After being placed on waivers on Tuesday, Zack Kassian’s return to game action will come in the AHL after he cleared waivers at noon EST on Wednesday. Kassian was given the green light by doctors in the Substance Abuse and Behavioural Health Program (SABH) to return to playing early Tuesday morning.
Kassian was acquired by the Canadiens back on July 1st along with a fifth round pick from Vancouver in exchange for Brandon Prust. It was hoped that he would be able to fill one of the holes on the right wing (a weakness further exacerbated by the release of Alex Semin last week). However, Kassian was involved in an early morning car crash late in training camp where he was a passenger. He sustained a broken nose and a broken left foot as a result. Shortly after, he had been placed in the SABH program.
Kassian dealt with back issues last year that limited him to just 42 games played with the Canucks. He picked up ten goals and six assists along with 81 PIMS. In his career, Kassian has suited up in 198 regular season games, picking up 35 goals and 31 assists along with 307 PIMS.
After being reinstated to the roster on Tuesday, Kassian will still receive his full pay with St. John’s but the Habs will only carry a cap charge of $800,000 – his cap hit less $375,000 plus the league minimum salary of $575,000. (Technically, he’ll receive more of his pay in the minors as one way contracts in the AHL are not subject to escrow.)
Unfortunately, it will be a while before Kassian gets into game action with the IceCaps as their final game before the Christmas break goes on Wednesday against the Albany Devils. After that, St. John’s isn’t in action until Boxing Day.