What you gonna do about it?

What was your gut reaction to seeing Zack Kassian of the Vancouver Canucks rub the Edmonton Oilers noses in the stinking end of a 4-0 waxing at Rogers Arena Friday by mocking Sam Gagner?

Video provided of a scrum near the Edmonton bench at the end of the game shows Kassian, who badly broke Gagner’s jaw with a high stick in pre-season, yapping at the Oilers and motioning toward his face. He appears to be saying "What’s this?" or "What’s that?" in reference to the cage Gagner is wearing to protect his jaw.

While what Kassian said exactly is up to question, his actions, whether you deem them a classless act worthy of contempt or weasel-like agitating that’s part of the game, begs another question: "What you gonna do about it?"

We’ll have to wait until January 21 for the Oilers to answer.


Where you fall in the gut-reaction category to what unfolded Friday will dictate where you come down as far as what you deem a suitable response to Kassian’s actions.

1. Win hockey games. There’s a school of thought that he who laughs last laughs best and that there is no better way to shove it to Kassian and the Canucks than to beat them on the scoreboard.

2. An eye for an eye. If your blood boiled as the gap-toothed Kassian smirked and motioned, you’re likely of the mind that the Vancouver ruffian should see a steady diet of Steve MacIntyre and Luke Gazdic when the teams meet in January. Kassian deserves an ass-kicking.

3. A combination of the first two options. Kassian should pay for what he did and what he said by taking a beating on the ice and the Oilers should add an exclamation mark by answering the "What you gonna do about it?" question on the scoreboard. Hell, why not run that clip before every game against the Canucks?

4. Do nothing. Turn the other cheek. Exacting payback from Kassian is nothing but premeditated violence and goonery that would drag the Oilers down to his level. As for beating the Canucks, well, the Oilers aren’t actually good enough to do that.


Whatever the Oilers come up with as a response, that response is best left unsaid – assuming it falls under one of the first three options. First, talk is cheap. Second, if the Todd Bertuzzi-Steve Moore case taught us anything, it’s that there’s legal peril in talking about revenge and then getting it.

Reporters, you can rest assured, will be looking for comment about Friday’s incident with the Oilers in California today. I’m guessing Dallas Eakins and his players will offer up a whole lot of nothing on that front. Better now that what’s churning in their guts doesn’t pass by their lips.

What you gonna do about it?

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

  • Admiral Ackbar

    The answer is the Boston Bruin answer. It worked very well in 2011.

    Beat them up.

    Light up their goal-tender.

    Crush them at every chance on the end-boards.

    Taunt them at every turn.

    Teams that win, initiate. Teams that lose, retaliate. I’m not saying that Gags should’ve broken Kassian’s jaw but using that to up their intensity and hammer EVERY Canuck.

    The Oilers play a game that includes NO hitting. Only Arco and Jones go after opposing Dmen. Sooner or later this team needs to understand that you have to be mean to play in the NHL. Otherwise you’re just a minor leaguer playing shinny.

  • YFC Prez

    I found a stat that had the average weight of the NHL players for each team. On opening night League average was 203.5 lbs. Oilers are 203.8 lbs.

    Turns out they are not as undersized as I figured they were. They’re under competitive.

    They’ve stopped using age as an excuse. Time to stop using size as well. They really are not that small. Just fight for your ice a little ,.

    • Zarny

      Fun fact – 5 of Edm’s top 6 F are listed as smaller than the NHL’s average.

      Perron scrapes by @ 205 lbs.

      Turns out they are undersized because they literally have no one of skill who is big.

      The best they can do is 1 lb above average.

  • The Canucks are fake-tough. They bullied us because we are a bunch of pansies. When they meet a real physical team in a seven game series, they will fold their tents like they always do.

    I am sick to my stomach about how the whole game went last night. We were making soft plays all night and nobody should feel the slightest bit good about themselves. As for Kassian, he’s a piece of trash. In a lopsided game like last night, I would have loved to see Gazdic get a pound of his flesh. I am sick and tired of being pushed around, disgusting.

    • So Gazdic gets an instigator, game suspension and depending on how severe the beating was, a fine and more games off. What does Kassian do? He goes out and does the exact same thing the next time he sees ice.

      Kassian doesn’t care. The league doesn’t care. Retribution won’t do anything. The best thing to do is go out and beat them on the scoreboard, run up the goals and laugh at the Canucks bench while you do it.

      Of course that’ll have to wait a few years.

  • Zarny

    Reminds me of when goalie Ryan Miller got run over by Lucic and no response. Miller’s never been the same since. Sam may never be the same since and this team of smallish forwards will never be the same as it is now. Push, body and intimidate and this team will inevitably lose. They mainly play good against teams that really don’t do any of the above.

