Oilers Trade Ben Scrivens for Zack Kassian


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

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. 

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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.  


Dear Ben,

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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.

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.

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

Your friend,


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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 

  • a lg dubl dubl

    I like the move. Put him on the third line in place of korpi.Call THE 3RD LINE THE MAKE EM PAY AND SCORE SOME GOALS LINE Bring in Magratten and Yakimov and put them on the 4th line with Gadzic. Call them the WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO ABOUT IT LINE. The 1st line Hall,Dri,Purcell line is HOW DO YOU LIKE THOSE APPLES LINE. Pou,McD,Yak, will be the THERE,NOW TAKE THAT LINE. RNH and Ebe and Schultz could bring us two top D men. Sorry just having fun.

  • a lg dubl dubl

    What do the Oilers have in terms of gri on the team? Hendricks, Nurse and….. Kassian will provide more of that if he can prove himself. I hope he does, I hated watching the Oilers play against him.

    Gazdic has done what exactly? Get into 2 fights all year?

    Edit: Sam freaking Bennet ran the Oilers all night last night….SAM FREAKIN BENNET!!!!

  • 15w40

    Can’t believe we stil worried about gagne and not the fact the team is full of players that can’t fight their way out of a wet paper bag . I hope the flood gates open and eberle, shultz gazdic nugent they are just plan soft and don’t seem to get it

  • HockeyYoda

    Here’s my thoughts from someone who lives in Vancouver and has seen Kassian play a lot. ( but yes I do like the Oilers)

    On the ice, I liked what Kassian brought to the team, A decent amount of speed and skill who had trouble with consistency. What I never understood was why he was in the doghouse so often. He would play several good games in a row in which he would score or make a nice play. And then he would have one bad game in which he might not have done anything wrong but just didn’t do anything to stand out, and they would put him in the doghouse. It seemed like his leash was much shorter than everyone else and I never understood why. When his substance-abuse became public, I got my answer.

    On the positive, Kassian has the speed and skill set to play in the top six when you need a physical presence. In fact, he may be able to provide that rare combination with mcDavid and at the same time provide a little protection for him. This alone could make his addition very significant, and probably worth the risk.

    What risk? The risk of adding a clearly undisciplined party presents to a large number of young man with a lot of money. For you fathers out there, and I am one. Even though you trust your son, you still don’t want him hanging out with Kassian after the game. For those that say he deserves a second chance, ask yourself if you actually think this is just the first time he’s been caught?

    A potential power forward for someone you had no plans for.

    • DDane0208

      Thanks for your insight on Kassian during his time with the Nucks. A couple of points to your comments:
      1) agree on the speculation that he’s been caught partying before.. If there were previous incidents, none of them were made public. This public incident was not only intervened by his team but by the league. Big difference! Sometimes a slap on the wrist doesn’t work and this could be one of those examples.
      2) this is his second chance! Previous speculated incidents were not!
      3) I may be right… Maybe wrong…. But this will be his opportunity to show he belongs in the NHL.

      • HockeyYoda

        Yes, I agree with you that the fact that since this was the first time he was caught publicly and the league has intervened it may be enough to get him on the right path. I’m just a little more skeptical because he was just traded to Montreal, given a fresh start on a very good team and he totally blew it.

  • S cottV

    OMG – who cares about the Gagner issue.

    If Kassian can beat the addiction thing and can get his game back, it would be a wonderful thing.

    You can’t win without some down and dirty trench warriors and we are gonna have to trade more frat boys to get more of them.

    I hope it works out big time.

  • MontanaMan

    Go back and look at ON comments on Kassian when he was a Canuck. Now check your comments. Hilarious. And please don’t compare him to a real hockey player like Lucic. Kassian couldn’t carry his jock.

        • Doctor Smashy

          If we don’t want Flames fans to troll us for being hypocrites then maybe we shouldn’t act like hypocrites. Sorry, let’s be real here. And spare me the ‘grit’ and ‘sandpaper’ tropes. Kassian is a just a crappy human and will make this team worse.

          • The Soup Fascist

            Hate to ruin Eutopia for you but not every professional athlete in the world is a good guy. And there have been plenty of a-holes that have won championships.

            I am tired of not being in the playoffs. This team is far too easy to play against. If a “jerk” makes this team better, so be it. And if Kassian can turn his life around and be a jerk on the ice without disrupting the room – great – for all involved.

            How much of Kassian being a “crappy human being” is related to cocaine addiction? Have you met Kassian or know him well enough to make that statement?

            I don’t think the Kassian thing in Edmonton will work out, the odds are against it, but if it does great. It is better than not trying.

            The real tragedy is that there is a very real chance a young guy has thrown his life away to substance abuse. I hope ALL in that situation – not just athletes – are able to find their way out of that abyss and improve their lot in life.

