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?

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  • Serious Gord

    As I posted on another thread, I think that the oil mgmt was told not to let the team exact revenge on kassian. Ghosts of bertuzzi/Moore.

    And until the game was in dead time nothing was attempted and the scrum that resulted ended with a whimper EVEN after kassians egregious words and gestures. This supports rather than weakens my theory.

    As for revenge or perhaps vengeance in the next game, winning would be nice, but with the Canucks being as well coached as they are and the oilers being THE worst coached team in the league, that is highly unlikely.

    Thus the best method would not to tackle Kassian directly but for a third liner to hack one of the sedins just below the knee causing ligament damage that requires surgery – season (and playoff) ending surgery. And moments after committing the act that same player should skate by the Canucks bench and point at kassian and mouth (not say) the word “payback”.

    • Get serious, Gord.

      Rather than bagging on a rookie coach (the easy way out) you might consider quality veteran players, a world class goalie, impeccable D and four lines that contribute every night might have something to do with Vancouver being a pretty decent team.

      If you were one of those guys who was all over tanking for high draft picks, well you should know this current team is the result. No coach in the league could have this roster in the position to beat the Canucks any time soon.

  • 24% body fat

    If Gagner wasnt injured he probably would have been the first person to fight Kassian.

    You may say he plays soft, but when it comes up to sticking up for team mates and himself, he is the first one there to do it. HE isnt scarred of bigger weight classes.

    • Zamboni Driver

      Yeah. Gagner would have TOTALLY fought Kassian.

      5’9″ 180 vs. 6’3″ 215.

      woulda kicked his @ss too, right?

      Be better than that. At least suggest something that involves MacIntyre.

      • 24% body fat

        Your way out to lunch,

        Gagner is 5’11 202, if you dont believe it watch next time he is next to Eberle, the are the same height but gagner is much thicker.

        Gagner has fought Kesler 6’2″ 202 lbs and Beaucheman 6’0″ 212 lbs. It is arguable that he won the kesler fight and even though he took a beating in the Beaucheman fight he held his own.

        Do your homework, dont just spout off.

        Gagner would kick your ass.

        Be better than that.

      • Johnnydapunk

        You better check those weights junior. Gagner is a solid 195. His height is hobbit like but the kid is solid. I just wish he would learn to play with Acro ‘s desire.

      • YFC Prez

        Beauchemin 6’0 212

        Dillon 6’2 210

        Jokinen 6’3 215

        Jack Johnson 6’1 231

        Kessler 6’2 202

        Some on samwises fights. I don’t think it’s a Kassian size issue more of a Gagner just had his jaw busted issue. Kassian is chirping a player he is fully aware can’t fight right now. Based on Sams history , if his jaw were 100% he would be very welcome to a kassian fight.

        I agree with you though Macintyre or Gazdic needs to do something terrible to Kassians face. What a chicken sh!t.

        • camdog

          On the current roster I think only Gadzic and Ference are willing to fight more than Gags. Maybe you can throw a couple of other guys in there, but on this team of guys willing to go to war Sam is in the top third.

          You can blame the goaltending, you can blame the defence, me myself I think the season was lost in the Presesason when Kassian clubbed Gags in the face and there was no response.

          • YFC Prez

            You are right about Gadzic, he is willing to fight, Ference on the other hand is only willing to fight when he can jump an unsuspecting non-fighting player. When push comes to shove with a tough player to be handled Ference is no where to be found. So actually only Gadzic willing to fight

          • YFC Prez

            When the Oil signed him I hit up youtube and found a clip of Belov laying out Kuznetsov (sp?) then standing over him taunting him and nudging him with his skate.

            I didn’t really like the play and it was dirty as hell, but I liked the nastiness and pushback (didn’t like the hit he took). And he hits like a fire truck, also haven’t seen very much of that.

            Oilers need some of that Belov from the KHL, why is it that everyone gets pillowy soft as soon as they put on the oilers crest.

            EDIT : just went back and watched the video again. Belov kicked at him with just a glancing miss of the skate blade. Very dangerous, but the point still stands…oil need some of his nastiness.

          • Tikkanese

            One big difference is Belov was playing in the KHL where he could bully non physical Russian players. He is now in the NHL (one would wonder why) and he is way out of his league. He will be back in the KHL next year playing where he belongs. Not an NHL player and if he tried some of that nastiness here he would be on his butt in a hurry he knows it so he stays away and a smart decision on his part. He needs to be healthy next year playing for Omsk

  • Romulus' Apotheosis

    boo hoo hoo, option 6 is to just pick up our puck and go home.
    Who cares abour kassian and retrobution, there are more important items on the agenda.

  • Romulus' Apotheosis

    You left out option 5.

    5. Repay Kassian by a series of intense, hockey checks to skill players on the Nucks. Taking out Kassian — a marginal player on a very good team — has a lot of catharsis in its favor… but a true eye for an eye would say that a marginal player taking out a skilled player deserves the same in turn. Introduce a Sedin to the boards and make sure your stick/elbow are appropriately placed.

  • Bishai in the Benches

    I’m not even pissed about what Kassian did. It’s his job, he gets paid for it, and chirping is part of the game. The fact that everyone is so upset about it baffles me. There is no “unwritten code” that dictates what players say on the ice, as long as they are willing to pay the price. I full believe that Kassian was/is willing to fight anyone in the oilers line-up. That isn’t the problem.

