Tag: Zack Kassian

Zack Kassian

Kassian vows to give it all for Habs: ‘As you grow older, you mature’


“My time in Vancouver, deep down I feel I could have given more and I think they knew that.”

If there was one quote that left Canucks fans shaking their heads yesterday, that was probably it. Zack Kassian admitted that he didn’t give it 100 percent.

It’s been suggested that Canucks management should take much of the blame for Kassian’s failure to develop into an impact player, on a team that desperately needed him to be one. But, ultimately, it’s up to the player to fulfill his own potential.

Now a member of the Montreal Canadiens, the 24-year-old is vowing to apply the lessons he learned in both Buffalo, which drafted him 13th overall in 2009, and Vancouver, which traded Cody Hodgson to get him in 2012.

“It’s a tough league. As you grow older, you mature,” Kassian said Thursday.

“I really feel like Montreal’s a great fit for me. I’m ready to do everything to help the team win. I’m excited to get there. At the end of the day, nobody wants to get traded two times. But it’s a learning curve.”

For the record, Kassian says his back is fine: “Everything’s good, very healthy.”

He also rejected the notion that he’s been miscast as a big, tough power forward: “I can play physical, I can grind it, I like the cycle game. But at the same time, I like to make plays. I like to score goals. I think when I’m at my best, I can kind of do both.”

The Canadiens did not take a huge gamble on Kassian. They gave up popular forward Brandon Prust, but he’s 31 and only a year away from unrestricted free agency. Kassian is the one with the upside. And besides, the Canucks threw in a fifth-round draft pick. 

“There’s a reason why players are available, but I’ve talked to the young man and we’ve done our homework,” Habs GM Marc Bergevin said“We believe that he has potential.”

Of course, that’s what they said in Buffalo and Vancouver.

We’ll see what happens in Montreal.

It may be Kassian’s last chance.

Kassian traded to Habs for Prust; Hodgson signs with Preds

Zack Kassian

The Vancouver Canucks have given up on Zack Kassian. The Montreal Canadiens will give him a chance.

Kassian was traded to the Habs today, along with a fifth-round pick in 2016. The 24-year-old winger, who came to Vancouver in the 2012 Cody Hodgson swap, never turned into the power forward the Canucks envisioned he could be. His stint with the club was a controversial one, marked by suspensions, punitive AHL demotions, and the odd hot streak. Some felt he was never given enough of an opportunity; others disagreed.

“I need to find consistency,” Kassian told TSN. “This summer, I’m really taking strides forward. I want to have a big year. I’ve matured a lot as a person and a player.”

Heading to the Canucks is gritty forward Brandon Prust. Prust is 31 years old. He’s signed for one more year at $2.5 million, after which he can become an unrestricted free agent.

In an odd twist, Hodgson has reportedly signed a one-year deal with the Predators, who will hope to rejuvenate a career that went south in Buffalo. The 25-year-old center was just bought out by the Sabres. In Nashville, the top two centers, Mike Ribeiro and Mike Fisher, are each 35 years old, so rolling the dice on Hodgson makes sense.

Related: Ribeiro re-signs with Preds — two years, $7 million

UFA of the Day: Shawn Matthias

Tuukka Rask, Shawn Matthias, Dennis Seidenberg

Check PHT every day until June 30 for a new pending unrestricted free agent of the day. Today’s UFA of the Day is…

Shawn Matthias

Canucks GM Jim Benning said yesterday that Matthias would probably test the market on July 1. The club doesn’t have the cap space to re-sign the 27-year-old forward, who came to Vancouver as part of the Roberto Luongo trade.

Matthias is coming off a quietly productive season. Following a slow start, he finished with a career-high 18 goals, and he did so in a bottom-six role with barely any time on the power play.

In fact, his 17 even-strength tallies ranked second on the Canucks, behind only Radim Vrbata’s 19.

“I would love to be back,” Matthias said in April, per the Vancouver Sun. “But, in the business side of things, you never know what could happen. It’s a salary cap world. I mean, if I go to July 1st, I’m going to do what’s best for myself. So we’ll see what happens.”

Matthias’s expiring contract came with a cap hit of $1.75 million. Safe to say he’ll be looking for a good-sized raise.

Matthias is listed as a center but spent much of 2014-15 on the wing. His most common linemates were center Brad Richardson and winger Zack Kassian.

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