Bob McKenzie tweeted the following early this morning.
EDM and Zack Kassian are closing in on a one-year deal.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) May 19, 2016
I made some inquiries and it is basically a done deal.
What will his salary be?
Kassian made $2 million last year, but he had a cap hit of $1.75 million having made $1.5 million in 2014/2015. He was on his entry-level deal prior to this two-year deal.
Kassian tallied 3-5-8 in 36 games with the Oilers, after scoring 10-6-16 in 42 games with the Canucks in 2015.
I suspect Kassian’s one-year deal will be around the $1.5 million.
Near the end of the season head coach Todd McLellan said he sees Kassian as a bottom-six forward moving forward. Kassian has the ability to moonlight in your top-six when injuries occur, but McLellan and the Oilers see him as a physical forward, who is good on the forecheck and cycle.
McLellan had Kassian killing penalties in practice for the last month of the season. He didn’t use him there in games very often, but McLellan is hoping to use him in that role next year if he proves he can be effective on the PK. Kassian skates very well for a big man, and with Patrick Maroon and Benoit Pouliot on the roster, it is unlikely Kassian will be on the PP standing in front of the net.
To be a successful bottom six forward you need to be able to play on one of the special teams unit, usually killing penalties, and that’s why McLellan had Kassian learning how to PK in practice. McLellan was very honest with Kassian about the role he sees him playing on the team.
“I think when he came in the league people looked at him to be a top-six forward, and he put a lot of pressure on himself to play that role. I don’t see him fitting that role regularly now, but he has the skill to be a useful bottom-six forward for us,” McLellan said in late March.
What I like about Kassian is he has a dimension to his game. He is not a nondescript player. He is physical. He also has enough skill to make plays and he’s an excellent skater. Consistency is his biggest enemy on the ice, and a one-year deal makes a lot of sense for all parties.
Kassian wants to prove he can be an effective, reliable NHler and his off-ice issues are in the rearview mirror. GM Peter Chiarelli needs to see more from Kassian, so a one-year deal fits both sides.
Kassian has only played more than 42 NHL games in a season once, when he played 73 in 2013/2014. That was also his most productive campaign, scoring 14-15-29.
A one-year deal at $1.5 million makes a lot of sense for me. Does it for you?
The Oilers made it official at noon. He has signed a one-year deal worth $1.5 million.
Edmonton First Responders Day
On June 9th, the City of Edmonton will be announcing the first
annual First Responders Day in an effort to honour those that risk their
lives to keep our city safe.
First Responders Day will be an
official day where we to honour, celebrate, and support the first
responders and their families, in addition to raising mental health
awareness within the occupation. The event will showcase dozens of large
fire vehicles, bomb squad display, canine dogs, jaws of life
demonstration, raffles, live music, chili-cook off and much more.
If you would like to donate money to the cause there is a GoFundMe public campaign page for fundraising at www.gofundme.com/yegfirstresponders.
Monies raised will be going to Legacy Place Society – as they wish to
purchase a new house in Edmonton so they can better support all first
responders and their families during times of crisis.
More information is available at www.facebook.com/yegfirstresponders
Recently by Jason Gregor:
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- Monday Musings: NCAA Free Agents
- Can Maroon become a regular top-six forward?
- Scouting report: Demers