Habs ask Kassian not to report to AHL affiliate (Updated)

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Another twist in the Zack Kassian saga.

On Saturday, TVA reported that Montreal has asked Kassian not to report to its AHL affiliate in St. John’s following the Christmas break. The IceCaps are set to play the Marlies this afternoon; Kassian, who cleared waivers and was assigned to the American League two weeks ago, has yet to appear in a game in St. John’s.

As for what might be happening — well, there’s no shortage of speculation. Some have pointed out that, because the NHL’s roster freeze is still in effect, any potential trade involving Kassian would have to wait. Ergo, he could be sitting out of the IceCaps’ contest as a precautionary measure.

There’s also speculation Kassian possibly suffered another personal setback.

The 24-year-old was was placed in Stage Two of the NHL’s Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health program on Oct. 5, and was suspended without pay until clearance. This came just days after he was involved in an early morning car accident in Montreal, in which Kassian was a passenger in a SUV driven by a 20-year-old female.

Montreal police later confirmed that while speed didn’t play a factor in the collision, alcohol may have.

Kassian was released from the SABH on Dec. 15, and was waived shortly after.

Update:

Here is the full text translation of Therrien’s comments from this afternoon, per PHT’s Joey Alfieri.

“The only thing I can say is that we told him not to report. I can’t divulge all the information. Management will make a decision. The only thing I know is that he was doing well when he came out (of rehab), but I’m the coach.

“I concentrate my efforts on the players I have at my disposal. It’s not one of my priorities right now.”