Ryan Dadoun

Pavel Datsyuk
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Pavel Datsyuk (ankle) upbeat after doctor’s visit

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Pavel Datsyuk isn’t close to returning from his ankle injury, but at least a recent visit with the doctor who operated on him in June went well:

In Datsyuk’s case, on schedule means that he likely won’t return before late October or early November, per the team’s website. He also hasn’t started skated yet.

When he originally had surgery, the belief was that he would be fine for the start of the season, but about a month later that estimate changed substantially.

Injuries have unfortunately caused Datsyuk to miss significant chunks of four of the last five campaigns, but he has continued to play at an elite level when he is healthy. Even at the age of 37, Datsyuk is expected to be a key member of the 2015-16 Detroit Red Wings.

Clarkson booted from game for kneeing, league requests footage

David Clarkson
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The game was barely a minute old when Columbus Blue Jackets forward David Clarkson was booted from Thursday’s preseason contest against the Minnesota Wild and now the question is if that will be the extent of his punishment.

Clarkson received a five-minute major and game misconduct for kneeing Justin Fontaine. The game wasn’t televised, but the league has requested footage of the incident so the Blue Jackets will be providing it to them, per the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline.

If the league does feel this incident warrants supplemental discipline, then it wouldn’t be the first time that Clarkson has been punished by the league prior to the start of a campaign. He also served a 10-game suspension after leaving the bench during a 2013 preseason contest to join a fight.

Clarkson said he doesn’t believe it was a pure knee-on-knee hit, arguing that there was more foot or ankle contact, according to the Dispatch’s Shawn Mitchell.

Fontaine left the game after the incident. He attempted to return before exiting the contest again. Wild coach Mike Yeo said the 27-year-old forward has a bruised leg and sore side.

Lawyer of Kane’s accuser removes himself from case

Patrick Kane
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Attorney Thomas Eoannou announced this evening that he is no longer representing Patrick Kane‘s accuser.

Eoannou said on Wednesday that “something seriously has gone amiss.” He claimed that the evidence bag that once contained his now former client’s rape kit had anonymously been delivered to the home of the accuser’s mother.

While stepping away from the case though, Eoannou now says that he no longer has “confidence in the way in which the bag was found,” per TSN’s Frank Seravalli.

“I can’t say what’s true and what’s not true,” Eoannou said. He also feels that “misrepresentations” were made to him about the bag and he has an “ethical obligation” to remove himself from the case. Even still, he does still believe it’s an authentic evidence bag.

Following Eoannou’s statements on Wednesday, Erie County Commissioner of Central Police Services John Glascott said, “All evidence related to this case that was given to Erie County Central Police Services by the Town of Hamburg Police Department is accounted for and remains in its original packaging in the possession of Erie County Central Police Services. This includes the evidence in the rape kit and the packaging itself. This evidence has been analyzed and reports of that analysis sent to the appropriate agencies.”

This afternoon, Erie County district attorney Frank Sedita announced that he will hold a press conference to address the allegations of evidence-tampering. That is scheduled for Friday at 11:00 a.m. ET.

Update: Kane’s attorney, Paul Cambria, believes the integrity of this case has been “completely undermined” and “forever tainted,” per the Buffalo News’ Tim Graham. Due to that, he’s asking Sedita to stop the case.

“I feel that Patrick Kane has been victimized,” Cambria added. “This happening today has been bizarre.”

Yes, really: Now Zdeno Chara’s hurt too

Zdeno Chara
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Perhaps the Boston Bruins should store away their remaining blueliners until they’re needed on opening day.

After all, they’re dropping at an alarming rate as Zdeno Chara left Thursday’s game due to an upper-body injury. The Boston Bruins confirmed that his night is done.

The exact nature or severity of his injury aren’t known yet and it’s certainly possible the Bruins decided to shut him down for precautionary reasons given the low-stakes nature of exhibition games, but this news is particularly troubling given its timing. Boston has already lost defenseman Dennis Seidenberg for eight weeks to a back injury and parted ways with blueliners Dougie Hamilton and Matt Bartkowski over the summer.

Forward Seth Griffith is also expected to miss three-to-four weeks with an MCL sprain.

To put this all in perspective, if Chara isn’t available for the season opener then Boston will be without its top three defensemen from the 2014-15 campaign in terms of minutes per game. That’s to say nothing of the fact that Boston would also be missing its captain in Chara.

In summary, these are troubling times for the Bruins.

Elias’ availability for Devils’ opener in question

Patrik Elias
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When the New Jersey Devils begin their season against the Winnipeg Jets on Oct. 9, they may be doing so without their all-time leading scorer.

Patrik Elias has a sore right knee and that will prevent him from seeing any action in the preseason. As noted, that’s also put his availability for the 2015-16 opener into question.

“I’ll probably know a few days from now a little bit better,” Devils coach John Hynes told The Record.

In the meantime Elias has skated a bit on his own. However, the Devils want to err on the side of caution when dealing with the 39-year-old forward.

It’s worth noting that Jaromir Jagr missed the 2013 preseason due to a groin injury, but the then 41-year-old forward still participated in the Devils’ opener, so if Elias goes that route it wouldn’t be an unheard of set of circumstances for New Jersey.

That being said, Elias’ health might unfortunately prove to be a recurring story this season given his age and the fact that he played in fewer than 70 games in each of the last two campaigns.