  • Zarny

    Kassian is the last guy who should be running his mouth. Talk about a draft bust. He’ll be out of the league selling used tires a decade before Gagner is done.

    Since MacIntyre and Gazdic are the only Oilers capable of doing anything about it one of them has to step up.

    The Oilers are considered the easiest team to play against. That has to change. Cream puffs don’t win the Stanley Cup.

    • Quicksilver ballet

      and this is the core that Mr. 6 cup, he who knows a something about winning, is to determined to win with, and his newly hired GM has stated will not tinker with. lovely

  • S cottV

    Would have been nice to get some form of retribution against Kassian, but the most likely source – Gadzic’s right hand is probably on the mend from the tilt with Lucic. Anyone who has ever been in a hockey fight knows the hand is not ready to go the next night.

    The game also did not present a lot of opportunities because up until the Kassian goal in the 3rd period, the Oilers could have won the game and Eakins surely was directing the team to stay focused on that possibility. Even though a one side game, an Oiler goal may well have shifted momentum, enough to steal a win in a shoot out.

    While getting harder to defend Dubnyk, he did play well enough for long enough, that you would think one of our high paid guys might have come through with a goal – and possible momentum swing. That is part of supporting your goaltender. You look at him standing on his head, holding the team in the game and say to yourself – “damn – come hell or high water -I’m gonna get one for Dubie.” Not…

  • Serious Gord

    My option is “OTHER”. Gagner should have given Kassian a well placed stick across his big ugly yap. Two things to happen. Gagner gets suspended and Kassian gets an attitude adjustment.

  • Bob Cobb

    Zach Kassian is a classless player playing for a classless organization. Nothing but whiners, divers and biters and whats worse is the fans are jerks too.

    The Oilers have to hit someone, illegal or legal and start showing some balls, run someone, anyone. Maybe Hall or Perron has to do a Clutterbuck to Kesler or one of the Sisters. The Oilers are soft, they play soft and get taken advantage of.

    Too much skill, not enough truculence.

    • camdog

      I used to find it funny calling the Sedin’s the sisters. THat is until I went to an Oiler game in Edmonton last season and they had an Oiler commercial mocking our own stars (Eberle, RNH, Shultz and Hall) as Beliebers. We can’t even due PR right, embarassing.

      Imagine another team coming into our rink and we are mocking our own young guns as belonging to the Justin Bieber fan club. It literally made me sick, how could anybody in the organisation allow that to go on the Big Screen?

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Now would be a good time for another Weak Kneed Wimps article by Terry Jones. The Cat (Zac Kassian) was out peacocking and sure enough, all the Oiler mice scattered.

    I’d over react on the retaliation. I let MacIntyre take suspension on him. Steve gets one, almost shift. Eakins sends him out on a last change opportunity. Participation in this event is not optional for ole Zac, the puck isn’t even dropped before Kassians head hits the ice.

    After knocking Kassian out, Steve MacIntyre takes a much celebrated victory lap around Rexall ice before retiring to an early shower.

    Tell the NHL discipline types to Puck off and mind their own business.

  • camdog

    January 21 Vancouver is in town. Time to goon it up Gadzic mac and if we have to 1or 2 from the echl team. Enough is enough already. Kassian needs to stand up and be ready to get demomilshed. Henrik Daniel how your teeth doing you may need some dental work after this game. When you had Lowe and Mac playing there was ample protection from Sammy Brownie K mac or Donnie Jackson.Why wont they toughen this lineup up .It is truly mind boggling.

    • **

      Kessy, Ewanyk, Hamilton, Big Mac, Gazdic, Pittlick and Abney. The season is already lost, and the game is probably going to be a loss as well, then make a statement and put the nucks on their but$s. Run around all game and make them feel the pain, not just Kassian, but everyone on that team, because they allow Kassian to act like he does, they are as responsible for it as he is.

      Hell, we might even win, once Tort starts sitting down the Sedin sisters and co.

  • ubermiguel

    I watched some of the Winnipeg-Dallas game and there are a few guys on each team I wish the Oilers had, Winnipeg’s Byfuglien,Ladd, Bogosian and Wheeler, on Dallas Benn, Roussel,Dillon and Eakins,heck I wish Horcoff was our 2nd line centre
    (palm plant)

  • **

    You can`t control what Kassian or anyone else is going to do or say. But you CAN control what you do about it. Gagner`s game may suck, but he is an Oiler and his team should’ve had his back. What Kassian did last night is a reflection on how the League sees the Oilers: a bunch of fragile pushovers who represent no challenge nor concern and lack any kind of respect because they haven’t earned any.

    As a fan this hurts me more than the losses.

