The Zack Kassian drama continued in Vancouver (well, technically New York) on Thursday, as Canucks head coach Willie Desjardins confirmed Kassian would be dropped from the lineup for tonight’s game against the Rangers in favor of Brandon McMillan, who was acquired off waivers from Arizona last week.
Kassian, who has expressed frustration about his repeat healthy scratches, will be parked for the ninth time this season. The decision to drop him from the lineup comes after a relatively decent five-game stretch, in which Kassian scored two goals and four points and had a strong outing in Friday’s 5-2 win over Boston, assisting on two of Shawn Matthias’ three goals.
That said, Kassian did commit a series of turnovers in Monday’s win over Minnesota, and only played three shifts in the third period for 1:53 TOI.
Here’s more, from Canucks GM Jim Benning:
Benning on Kassian: We’ve had some talks, but we’re not looking to move him. Want to work with him, see him be the player we know he can be.
— TSN Radio Vancouver (@TSN1040) February 19, 2015
As for McMillan, he’ll dress for the first time since getting scooped off waivers on Feb. 12. The former Duck and Coyote — who played for Desjardins on Team Canada at the 2010 World Juniors — should be familiar with a number of his new mates; he played with Radim Vrbata in Arizona and both Nick Bonino and Luca Sbisa in Anaheim.