After the Habs told Zack Kassian not to report to the minors, many speculated a trade was near completion. That deal is done now as the Canadiens have flipped him to Edmonton in exchange for goalie Ben Scrivens.
Kassian’s time with Montreal comes to an end before it really even began (aside from five preseason games where he picked up a single goal). The 24 year old was acquired back on July 1st from Vancouver along with a 2016 5th round pick in exchange for Brandon Prust. However, an early morning car crash where alcohol was involved saw Kassian sent to rehab where he was waived immediately after being reinstated to the active roster. He will report to Edmonton’s AHL affiliate in Bakersfield.
Scrivens has had an up-and-down season with Bakersfield. After having to sit for several weeks due to Visa issues, he struggled mightily in his first few games. He has been much better in his last five games though, posting a 2.00 GAA, a .942 SV%, and one shutout. On the season, the 29 year old has a 2-6-1 record with a 3.47 GAA and a .893 SV%.
While those numbers plus his results with Edmonton, it’s understandable that many aren’t viewing Scrivens as an exciting acquisition or even much of an upgrade. However, before he joined the Oilers, he had a very strong stint with Los Angeles while filling in for an injured Jonathan Quick while he also fared well as a backup with Toronto in 2012-13. For his career, Scrivens has a 42-56-17 record in 129 games, posting a 2.90 GAA and a .905 SV%.
No one’s really expecting him to be a long-term option for the team but in the short-term, Scrivens should prove to be a better option than Dustin Tokarski who has been sent down to St. John’s. That should also allow Michel Therrien to not use Mike Condon as much; the rookie has played in 22 of the last 26 games, a tough ask for pretty much any goalie in this day and age.
Both players have one year left on their contracts. Scrivens has a salary and a cap hit of $2.3 million and will be an unrestricted free agent after the season. The Oilers will cover 24% of that meaning that Montreal is responsible for a $1.748 M cap hit. Kassian, meanwhile, carries a cap hit of $1.75 million but a salary of $2 million; the Oilers must offer him that much as a qualifying offer to retain his RFA rights following the season.