Nashville's Michael McCarron returns from player assistance program

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Nashville forward Michael McCarron is available to the Predators after entering the player assistance program of the NHL and NHL Players' Association.

The NHL and NHL Players' Association announced Wednesday that McCarron returned after receiving care through the joint player assistance program. McCarron still will have access to any needed follow-up care as needed.

The 27-year-old McCarron entered the program Dec. 11 without the league and union specifying the reason. He played in 15 games, scoring one goal and an assist with 21 shots on goal.

The NHL and NHLPA started the player assistance program in 1996, giving players access to a confidential phone line and counselors in each city in the league. The jointly funded group assists players and their families with mental health, substance abuse and other matters.

The Predators (21-17-6) currently sit just outside the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference, three points behind Calgary with a game in hand. They visit St. Louis on Thursday night.