Bruins' Leetch expected to miss a month

BOSTON -- Brian Leetch will be out for the next month after
the Bruins defenseman was diagnosed with a strained knee ligament
on Wednesday.

Leetch injured the medial collateral ligament in his right knee
Tuesday night when he collided with New York Islanders forward
Shawn Bates during the second period of Boston's 4-3 overtime loss.

Leetch, who walked gingerly after the game wearing a small
brace, was examined Wednesday by Dr. Bertram Zarins at
Massachusetts General Hospital.

The 37-year-old defenseman, in his first season with the Bruins,
had never had a knee injury since entering the NHL in 1988. His
first occurred with about three minutes left in the middle period
as he and Bates went for the puck, and collided.

Leetch spent his first 17-plus NHL seasons with the New York
Rangers. The Bruins signed him to a one-year, $4 million contract
this summer.

He has three goals and five assists in 14 games this season. In
1,158 regular-season games -- all but 29 with New York -- Leetch has
245 goals and 759 assists.

Leetch ranks seventh on the career points list among NHL
defenseman and sixth among American-born players at any position
with 1,004. He will miss his first chance to face the Rangers at
Madison Square Garden on Nov. 20.

Also Wednesday, the Bruins recalled defenseman Milan Jurcina and
right wing Eric Nickulas from their AHL affiliate in Providence.