          • Doctor Smashy

            That is a fine sentiment – he could turn his life around and that would be great. However, I could raise your “do you know him?” response with a “since when are the Oilers a charity organization?”. Then we would both have made stupid comments. Many of the current Oilers may not be nice guys, but that isn’t the issue. Zack Kassian has serious problems and you are dreaming if you think most people in that dressing room are going to totally cool with what kind of person he has shown himself to be. Do you remember what the other Canucks looked like when he was taunting Gagner? Professional athletes do not like that kind of crap. He isn’t an agitator, he is a cancer. Fine, maybe he changes but in what way does he address any problem we have? That is really the point. You can be sanctimonious all you want but people are judged by their actions and his have been terrible on and off the ice.

          • The Soup Fascist

            Never said the Oilers are a charity. I am very clear that they are trying to address a team need as inexpensively as possible. Nothing altruistic about the move.

            At the end of the day it is a business. And if guys are pissed off they have to bring a Kassian in – assuming he is able to get his crap together – maybe they should have looked after their own backyard.

            This team has a decade of losing. If a couple of noses are out of joint so be it.

  • Beaumatters

    I like it.
    #1. Right now it is a minor league deal. If it does not work out in Bakersfield he will not see the Oilers.
    #2. Odds were Scrivens was not playing for the Oilers again and was a road block for younger guys.
    #3. This guy was very effective when he played with the Sedins, I might be too, but the point is he can play with skilled players, not everyone can.
    #4. Has size, is a knob, skates well and has some offence. If it works out, we could use all of that.
    #5. I see no risk for a possible huge reward. This guy should know this is about his last chance, if not, cut him loose like Montreal did.
    #6. The guy has been a goof, but is now 24, hopefully at the bottom of his career / life and is hopefully now just maturing. Sound familiar.

  • Anton CP

    Let’s move all the hates to the side for a minute.

    I think this is a risk free move with a few benefits. Kassian is still young, if he can get his sh!t together then maybe some hope with him. Besides if Hall did involve in the trade so Kassian can possibly still have an NHL career, don’t you think that Kassian will take a bullet for Hall for being his savior? Besides, the Oilers are finally getting their own goon.

  • Randaman

    I wonder if Tikinnan ever had other teams fans talking smack about him like Kassian had us all doing?

    Hmmm. Give him a chance before sticking a pitchfork in him.

    No risk = no reward

  • camdog

    Wow, I didn’t think it was possible to hate the Oilers more but….. honestly what are you thinking? The guy is a thug, nothing more. If you wanted grit, make a flipping real trade! Lucic was available in the off-season, Hamonik and Okposo could be had right now… this is a desperation move, makes your team worse….

    • cb28

      I agree with your assesment of Kassian but I don’t think he will ever embarass an Oiler’s jersey. Bakerfield are very short of forwards at the moment and have to play Dmen as forwards lately. So I think that this is an AHL move and hopefully Kassian will be out of hockey this summer.

      • S cottV

        Well – I certainly would have preferred Lucic but the lineup desperately needs some down and dirty in a hurry.

        You guys can’t see that? Sam Bennett is kicking Oiler @ss for crying out loud.

        I guess you think we can completely pretty our way back into the playoffs?

        Embarrassing an Oiler jersey? Out of the playoffs for 10 years… – I don’t think so.

    • Randaman

      We rid ourselves of a guy who was taking precious development time from our potential future goalie and we add a guy who is a shift disturber. Scribes would not have come back to the NHL. Yet somehow we made our team worse? Okay then. ?

    • Anton CP

      Kassim isn’t expected to make the team. Let alone save it. Every team in the NHL could of had him for nothing. This is asset management. Scrivens had zero value. Kassian had zero value. Kassian is a RFA at seasons end. If he works out, like Roy last year, maybe he gets a qualifying offer. If he doesn’t work out. He’s out of the NHL. Just like Cam Barker. Talent gets you drafted, hard work gets you opportunity.

      This us all up to Kassian. At worst a depth move for the farm team. Best case a potential power forward seizes the day and makes the most of his opportunity.

    • mrBacon

      You do realize the Oilers made a strong push for Lucic and Boston didn’t want to deal with us because they were bitter about Chiarelli, right? I hate Kassian too, but he doesn’t make the team worse. At worst, the team stays the same and Kassian never sees the NHL.

    • Mac07

      A Flame fan hates Oilers more now? Hmmmm. Mission accomplished.
      Hamonic is still in the works. Boston was never going to trade Lucic to Edmonton.
      And nobody is surprised a Flame fan cannot see the real advantage to this deal.

