Photo Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Zack Kassian seeking trade out of Edmonton?

According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, the Edmonton Oilers have given Zack Kassian permission to “seek a trade” and try to find a fresh start elsewhere. Kassian signed a three-year contract extension that carried a $1.95 million AAV in the offseason leading up to the 2017-18 season.

How about this for some breaking news after today’s big win against the Nashville Predators? During a panel segment Elliotte Friedman, a source I would definitely list as trustworthy, mentioned a potential roster move coming and that the Oilers have granted permission to Zack Kassian to find a new home. Friedman didn’t specify why Kassian wanted out or what the Oilers might be willing to accept in exchange for him, but it’s definitely a bit of unexpected news for a Saturday night.

“Zack Kassian has permission from the team to seek out a trade out of the city to try and find a fresh start.”

Like many people that read this website and comment on the articles, I’ve wanted and expected a lot more out of Kassian and it’s been frustrating to watch him not play up to his abilities. He doesn’t seem engaged and doesn’t come within a $5 cab ride of being the dominant force that we saw in the playoffs against the San Jose Sharks. Even today, the penalty he took at the end of the game was easily avoidable and came at a time when the Oilers were trying to defend a lead. Maybe this yearning for a fresh start is weighing on him? Maybe? We’ll have to wait and see.

Watch the clip below:

Kassian arrived in Edmonton in the trade sent Ben Scrivens over to Montreal in exchange for the winger that desperately needed a fresh start, both in hockey and life. Since coming over, Kass has pulled off one of the most incredible PR moves in Oilers history as he turned himself into a hero after spending many years as a villain around these parts. The story was great and in that way, it’s a bummer to see that he wants to bail, but you never know what’s going on in a guy’s mind or personal life so we’ll just have to sit back and wait to see how this thing plays out.

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In 194 games with the Oilers, Kassian has scored 17 goals and 34 assists for 51 points while adding another three goals in 13 playoff games in 2016-17. He’s signed for another year after this one with a cap hit of $1.95 million per season.


2018-2019 6 0 0 0 -4 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0
NHL Career 393 52 65 117 -33 621 4 7 0 2 6 0 491 10.6

Source: Elliotte Friedman, Sportsnet, 10/27/2018

  • @S_2_H

    This is too bad, but it sounds fairly mutual. I’m guessing kassian voiced his concern about the number of scratches he’s faced this year, and the team said – if you don’t like it you can leave. I’d be more concerned if he was showing any signs of his former play returning. We’ll miss you big Kass but we’ll gladly take the cap space.

  • RexHolez

    Before we all take the easy way out and take a deuce on Zack, are we allowed to ask why an nhl winger would want out of an organization that is begging for wingers? If the team didn’t play a rate good game tonight I’d be wondering what the **** is going on

    • Bills Bills

      The bottom six depth is as good as it has ever been. He is being challenged for ice time. If he doesn’t like it, too bad. I like his style of play on occasion but he has not been able to make any sort of difference on most nights unless he takes a penalty and they get scored on.

    • Drake is looking amazing everytime he’s fresh out of the pressbox, Chiasson has looked sweet soo far, and JJ Khaira and Brodziak are the constants on our 4th line. I think it’s obvious that the coaching staff wants to keep rotating the 4th RW spot every night to keep guys fresh. When Rattie comes back Kassian will have to rotate with Chiasson and Caggiula. He’s not going to get the playing time he wants and we can’t exactly keep him in a closet until the playoffs.

  • jsch999

    He’s been healthy scratched twice this year with little improvement on return to the lineup. I would guess that Zack can see the writing on the wall from players passing him in the line up. I don’t believe any team will want him and the oilers will end up sending him to the condors.

    • Dallas Eakins Hair

      True, but it is really up to him to make the coaches want to keep him in the line up, if your not performing and invisible someone is right behind you to take your spot that is the way it works. Cagguila was getting ripped and he sat came back and has been really really good, no reason Kassian couldnt do the same. We arent going to get the real story and can speculate, but it really is on him to play better to make teams want him or to get more ice time even more so if he wants a trade

  • foureyedmike

    It’s too bad, he went from being my favorite Oiler to barely noticeable. Can’t think there’s a lot of takers at the cap hit. Of course it’s curious, but also none of my business.

    Timing is weird; he’s at 393 NHL games played and 400 gets you a pension…

  • Pikester

    I was really impressed when ZK first played for the Oil but most of last season & so far this season he’s been nearly invisible so if he wants out then thanks for the memories & don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out I guess …

  • Heschultzhescores

    If he just played like he can, there would be no issue. I hope he stays and picks up his game. I know we’re all thinking about his past and has it returned? It’s a reasonable question given his sudden drop off in performance.

    • FISTO Siltanen

      Any specific reason why that is? I understand the oil patch makes it easy access but that’s died off and isn’t it just as easy to get hard drugs in any US city that it is here?

      Honest questions

    • rnj

      Could write a text wall about it, the most concise way to say it is the culture. Everything from the way the city is laid out, to the pervasive old school mentality about mental health, high rates of substance abuse and violent crime, isolation etc

      The most jarring difference is the alcoholism . Holy smokes I’ve never seen such widespread and socially accepted drinking problems.

      Combine that with a lack of funding and you have a disaster for addiction based health issues

      • Himynameistaylor

        The fact this has trashes is mind boggling. But it’s also probably the same “if you don’t like it leave” crowd.

        The city sucks. Aside from pubs and bars what’s there to do that is either family friendly or you can do as a single person in your 20’s-40’s. There’s nothing. We have a run down water park in a mall that’s always packed, and the weather is so inconsistent here we have to cram all of our festivals and such into a brief three month period. Edmonton is only interesting during the late spring-end of summer. There’s nothing else here that you can go out and do arbitrarily.

        And as a former youth support worker I have seen plenty of traumatized youth who don’t understand why their parents are raging booze hounds and why it’s making them so angry.

        We like the drink in Edmonton. And it’s not healthy.

        • GK1980

          Disagree pal. Edmonton doesn’t “suck”. I don’t even live there but have family who do. It’s what you make of it. You want a list of things to do give me a few hours. It’s an Awsome city and a great place to raise a family.

        • foureyedmike

          I’m from the prairies, and now in SW Ontario…

          Wouldn’t say the West sucks at all, I really miss it.

          But the cold is isolating, drinking is more pervasive (and alcohol more available and cheaper), and there’s more to do within a 2-hr drive here.

        • Birdmon86

          Lol you don’t pay enough attention and love to whine. There’s is something going on all the time in Edmonton. Concerts and shows at the winspear, river cree, the Shaw conference, and Rogers; Castro’s race track, century casinos is opening a horse racing track, Alberta art gallery, Telus world of science, the zoo, the freezeway outdoor skating path, farmers markets, world class recreation facilities, the festivals go all winter long. Just because you went to west Edmonton and got bored doesn’t mean there isn’t anything to do in this city.

    • Dallas Eakins Hair

      it really doesnt matter where you are if you have an addiction, you are the author of your sobriety, the want will always be there whether you can control it is always going to be a battle, it’s not easy to deal with by any stretch, and I hope for Zack’s case that it is more a hockey issue and not an addiction issue

  • Freddie the fog

    Dude hangs out in California all the time. Wife from there maybe ? I remember when he said he wanted to payback Chia for taking a chance on him when nobody else would. He went on about how he hoped to be an Oiler forever and be a big part of a championship team here one day. What a crock. Guy signs a sweet deal and wants out. He’s done nothing since April 2017. See ya

    • Dallas Eakins Hair

      Lucic wanted out too allegedly, and he has amped up his game a lot, and I havent heard a peep about wanting out since. Players say they love playing in Canada because the fans are so passionate about the game, but it’s not like in the U.S. where your like 5th sport down in the chain and the media isnt really on you like the Canadian market is, but Zack knows this, he’s played in Canadian markets, but I suspect that the criticism of his play this year and last and the reduce role and ice team and being sat may have pissed him off and not motivated him the way TM and co thought it would

  • FISTO Siltanen

    I love how Lucic has played this year. But let’s say he asked out and his agent was given permission to poke around. Imagine his reaction if the agent said there isn’t a single team in the NHL that’ll take you as is right now. Easy to get motivated to play better.

    Wonder if Zach will have the same conclusion drawn for him.

  • Johnnymaced

    I have no problem sending him packing. He had his moments but that’s literally years ago now. He doesn’t bring it anymore. That penalty he took after the midpoint of the 3rd might just be the nail in his coffin. I wasn’t to pleased with garrison and Benning also drawing in the game, also taking penalties in the 2nd half of the game while the oilers were trying to hold onto their lead. It’s great we have the depth to rotate players. I’m guessing garrison and Kassian are out tomorrow.

  • toprightcorner

    I think Kassian was on the block this summer, but there were no takers. Kassian was likely aware of this and feels his 4th line action and healthy scratches are personally based instead of performance based. Kassian seems all out of sorts, he is not using his speed or his size to his advantage and does not look invested into the game. I really hope he hasn’t relapsed, for his sake. I hope he can find a trade, if the Oilers could trade him for a 5th round pick and not retain salary, they should take it and run with the extra cap space.

  • Dallas Eakins Hair

    I liked Kassian his first year here, he was a force. Last year he was invisible, I dont know if he had an injury or , he was just having bad luck or if there were other issues, but Kassian wasn’t the player we saw his first year in.

    Now we know Kassian sat out a game, but honestly did anyone see anything out of Kassian in the preseason that was memorable? Other than a couple penalties I sure didn’t. Kassian needed to sit in the press box and get reignited, much like Cagguila had to, and Drake has been playing great since, and I was a critic of Drakes, same with Lucic, but both Cagguila and Lucic have been far better, even JJ after having sat is playing better.

    If this is Kassian not being happy about being sat or on the fourth line, or playing diminished minutes, well sorry but he deserved to sit or get his ice time or role slashed, it is totally up to him if he wants to be more involved or get more ice time, he just needs to be better. I dont think there is a big market to trade Kassian now, his salary and his play of last year and lacklustre show so far this year are not going to help his trade value, can he and his agent call around, sure, but what does that say to another team? Yeah my GM didnt think he could trade me or get someone to take my contract so I am here to tell you I am available, when can I get on the team?

    We are all on the outside guessing why Kassian wants out, but I honestly dont think it is going to do Kassian any favours to robo-dial teams to say “I can be yours, no money down and no trades! How can you pass up this deal, better act now 15 other teams want me! ”

    If Kassian really wants out, do what you did the first year you were here and make teams wants to call PC about you, that is his best option, this just looks like someone who wants to take his ball and go play with the other kids

  • Caggiula and Chiasson have shown more then him, Kassian probably doesn’t want to go to the AHL. If another team will take him for nothing then we should be all over it. Every good story has its end. This isn’t the long career and jersey retirement people dream of but he turned his life around here and went from below-zero to hero he played a huge part in the greatest time this city has had in this decade and Kassian jerseys will still be in the crowds for years, there’s nothing to be sad about moving him. I’d rather see him on another NHL team then rotting in Bakersfield.

  • ARB

    I loved Kassian in the 16/17 season, but he disappeared last year. We’ve seen the odd glimpse of the player he can be, but its soon erased by poor play or a bad penalty. Did you see the blank stare on his face when he got back to the bench after the Preds scored during his penalty? He knew he was on his way out.

  • Moneyball

    Kassians game is hard aggressive hockey that pushes the envelope not unlike Tom Wilson. With the way refs call the games now it’s tough for Kassian to play his game and he ends up just taking penalties. He needs to play more like Lucic and be smarter with the penalties. If he can’t do that Where is the spot for him on the roster? It’s not like we can’t replace his 15 points from someone like puljujarvi or anyone else for that matter.

  • Stinky Mitt to the Face

    Usually when teams give players permission to look for a trade is because the team couldn’t find one. It’s probably the miners for Kass.