    The problem is the oilers don’t care enough to make him pay. It seems as if the entire team has simply given up. There is no compete left at all. In my division beer league games, where games have absolutely no value at all and we are paying to be there, if a player on the opposing team was beaking off about how sweet it was when he hurt one of our players, guaranteed we’d have 5 guys chomping at the bit to get some retribution. That’s the way the game is played.

    You wonder why the boston bruins are such a great hockey team… Krejci is almost identical in size to Hemsky, but there is no way in hell we’d ever see Hemsky scrum it up like Krejci. Sure, you can attribute part of that to a “skilled” playing style, but the Bruins are a highly skilled team… Skill and “give a crap” are not mutually exclusive. You can definitely do both. The oilers won’t start winning games until they start caring, competing, getting pissed off, and standing up for their fellow teammates.

    • Your right, this team and organization for that matter has no self respect. Me, on the other hand, have been a fan since 79, do have a enough self respect not to go to anymore games. It might be a viral infection too. To bad nobody has a pharmacy when you need one.

  • 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.

  • 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…

  • 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

    I have been a fan since 1979. I have never in that entire time been so disgruntled, no let me reword that so there is no misunderstanding, PISSED-OFF at this organization as I am this year.

    Like many other fans, my patience has all but dried up. Year after year, the same crap! Not even close to being a decent team. Bloody pathetic. The horrible world “rebuilding” is now associated to the word Oilers.

    This team is in complete disarray and is it as clear as the nose on one’s face, ownership is in denial. Management has proven to be ineffective and like the ownership, in denial.

    Fans whom bleed Orange and Blue have been taken advantage off for far too long and the Oiler’s Organization could not care less about it. Edmonton is without a NHL team and will not have one for years to come. Makes a person wonder what the hell did we do to deserve this.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • Romulus' Apotheosis

    They’re going to do nothing about it.

    This team can’t play offense, it can’t play defense, and it can’t play relevant physical hockey. When a ping pong ball like Arcobello is up there in hits, you know you’ve got a problem. Gee whiz, that 5’8, 160 pound body’s gonna wear that other team down eventually right?

  • Mikey

    If I were Eakins, it’s an easy call. Bring up Smac and dress both him and gazdic. Gazdic goes and fights him the first time Kassian is on the ice. One he gets out of the box, Smac attacks him. There will be no, hey let’s go. It’s throw your gloves off and start going to town. Hall then throws down with H Sedin.

  • Death Metal Nightmare

    I posted this on Lowetide.
    “This group of Oilers is becoming increasingly hard to like. As a team they are incapable of standing up for each other and many of them are either cowards or selfishly disinterested. Taylor Hall had one fight and now he turns away every time he is physically challenged. If Kassian had speared someone in the eye last night the list of players who wouldn’t piss themselves is extremely short. My guess is most of the Oiler players have gotten rid of all the mirrors in their mansions because if any of them had pride and got a good look at themselves they would head for the cliffs like lemmings. I’m done going to games as the smell of piddle wafts up into the stands every time an opposing player glares.”
    Reading it over again I was definitely venting but I do believe what I said. I don’t know if cowards is the best description but scared doesn’t cut it. Most of us who have have stepped up in sports were scared. A good teammate and a man finds a way to overcome their fear. I didn’t need a premeditated fight but seeing Kassian mock our whole team while our team stared at their skates said a lot about what is wrong with the Oilers.
    After the Oilers lost the Stanley Cup to the Islanders the rumour was it was noted how badly spent and beat up the Islanders were. The old take a hit without retaliating to make a play. Dead on! That said the Islanders stood up for each other every time. If Kassian tried that crap he’d of paid the price. The same was true of the Oilers for years and years. I don’t know how the Oilers could respect themselves after last night and if you can’t respect yourself you sure as hell won’t get respect from opponents.
    As for the idiot who mentioned Gagner’s purse he has a broken jaw and is one of the few Oilers who have stuck up for himself. Shame on the majority the Oilers! You cowered when you could have come together as a team. I’m sickened by that.

  • Johnnydapunk

    Looks like we have seen the last of LaBarbera, he just got traded to Chicago for “future considerations” . That’s one less contact on the books, I give a yay to that!

    Also must mean that The Bryz is good to go, double yay !

      • Johnnydapunk

        That’s the rumour, apparently Oduya is also part of the package if we throw in Will Acton 😛

        Just looked at the Hawks on capgeek, and for a Stanley Cup winning team who are on fire this year, they are weirdly thin in net. It kind of boggles the mind that they now have 2 former Oiler goalies in their roster now.

        Looks like the Bulin wall experiment spectacularly failed (injured again, surprise…)

  • YFC Prez

    I dreamt of this last night after watching the Oiler/Nuck game and think we should make a contest out of it at ON.

    As the dream goes, the Oilers offer me a one game contract and I’m able to pick any opposition team to play against. I choose the Canucks. In period one, I go and hack and wack Daniel and his sister Henrik. I take too many penalties and the team is down two goals.

    In the second period I go after the sister again, except this time I hit them at every opportunity and call them names. I feel much better but still something is lacking.

    In the third period, I have had enough, Kassian skates by me and I taunt him. Next shift he goes into the corner and I spear him right in the “nards” and then slash him in the face……..I get jumped by every Canucks player and can’t stop laughing except all my team mates are now where to be seen.

    Please if anyone from the Oilers are reading this, sign me to a one game contract so I can show the OIlers some passion and intensity!!!

    Oh well, I’m glad it was only a one game contract I realize I’m not fit enough for Dallas.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • 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.