      • danrather

        Advantage? Like what? He infects guys down in Bakersfield with his attitude and unforgivable style of play? Or the message that Chiarelli sent to his group that he is willing to bring this joker into the organization? Hamonic is in the works yes, but to the Jets, the Oil will never land him because much like Cyril Figus, PC is a timid man… if he had any guts at all he would have moved Klef or Nurse already and got that deal done. Or is “potential” still worth more than performance in Oilers Land? Keep thinking that way forever and you will be what you are forever.

        • Mac07

          Hahaha!! Only a Flame would look at Klefbom or Nurse as a forward move in a trade for Hamonic. There is a reason we didn’t give up Nurse for Hamilton. And the advantage is that Laurikainen is now back in Bakersfield. But again. Being a flame fan, you guys never see the big picture.

          • Ty Guy

            Is this the same “big picture” that has kept rebuilding and missing the playoffs for ten years? Yup I guess I am not seeing it. At some point don’t you have to trade potential for performance now? I mean how much longer should you wait to be competitive??? I’ve said it before you Oilers fans have become so confused by all of this loosing, you think endlessly acquiring talent is better than winning!

          • Burnward

            My B.S? Which part? The Fact that the Oilers have missed the playoffs for a decade or the fact that Oilers fans endlessly wait for existing players to “emerge” into superstars because that will solve the problem?

          • 5 Cups

            You are a sucker for buying into this “Chia has been here only 7 months” crap. Bottom line is this team has been the joke of the league for 10 years. Yes 10 years, not 7 months. Chia was supposed to bring the experience and smarts to move this mess forward SAP. Not to try and learn on the job how to make this team better. Haha. I guess if you drink enough cool aid you are able to survive wondering in the desert for a long long time.

      • Burnward

        Cool story bro. I bet you were the kid on the playground who took his ball an went home when things didn’t go your way? FN hasn’t ran an article about this trade so tough to comment on it there. And I have an interest because as my handle suggests I live in Edmonton, kind of hard to avoid Oilers talk…. and generally speaking the debate on Oilers Nation is good. So yeah I guess I’m a moron.

          • Burnward

            I see why you like the Kassian trade, you are cut from the same cloth. Making light of rehab and substance abuse problems, classy. And honestly if think adding a guy like this to the Oilers is a good thing, rock and roll. I’ll enjoy watching the Oil miss the playoffs for a record setting 11 years next season.

          • #97Train/McDavidCopperfield

            Also Ferland has never two hand slashed a guy, broke his Jaw and then made fun of him the next time he saw him… so there’s that as well.

          • The Soup Fascist

            Fair point, if he could do that again and keep his nose clean, then I guess you win this trade. I just think you are underestimating what trading for this guy says to the rest of you team…

          • 15w40

            It says they are sorely lacking in the push back agitator department.

            Based on your arguments they aren’t really in a position to be too choosy on who they try.

            If he doesn’t clean up his act then he will be down the road and likely out of the league. If he does then maybe the Oilers won’t keep getting stuffed in the proverbial NHL hall locker and their lunch money stolen by literally EVERYONE with no response whatsoever.

            Most recent examples would be the Davidson cross check and Sam Bennett running around like he is 6’3″ and 225 lbs. I’m not a flames fan but hey kudos to him for at least being present in the game and being a factor when he didn’t figure in the scoring.

          • #97Train/McDavidCopperfield

            That’s good for Ferlund. The same opportunity should be alloyed Kassian in a new organization. I don’t see the big risk as he will be plying his trade in the AHL. However if it works out it would be a great acquisition. Not many guys have the skill and toughness Kassian can bring.

          • #97Train/McDavidCopperfield

            So you think Ferlund is the only guy to straighten his life out? No reason Kassian can’t do the same thing while slapping out a flame or two.

          • #97Train/McDavidCopperfield

            Fair enough. I just think that he could be a valuable addition if everything falls into place . Lots of ifs though. A guy has to look himself in the mirror and know this may be his last chance before Europe.

      • #97Train/McDavidCopperfield

        Explain how this is a desperation move, he is on his way to the AHL and may never ever put on the Oilers jersey. We gave up a goalie who is not in the Oilers plans and was never ever going to put on the Oilers jersey again, so where is the harm in testing the waters to see if Kassian can turn things around? It’s a very low risk, with potential to be a decent reward… I don’t see the desperation in it at all, just good asset management.

  • Double Pennertration

    This is how the trade went down…Gazdic went up to PC asking for a Christmas present. He said his life has never been the same since seeing poor Gagner get his jaw broken. He wished that he would have broken Kassians jaw right after but he never did and it’s kept him up every night since and he’s never been the same. So he asked PC to trade for him since his only chance at Kassian now would be if he were an Oiler and they were on the same practice ice. PC said he’ll do it for him under one condition…the next time we play Philly on March 3rd I want 2 Flyers defencemen taken out. Gazdic agreed and now here we are…

    All jokes aside though I wish the best for Kassian and hope our team can help him turn himself around and reach his true potential.

  • Double Pennertration

    Few thoughts:

    History says its doubtful Kass becomes a fan favourite in YEG.

    Players are pros, Sam no longer plays for the team, any bad blood very likely left with samwise.

    Odds of Zach playing in NHL games this year? Probably 30% chance at upper end.

    He’s not a Gadzic replacement. More likely bumps The Hero or Korpi. I’d like to see him slotted on a line with Matt and Mark. That could give opponents fits.

  • Randaman

    By this trade Oilers did Ben a solid, he has a chance again, he was done here. There is now a position open for developing a future goalie. So the oilers took a flyer on a possible abrasive player, what’s the down side,if any oiler in the past yrs did what Kassian did to Sam, he would be revered. Has everyone forgotten how many games in the last decade the Edmonton oilers have had their lunch stolen?

  • cb28

    It is a good trade because Scrivens deserved more than to just rot in the AHL on a team that no longer needs him. If anything its good to see the team player who threw a Oilers jersey back get another chance. So we could have got a bag of pucks and this overall is a good trade for everyone!!!

  • Randaman

    The guy is not Gazdic’s replacement he has a ton more skill than people give him credit for…he just needs to get his act together and if he does he’ll play top 9 mins, replacing some soft players lie Korp, Purcell in the process.

  • Anton CP

    Besides, there is no better place to have a fresh start than with a team still holds grudge with. It is an extreme jolt that may finally get the oil going.

    • Anton CP

      he may be a superb citizen but can’t play goal in the NHL or even the AHL…the Oilers went out and got what?? A guy who has struggled with some demons…maybe had to go to rehab and get some help. What did he do exactly that was so bad? He was a passenger in a vehicle that was involved in an accident, think about that, NOT the driver. So he broke Gagner’s jaw big deal, is Gagner even in the NHL anymore??

    • Beaumatters

      And how did Montreal get him in the first place? Did they not give up a pretty good player to get him? Did they not do their homework on this guy before trading for him? That’s what a good, classy organization would do. I guess not. The Oilers know exactly what they are getting and gave a good guy another chance. (Things a classy organization does) Here is some advice. Turn your head to the right, then to the left, really fast, multiple times.

  • The Last Big Bear

    I actually think this was a decent trade for the Oilers.

    If Kassian can get his poop in a group, I think there’s still upside for him to be an excellent 3rd liner. Probably doesn’t happen, but a 25% chance of becoming a productive and effective roster player is better than you’d have if you flipped scrivens for a pick.

    Good trade for Montreal too, since they obviously don’t want this guy anywhere near their team, and any asset in return is a win.

    Probably a nothing-for-nothing trade, but both teams gave up basically nothing and have at least some realistic chance of getting something useful out of it.

  • cb28

    The reasons everyone hates him is the reason he has been slightly successful, it’s not only grit it’s gettin players off their game. He is a pest like Marchand with size. I for one beleive they have needed that guy for years. He was -3 with van in 11-12 and -5 in 12-13 not really a liability if you ask me

  • fisherprice

    Despite all the rationalizations here (AHL roster, only called up if he proves himself, bygones are bygones, etc.) which technically make sense, I still hate this move. I do not like Zack Kassian and his dumb face and I fear seeing him in an Oilers jersey. I don’t care if I’m being unfair. Boooooooo to this.

  • BorjeSalming-IanTurnbull

    Breaking news***

    The Bakerfield Times reports three Condors are in jail following a raid at the Holiday Inn last night. Zack Kassian, Griffen Reinhart, Anton Slepyshev and three hookers were arrested at the scene. 5 grams of cocaine and 15 exstacy pills were found. The night manager said that he saw Jared Stoll drop by the hotel room hours earlier.

  • fisherprice

    For the record: I don’t like Kassian.
    Now picture this… McDavid is back, he is rolling, we are on a tied game against (insert team here, who hired Kassian) and Kassian goes into the boards with McSavior…..
    What happens next?
    Chances are our guy gets a dirty hit and nobody steps up for him.
    I’d rather have this dude working for me than against me.

  • Anton CP

    And, now Scrivens will be playing behind of real NHL defensive pairings like what he used to have back in LA. With the goalie situation in Montreal that Scrivens maybe able to help Habs to win a few more games while Price is still out.

  • The Soup Fascist

    I don’t know how I feel about this trade. On one hand Ben gets another chance and is closer to Jen who is playing in NY. Kassian – I have disliked him since before the Gagner hit and I still don’t like what he does or doesn’t bring to the team. But some moves are needed, our PP and second periods are pathetic and stirring the pot can only help. I guess it’s wait and see, but I really hope he sucks in Bakersfield (if that’s where he’s going)and is let go. No-one EVER wants to see another injury like Sam suffered form this goon ever again.