Zack Kassian’s regular season debut with the Canadiens has been put on hold indefinitely. The NHLPA announced on Monday night that the winger has entered Stage 2 of the NHL-NHLPA joint Substance Abuse and Behavioral Program.
The decision stems from the events of Sunday morning that saw Kassian involved in a morning car crash where the 24 year old was a passenger. He sustained a broken nose and a broken left foot as a result. There had been no timetable set for his return prior to this announcement.
At a press conference earlier on Monday, GM Marc Bergevin strongly condemned Kassian’s actions, calling it “a lack of character and judgement on his part.” At that time, he had acknowledged that he was considering other options beyond simply placing him on injured reserve.
From a roster perspective, Kassian will not be paid nor will he count against the salary cap. He will not be part of the active 23-man roster but will continue to count against Montreal’s 50 contract limit (of which there are 48 players currently under contract).
There is no timetable for Kassian’s return to action. Not only does he need to recover from his injuries sustained in the crash but it will now be his doctors in the program that will determine when he is fit to return to action.