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Probert's brain donated to Boston University

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:30 PM ET

The family of the late Bob Probert has donated his brain to Boston University researchers who have studied the link between head trauma and debilitating heath effects in football players and boxers," the Detroit Free Press reported Friday.

"I believe that it was a very difficult decision," Daniel Parkinson, whose daughter, Dani, was married to Probert, told Fanhouse.com. "I know Dani and Bob had spoken about it ... I know he wanted to advance the research."

Probert died of a heart attack in July. The former NHLer was 45.

Fanelli not cleared for contact

Defenceman Ben Fanelli has not been cleared to participate in contact drills or scrimmages, the Kitchener Rangers announced Friday.

Fanelli, who suffered a fractured skull last October when he was heavily bodychecked into the boards, has been participating in non-contact practice drills and off-ice workouts since mid-August.

Fanelli met this week in Toronto with Dr. Karen Johnston, who determined that his rehab can continue but that he is not ready for contact hockey.

Fanelli was injured a year ago on a hit from Erie Otter Michael Liambas, who was suspended for the remainder of the OHL season.

Liambas was cut Thursday from the Toronto Maple Leafs camp.

Franzen improving

Injured winger Johan Franzen skated with the Red Wings on Friday and said he feels better, although not ready to play in a game, the Detroit News reported.

"Pretty slow, but I could skate, at least," Franzen said.

Franzen suffered a charley horse against Pittsburgh on Wednesday after a knee-on-knee hit by the Penguins' Brooks Orpik.

Franzen called it a "stupid" check.

Boynton banished

Chicago Blackhawks defenceman Nick Boynton has been suspended for one game for making a throat-slashing gesture towards Tampa Bay Lightning centre Blair Jones during an exhibition game Wednesday.

Boynton made the gesture after fighting Jones at 13:04 of the second period. Boynton was given a game misconduct.

Boynton will sit out Chicago's regular-season opener against the Avalanche at Colorado on Oct. 7.

Doan returns

Shane Doan played solidly in his first game action with the Phoenix Coyotes since being sidelined by a shoulder injury in the playoffs last spring.

Doan had an overtime goal and an assist as the Coyotes edged the Los Angeles Kings 2-1 Thursday night.

Doan wasn't particularly impressed with his performance, though, telling the Arizona Republic: "I felt good, got a couple hits, nothing too big, but kind of stumbled and bumbled around out there for the most part. Wasn't as smooth as I'd like to be, but it's good to have that first one under the belt."

Former Vancouver Canuck and Toronto Maple Leaf Kyle Wellwood, who is trying to gain a roster spot with the Coyotes, also scored.


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