    PS: F$%k Kassian, just another Sea Avery in the making. If the Canucks organization had any class they would self regulate and sit Kassian like the Stars did with Avery after his sloppy seconds comment. And where’s the NHL? isn’t there are rule to fight this horrid type of lack of sportsmanship?

  • ubermiguel

    Living in Calgary and being a die hard Oiler fan…I hate to say it…but they may figure it out before we do.

    Burke, after firing Feaster, made these comments:

    “Acquire skill and surround it with Beef.”

    “It’s not because it’s Brian Burke’s view on life that we like big or hard hockey, it’s because that’s what wins in our league.”

    My point here is that we have skill players that will never realize their potential unless we trade for hard nosed players to compliment them.

    For example, (not a trade I would do but you will get the point) on paper a Yakipov for Steve Ott and Drew Stafford might be a one sided trade in favour of Buffalo but, these two guys are the types of guys you sprinkle in your top nine forwards to “beef” up your line up and give confidence to your skilled forwards that they have someone to watch their backs or do the “dirty” work that is required to win.

  • ubermiguel

    answer- do nothing ! that is what this is capable of. No guts, No character and no goonies. Boston GM revealed his secret to building a solid organization. Draft and acquire CHARACTER. What does our brass do ? Let it go or trade it away. Case in point: Glencross, Hejda, Stoll, Greene, Chimera. Smid
    Vancouvers 4th line dominated our AHL roster. This team is a joke – fire Klowe, Mac T.
    But then again what do I know – I don’t have 6 rings.

  • YFC Prez

    I want to Kassian get his teeth knocked out just like everybody else here. But I am not going to be foolish enough to think that it will happen and I don’t think many of you here believe it will happen either.

    We have all seen this show before.

  • Johnnydapunk

    If I were coaching and wanted payback, I would tell my team to run Kessler, and the Sedin sisters. Put them out, even if it is a dirty play. That is payback. Until the Oilers show they are willing to target the top players on other teams in retaliation, the skill players on the Oilers will continue to be run.

    • Death Metal Nightmare

      And on January 21st, if I’m Vancouver, I take a run at one of the top Oilers right away, to make the statement before the Oilers try. (emphasis on ‘try’)
      The Oilers do not appear to want to earn any respect at this time.
      Smith and Buchberger are basically gate pullers in suits and Eakins expression NEVER changes. Good coaches get involved, walk the bench, motivate and get the players jacked up. You piss a player off by chewin him out and the next shift he two hands a guy because he’s mad.

  • Johnnydapunk

    One scenario nobody seems to have entertained is that maybe Sam’s team mates don’t really like him and that is why nobody confronted Kassian. May be his team mates are just as sick and tired of his terrible D play as the fans are. Who knows.

  • Death Metal Nightmare

    anyone who played hockey as a kid on competitive travel teams or even further – at least in the Pre-Pokemon era – probably learned to react certain ways to chirping, cheap shots, etc…

    you do some really questionable vengeance to say “you dont F*** with me or i go legit nuts.” spear in the guts? maybe. bobby clarke slash to the ankle? who cares, just get it done. suspended for a little bit? who cares. the season is toast anyhow. go bonkers on some of those f***ers. if any cheapo team deserves it, it’s the Canucks for all the Matt Cooke fun onward to present.

    “oh thats not honorable. just beat them on the scoreboard.”

    we know the rules of engagement in hockey.


    and you know what builds teams morale and brings people out of their wimp shell? a little lunacy.

    no one on this team has the guts to do it and deal with the stress of being a mad dog. bunch of Pokemon boys f-ing off on their smart phones all day. the closest we have is Perron but he’s more of a greasy rat.

    Messier and Gary Roberts are scowling somewhere in disappointment

  • Death Metal Nightmare

    This team is never the predator and always the prey. MacIntyre, Gadzic and any other goons/pests available should be available for a January 21 slugfest. It’s not like the Oilers are going to make the playoffs anyway; they should at least go down fighting.

    This is as much about sending a message to the young Oilers as it is about the Canucks.

  • Death Metal Nightmare

    Agree w/ Bolt:
    Speedbag a Sedin and swarm Count Floyd.

    What’s funny is how all the commenters around here were gleeful when Spector lost his gig on DRECK 1260 a day after an epic 10-minute monologue on how sick he was of seeing the Oilers getting pushed around in their own barn.

    But he didn’t talk gushingly about Corgis, so he was out of favor with Oiler fan.

  • **

    All skill not enough cock and balls. There needs to be a reaction from the team on stuff like this not just a Gazdic or MacIntyre. The whole team needs to answer and a dirty check needs to come from a skill guy like Hall or Perron or even Gagner himself. Enough is enough you know damn well Lowe never would have sat by and let this kind of crap happen when he was playing and it should be the same story now. Pathetic