2013 USA Hockey Junior Evaluation Camp at the Lake Placid Olympic Center on August 7, 2013 in Lake Placid, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Flames sign first-rounder Poirier

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Emile Poirier has agreed to a three-year, entry-level contract with the Calgary Flames.

Calgary acquired the 22 overall pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft from the St. Louis Blues in the Jay Bouwmeester trade and used it to select Poirier. The 19-year-old forward is one of three first rounders the Flames selected in 2013, including Morgan Kllimchuk and Sean Monahan.

Poirier has 24 goals, 39 assists, and 89 penalty minutes in 36 games with the QMJHL Gatineau Olympiques this season. That puts him on course to surpass his totals of 70 points and 101 penalty minutes in 65 contests in 2012-13.

He also scored a goal and registered an assist in three games with Calgary during the preseason.

The contract comes with a $925,000 annual cap hit at the NHL level and he is set to make $70,000 per season if he plays in the AHL.

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: