Oilers Trade Ben Scrivens for Zack Kassian

Kassian

The Edmonton Oilers have traded former starter (and noted Professor) Ben Scrivens to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for forward Zack Kassian.

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For many Oilers fans the name Zack Kassian is associated with a dirty play that broke Sam Gagner’s jaw. Not only did Kassian break Gagner’s jaw, he taunted him for it. This same player is now an Edmonton Oiler – what a difference a couple years can make. As of right now, Kassian has been assigned to the Bakersfield Condors so it’s clear that the Oilers are hoping he can work things out down there before being recalled. 

Once recalled, it will be interesting to see how Kassian fits in a dressing room that still has some history which his slash on former Oiler San Gagner. Andrew Ference was suspended for taking a run at Kassian after the slash, and Luke Gazdic reportedly challenged him to fights without having the new Oiler answer the bell. Does this even matter anymore? Do guys even care? I guess we’ll find out. 

On the cap front, it looks like the Oilers have retained 24% of Scrivens’ salary in order to complete the deal. Although this move does still save the team a few shekels it is not as much as initially anticipated which has me wondering if something else could be happening. I guess I just can’t see a scenario where both Luke Gazdic and Kassian are taking up two roster spots on this team. There’s a ways to go before a decision like that is to be made though, Kassian hasn’t played a game since last season and surely have to knock off some rust. Until then, we wait.  

A LETTER TO BEN SCRIVENS

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Dear Ben,

I wanted to wish you good luck in Montreal. I know things didn’t exactly work out for you, in your home town, and for that I apologize. After that 59 save shutout I thought that maybe the Oilers had found their goalie of the future, and maybe you thought that too. Unfortunately, the team in front of you wasn’t poorly constructed and you didn’t play as well as maybe you could have so our relationship has to end.

I know these last few months must have been hard for you, in the AHL. I’m sure it wasn’t easy going to work down on the farm when your own personal expectations must have had you playing somewhere in the NHL. On the bright side, you made millions of dollars to play the game you played for free as a kid and that’s a win in my books. Right? Right.

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My hope is that this stop in Montreal lands you another NHL contract, and that you continue being the smartest guy in an NHL dressing room for years to come. Before that can happen there’s plenty of work to do in Montreal, and I hope you’re up for it. You’re going to be filling in for the best goalie in the league in one of the biggest fishbowls in the hockey world. No pressure.

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All the best in Montreal, Ben. I hear they have excelled smoked meat sandwiches, strip clubs, poutine, and access to unfiltered cigarettes.

Your friend,

-Baggedmilk

EARLY REACTION

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KASSIAN’S CAREER STATS

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SEASON TEAM GP G A P +/-  PIM  PPG  SHG  GWG  S S%
2011-2012 SABRES 27 3 4 7 -1 20 0 0 0 36 8.3
2011-2012 CANUCKS 17 1 2 3 -1 31 0 0 0 18 5.6
2011-2012 ROCHESTER AMERICANS-AHL 30 15 11 26 4 31 2 1 1 94 16.0
2012-2013 CANUCKS 39 7 4 11 -7 51 2 0 1 49 14.3
2012-2013 CHICAGO WOLVES-AHL 29 8 13 21 -3 61 2 0 0 78 10.3
2013-2014 CANUCKS 73 14 15 29 -4 124 1 0 2 91 15.4
2014-2015 CANUCKS 42 10 6 16 -5 81 1 0 3 55 18.2
NHL TOTALS 198  35  31  66  -18 307 4 0 6 249  14.1 

    • Ty Guy

      I think this has a few benefits for the Oilers.1. it unclogs the goalie pipeline for a young Fin to get some time in the AHL 2. It sends message to Gadzic to stop standing around while his team mates get run because if he continues to do that he will be replaced .3. Kasian was a number one draft choice and now that he has his substance abuse issues behind him we may have a diamond in the rough and his contract is up after this year if he isn’t.

    • Mangiant

      These complaints are hilarious.

      After 9 years of losing, we’re upset when we trade an AHL goalie for a legit hockey player who, coincidentally, also has the toughness we lack.

      For those worrying about Kassian in the locker room – do you really think our group of young guys is going to see Kassian and say “That’s the lifestyle I want!”. Perhaps the very opposite will happen and it will help Kassian clean up his act.

      • MorningOwl

        I suppose you also thought Dubnyk was an AHL goalie as well. Scrivens was good in L.A. and could also be good in Montreal on a defensive team (with a good goalie coach).I have no problem with trading Scrivens but thats a gamble I would not take, especially for Kassian. Do you really beleive Zack Kassian is better than Luke Gazdic or Jujhar Khaira? I sure don’t. Hang with losers and you become a loser.

    • 15w40

      Whatever, sh*t happens, its hockey.

      Rocket Richard hit Hal Laycoe of the Bruins in the head with his stick, full swing, and could have killed him. Boston PD tried to arrest the Rocket after the game. And the NHL has an award named after the Rocket thats given annually to the highest scoring player. Sometimes players do stupid things, and there are hundreds of examples of bonehead plays in the NHL every year.

      Bottom line, Kassian is a pest who plays a chippy game, and he has shown he can be very good at it. Also, he has some offence skills which is a bonus.

      The Oilers let a 19 year old takes runs at them all night in Calgary and we’ve seen this too many times the past 10 years. Its time they got dirtier and tougher to play against, and I can’t wait for PC to put his mark on this team and make them tougher.

      If you had told me last year that we could get Kassian for Scrivens I wouldn’t have believed it.

      Nothing to lose, lots to gain.

  • Spydyr

    I am not happy with this trade, I don’t like Zack Kassian, I think he is dirty and is off ice issues lead me to believe he can be a cancer in the dressing room.

    I know he was highly touted when he was younger, but those days are along time past

  • Tanker

    I think it allows a different option without much risk. If it’s a fail then what does it really matter if it’s Scrivens or Kassian eating roughly the same dollars in Bakersfield. If he works out, then great. Low risk move.

  • Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"

    Calm down on the negativity. The Team is improving and all complimentary players can really be hit or miss. The most important things are slowly coming around. I feel we have a lot of forward and center power. The defense is improving but injury is hurting and we need at least one more. This trade is great as it give us a look at a player but more importantly gives a prospect more Ice time in net. goodbye Scrivins all the best to you.

      • Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"

        As a teacher I do tend to look at the positive and keep encouraging those whom I teach. I do always look for the sun to come up. It may well be a fault in hockey but it is who I am. Sorry if I sound like a fan with his head in the sand. Go Oilers!

        I am replying to a comment on pg 1 if this seems strangely out of context.

  • In Chia I Trust

    I’m glad he’s coming. Scrivens wasn’t in the plans, Kassian needs a fresh start and the Oil sorely needs some toughness. I assume from his draft position that he can skate?

  • #97Train/McDavidCopperfield

    Perfect! Kas has been rejected by 3 NHL teams in the space of a few years. PC thinks he can rehab Kassian’s career. He is in need of rehab of another kind.

    Memo to PC. A fragile group of young players is not an environment to which to introduce an individual in the midst of a seriously troubled life.

    The reason for this move may be a continuation of an incompetent management, however it is definitely not an excuse.

  • Jay (not J)

    Have to wait to see how he does in Bako first. If all goes well and he can transition to the Oilers, and be the prick that he is, then great news.

    Been a long time since we’ve had a pest running guys. I remember Slats always had a guy like this on the team and they were highly effective. Can help change the whole attitude of a team.

    Remember McSorely, Tikkanen, McClelland, Torres.

    If this works out, then it is one more piece in the rejig.

    If it fails, no big deal.

    Well done PC. Now …. about that defence?

    • #97Train/McDavidCopperfield

      There is ABSOLUTELY no similarity between Zack Kassian and Esa Tikkanen. Esa had 0.718 points per game average compared to Zack’s 0.33 and Esa had way more skill and less penalty mintues per game also.

      I think the Oilers have only won 1 game since Jujhar Khaira left the team. That’s who they need.

  • #97Train/McDavidCopperfield

    I don’t know much about him. I do recall some positive discussion on ON about him prior to his trade to Vancouver.

    I’ll go with the My Cousin Vinnie quote ‘There’s nuthin’ to worry about about till there’s sumthin’ to worry about.’

    I like the move. It’s good for Scrivens.

  • Dyckster

    He was Hall’s teammate in Windsor, gotta think Chia and coach Todd chatted with him (Taylor) prior to making the deal. If so, that’s some decent intel from our leader and current best player. If Taylor Hall believes he can help the team then so do I.

  • Ty Guy

    Personally I hope they just sit Kassian. To me this trade is about scrivens and letting him get an opportunity to get his career back on track. Maybe like dubnyk. And it opened up a spot for eetu in Bakersfield. Don’t let kassian influence our players in the ahl. Send him to echl

      • Burnward

        Preseason car crash. 4 am, just after being traded. Broke his leg, fell out with management.

        Claimed a girl he was with was driving and escaped legal trouble.

        Habs brass said see ya.

      • stonedtodeath61

        He was in an accident at around 5am He was drunk but was not driving, that was a young lady from one of those famous Montreal Ballet spots driving his truck, I believe there was a second performer in the truck as well. 24 Y.O. making coin and wearing the toilet seat logo on your sweater opens avenues in Montreal that the rest of the country only sees on TV. Sin city for a reason. Hope he can turn it around in his head, this is either a nothing deal or a steal.

  • Flying Elinski Brothers

    Seriously, this is the best he could do. This team is in bad need of defence, so we get a winger. From what I see, we have Luke Gadzic wasting a roster spot already. Maybe him and Kassian will be McDavids new wingers, protecting our asset. Fix the frickin defence, wingers are not our biggest problem. But hey wtf do I know.

  • workashardasSmyth

    If Zach can get his act together , then he’ll be a valuable asset for team . A Right Winger with power and scoring ability , which is absent from our squad now . Might even pan out to be protector for Hall , Hopkins or McDavid , or at least give them space to better operate . I like the trade and he is only 24 to begin with . Sort of like adding McSorley to old Oilers lineup .

    • Mangiant

      what makes you think Kassian would stand up for his team mates? he won’t even stand up for himself when challenged by Gazdic. However, he was a real monster when Gagner was in the area. Kassian is a sheep in wolf’s clothing.

  • DDane0208

    I believe the trade is a low risk high reward based on this is his last year of his contract and he still remains an RFA. If Kassian has been focused since the start of his rehab hiatus it should reflect quickly (5-6 games) in his performance in Bakersfield. We should be seeing a highly motivated player who will be fighting to maintain his career and more importantly his own well being.
    The additional motivation will be to join his old spitfire teammate (Hall).
    If all goes well Kassian could be riding shotgun with 1 of 3 power pairings Hall-Drai, Nuge/Ebs or McD/Yak. This would be high reward!

    • Burnward

      I know it is a minor thing, but Gazdic’s teammates like and respect him. I am not sure how Kassian is in the locker room, but taunting a guy you injured on a dirty play is something no one respects – not even your own teammates will think it is cool. This guy is a slightly lesser Raffi Torres. Maybe there is some hope if he can get his life together but…

  • Willi P

    FINALLY ……. Some Toughness and Grit. Chia Pete is a genius. ZACK KASSIAN is a Lucic / Brad Marchand combo player. Every team needs one of these rough riders. Especially in the playoffs.

    Sorry OILERNATION to let you all know this, but the current Oiler Group we have now….. Is “SUPER SOFT”.

    And come on now, it’s not like we gave away Jordan Eberle or Yak to get him either. We gave MTL an overpriced Minor league Goalie who stinks up the joint every time he is between the pipes.

    HERE IS SOME INFO YOU ALL DID NOT KNOW??
    KASSIAN and Taylor Hall played together in Junuior with the memorial cup winning teams in Windsor. There is a history there.

    Do your homework people. I’m sure Chia – Pete has.

    I’m sorry but Chia-Pete has a Stanley cup ring. None of you naysayers do.

    • Tony Montana

      Chia-Pete!!! That’s so funny! I’m sure that name toughened him up in grade school.

      Honestly, I was shocked when I first heard the trade. But I am sure Chia-Pete did his homework to see where Kassian was at with the substance issues. Usually when you go through the formal rehab program it helps a lot and health care is getting better at helping people through this kind of thing. The addicted need people who embrace the person in kindness while encouraging them away from the choices that hurt them.

      After I have thought about it for a bit, I think it is a good trade for us if Kassian can stay drug-free, focus on hockey, AND the Oilers can embrace him and put the infraction with Gagner behind them. Skill-wise he has scoring ability that is better than our current 4th-line put together right now.

  • The Oilers Shot Clock

    He’s a 24 year old kid. I’m pretty sure I already know what my twenties would have looked like with money and a little fame. Very few can relate to a professional hockey player in Canada when it comes to temptation. I hope he arrives grounded, humble and grabs this second chance by the horns.

    A player with size who’s proven he can produce on a bottom 9 role with the ability to move up in the line up? We just got that for free potentially.

  • CanaDave

    If any of the players on the Oilers or the Condors is influenced that easily by the actions or attitude or 1 new player in the room, that would say a lot more about that person than Kassian, in my opinion.

    Since Scrivens was an asset doing absolutely nothing in the AHL this year, I have no problem with turning him into a piece that at least might contribute to the NHL team at some point and at worst will be gone and clearing up another spot on the roster.

  • Tanker

    If PC can make more moves to toughen up this team then there will be happy days ahead. Add some grit to our skill and look out NHL.

    Remember when McSorely speared Mike Bullard of the Flames, and he claimed “temporary amnesia.” Remember how much the Flames and their fans hated Tikkannen, and how much we loved him. Remember when the twin towers (Smith and Beukeboom) set the tone for the whole series with the Flames in the playoffs in 1988, when on the first shift they basically ran the whole flames team and scared the sh*t out of the city of Calgary. Any coincidence that we owned the Flames in those days. Did any of us really care whether McSorely was a dirty player or not?

    I can’t wait to return to those days, and I look forward to the time when little Johnny hockey will be looking over his shoulder. The Oilers have been pushovers for far too long, and an embarrasment to this city and passionate hockey crazed fan base.

    The worm is starting to turn – can’t wait for next year when we have a better defence. Can’t wait.

    • MontanaMan

      Please don’t compare Kassian to a players who have some pride in what they do.

      After the Bullard incident Mcsoely was suspended for the rest of the Phlegm’s series. 1st game the following year he fought Tim Hunter, he didn’t tell Hunter “I don’t want to fight” and them taunt Bullard.

      • The Soup Fascist

        You missed the point. McSorely was suspended and deservedly so, but the Oilers weren’t getting their show run and stood up for themselves. Its something our current squad seems to have a problem executing. Wouldn’t you say? Lots of guys wanted to fight Tikkannen and he didn’t fight much, but he got under the other teams skin and was a major agitator. Something the current team could use don’t you think.

        Gazdic is a honourable bare fisted figher, but what good is that? Why didn’t he take a run at Johnny G last night to send a message? I’m not sure what his role is? If we had a pest like Kassian hitting and pissing guys off, I don’t care whether he fights or not.

        Also, how do you know that Kassian doesn’t have pride in what he does?

        Lots of good people have issues and try to turn it around. Are you perfect?

    • Derzie

      We all have our nostalgic dreams. The NHL is not a goon league anymore. Head hunting end up in suspension. Players that have speed, skill and competitive drive are today’s player. The non functional or semi functional tough guys are no longer useful. Kassia will help but will be in the penalty or press box more often than not. What the oil need are defense and team leaders. Not individuals and thugs.

  • The Soup Fascist

    It’s a low risk move that has very little downside:

    1) Chia and Jim Benning are very well known to each other I would expect Chia would have the low down on his addiction issues (which were significant) in Vancouver.

    2) as mentioned above Taylor Hall would have some insight on the guys demeanor and ability to fit into a team, assuming he is clean

    3) Kassian has shown the ability to be a big, mean skilled player – albeit in small stretches

    4) It gives Scrivens, a guy who was never coming back here, a chance to revive his career and opens up room for a younger goaltending prospect.

    5) Kassian is an RFA this summer. If he does not have his crap together he is either booted out for substance abuse or not re-signed.

    Personally, I think it is a long shot that Kassian plays a significant role with the big club, knowing the little that I do about Kassian’s demons, but the risk is infinitely small. If it works you have a cheap, skilled big man who can play in your top 9. If it doesn’t what have you lost? Scrivens value was essentially less than zero given his contract and numbers this year. A “right” Kassian would be a much better hockey player than Luke Gazdic.

  • Jay (not J)

    Alright Santa. You pooched Christmas with losses against Van and Calgary but this is outright offensive. A lump of coal’s a lump of coal but my stocking is dripping onto my mantle and it looks like it’s going to leave damage.

    Alright, alright, alright obviously there is an element to Kassian’s game that has been absent in Edmonton since Torres’ departure. In preparation for the return of CMD the Oilers need to toughen up and start to be the initiators and the instigators when it comes to physical play. There can be no more rising stars crumpled up in a pile by the boards and maybe adding the dirt bag POS Kassian is part of the answer. On the other hand maybe he never makes it out of Bakersfield and this is just about moving Scrivens along.

  • 15w40

    Meh…..

    Scrivens was never going to dawn an Oilers jersey again, Kassian was never going to play for the Canadiens.

    The NHL is a meat market plain and simple. If Kassian comes in sometime and provides hardnosed positive contributions, then he will be the toast of the town.

    If not he will be buried in the AHL for the remainder of his contract and be known as the scourge of the earth & forgotten about quicker than you can say broken jaw.

    If being a good citizen was at the top of the list of job skills in the NHL, I’m sure there would be a few more players’ whos transgressions haven’t become public knowledge who would also be out of work too.