REDEMPTION SONG

I am a sucker for stories about redemption, and the possibility exists for Zack Kassian to write a marvelous comeback story with the Edmonton Oilers. Question: How do fans feel? I talked to one fan in an effort to find out.

FORGIVENESS

  • What in the actual hell? Yeah, it still seems strange.
  • You canNOT be in favor of this!?!? I am, uh, undecided.
  • Great take, just lovely. Well, there are a lot of things to think about.
  • Sam Gagner says hello. Jerk. Hey, I understand the upset about Kassian becoming an Oiler after the things he did, but Oilers fans didn’t make this trade, they are just trying to catch up to it.
  • Do you remember the play? Yes. It is also available online.
  • Have a hard time remembering 2013, do ya? No, I remember the play well, and the moments afterward when Kassian mocked the Oilers and Gagner. I probably have a harder time forgiving that than the actual act—although Sam Gagner probably has a different view.
  • So, why are you fine with this? I didn’t say I was, to be honest it is a difficult thing for me to suss out. I agree it was an awful piece of business, but also believe in forgiveness, in the goodness of second chances—for everyone, for every single one of us.
  • So a guy SAYS he is sorry and that’s good enough for you? No, but through word and deed men who have failed can regain their good name. I believe that. Also, the trade and (now) recall make a sense in a hockey way. Kassian could be a very valuable addition, he can play the game.
  • And that trumps character? No, but it would be folly to suggest Kassian would be getting this chance if his skills had eroded. I think it is a difficult decision for each fan, but also expect Oilers fans to give Kassian a chance to show what he can do. Perhaps this difficult period will soon be replaced by a long period of success for this player, on and off the ice. If that happens, something so very good will have come from a dark day and a terrible moment.
  • And that is good enough for you? Yes. I think that is the point here. The reasons for making this move are hockey related, but there is also a human story, a great opportunity for Zack Kassian.
  • And there is risk for the Oilers? Not before today, when he was recalled. Beginning today, the organization owns the story good or bad—and there is some risk there.
  • Did Peter Chiarelli make a mistake? No. Either way, this was a reasonable bet based on risk and payoff. If it doesn’t work out, then the Oilers will have to suffer the consequences and then move on. A healthy and effective Zack Kassian can help this team. I know that is true.

That is a great interview, if you haven’t had a chance to listen well worth it. Kassian practiced today with Anton Lander and Nail Yakupov today, suspect we see him at some point in the next few days in his first Oilers game. I wish him good luck and promise to keep an open mind. That’s all anyone can ask in this situation.