DETROIT, MI - FEBRUARY 03: Daniel Sedin #22 of the Vancouver Canucks looks towards the bench during the third period of the game against the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena on February 3, 2014 in Detroit, Michigan. The Red Wings defeated the Canucks 2-0. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

Daniel Sedin ready to rejoin Canucks, Kesler questionable

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After missing nine straight contests with a hamstring injury, forward Daniel Sedin will play for the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday against the Buffalo Sabres, per the team’s Twitter account.

Vancouver might also get Ryan Kesler back, but he will be evaluated further tomorrow before a final call is made. He has missed four straight games.

His knee appeared to buckle during Saturday’s practice, which caused him to briefly get off the ice. He tried to shrug the incident off after the skate.

“I had to check my phone,” Kesler told the Vancouver Sun’s Elliott Pap.

Meanwhile, Alex Burrows is still day-to-day with a hand injury that Canucks GM Mike Gillis recently admitted didn’t look good.

Sunday’s contest will be a must-win game for the Canucks as they try to claw their way back into the playoff race. As it is, they can only earn a maximum of 94 points this season, so there’s a chance they’ll miss the playoffs even if they win all of their remaining 10 games.

At this point, this is more about at least ending the season on an upbeat note after the Canucks traded away goaltender Roberto Luongo and before they look at making some other major moves this summer.


Playoff bubble watch — Canucks edition

Vancouver columnist: If Torts isn’t fired, Kassian should request trade

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: