Former Oiler Zack Kassian signs contract with HC Sparta Praha in Czechia

Photo credit:© Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Ryley Delaney
4 months ago
Zack is Back.
It was announced on Monday that former Oiler Zack Kassian has signed a deal with HC Sparta Praha of the Czech Extraliga, the top league in Czechia.
Kassian announced his retirement from the National Hockey League back in October after being released from a professional tryout contract with the Anaheim Ducks. After spending a few months away from the game, the 33-year-old opted to make a return to playing professional hockey.
The Oilers acquired the right winger from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for Ben Scrivens in December of 2015, which stands as one of Craig MacTavish’s best moves as a general manager.
Kassian spent seven seasons with the Oilers, scoring 55 goals and 135 points in 412 games, along with racking up 556 penalty minutes. The 33-year-old also scored six playoff goals and nine points in 37 games, including this massive hit in Edmonton’s first playoff series since 2006.
Kassian’s best year came in 2019-20 when he had 15 goals and 34 points in just 59 games before the pandemic ended the season. Had the rest of the season played out, Kassian was on pace for 17 goals and 40 points in 70 games.
At the 2022 draft, the Oilers needed to move his $3.2 million cap hit and did so by moving their first-rounder in 2022, their third-round pick in 2024, and their 2025 second-round pick to move down three spots at the draft with the Arizona Coyotes.
In his one year in Arizona, Kassian scored just two goals in 51 games, along with 50 penalty minutes. Kassian signed a professional tryout contract with the Ducks in September before the start of the 2023-24 season but was released just five weeks later. Less than a month later, Kassian retired from the sport for a brief period.
Kassian will join former Oiler Roman Horák with Sparta Praha. The 32-year-old spent a season with the Oilers in 2013-14, scoring a goal in two games. With Edmonton’s American Hockey League team, the Oklahoma City Barons, Horák scored 21 goals and 48 points in 53 games that season.
Either way, hopefully, Kassian can find some success in Czechia, and who knows, maybe another National Hockey League team will come knocking to give him another opportunity.

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