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Leonsis still hoping Kuznetsov comes over after Olympics


Washington Capitals 2010 first-round pick Evgeni Kuznetsov still hasn’t come to North America to play, but that’s not stopping Caps owner Ted Leonsis from hanging on to the dream.

In his blog discussing the Caps sending down two players during the Olympic break, Leonsis mentions how the schedule following the Sochi games will be tough and the team’s quest for the playoffs will be difficult. He also hopes there will be help on the way.

“We need to heal and regain many players who have been injured back into our lineup. That will be most helpful to us as a franchise. And perhaps we will add a young player who was a high draft pick into the lineup at some time too after the break. Time will tell.”

Kuznetsov’s Caps future has been a hot topic for sometime, and the possibility of him joining the team late this season came up over the summer. It was just back on Jan. 21, however, it was reported Kuznetsov wouldn’t go to Washington until next season.

At this point, Kuznetsov’s arrival is a “we’ll believe it when we see it” kind of thing.

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:

Add Lecavalier to list of expensive Flyers healthy scratches

Vincent Lecavalier

Are the Philadelphia Flyers aiming for some sort of record when it comes to expensive (potential) healthy scratches?

While lineups are obviously subject to change, CSNPhilly.com notes that Vincent Lecavalier appears to be among a rather rich group of Flyers who are expected to sit during their season-opener.

Also likely to be in street clothes: Sam Gagner and Luke Schenn.

That’s $11.3 million in cap space rotting on the bench.

“I really don’t know what to say,” Lecavalier said. “I’ll practice hard and be ready when they call me up.”

The CSNPhilly.com quotes from Lecavalier, Gagner and Schenn only get sadder from there, a reminder that there are human beings attached to these numbers – whether you focus on disappointing stats or bloated salaries.

Flyers fans with the urge to reach for an Alka-Setzler can at least take some comfort in knowing that the team will see $6.8 million in savings after this season, as both Gagner and Schenn are on expiring deals.

It could be a long season, though, and this Lecavalier headache may not truly end until his contract expires following the 2017-18 campaign.