Montreal's Zack Kassian (Francois Lacasse/NHLI via Getty Images)
The hulking Montreal Canadiens power forward will have to wait a little longer until he makes his regular season debut due to an early morning accident involving a tree. GM Marc Bergevin isn't impressed, but the Canadiens took a chance when they dealt for Kassian in the first place.
Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin unloaded with both barrels in a scrum with reporters as he detailed the injuries sustained by power forward Zack Kassian in an early-morning car crash on the weekend.
Kassian, who was reportedly not the driver of a truck that smashed into a tree in Montreal, broke his nose and his left foot as a result of the accident. While anyone can get in a car accident, the circumstances surrounding the scene had Bergevin livid. According to one report, the driver may have been drinking.
The GM told reporters he was disappointed, saying "Put it this way: it was early in the morning."
For a player who has had off-ice issues in the past, this was about the worst first impression Kassian could have made.
"I don't know how many wake-up calls you can get," Bergevin also said to reporters.
Kassian was acquired by Bergevin this summer from Vancouver in exchange for rugged veteran Brandon Prust. The 24-year-old Kassian has always represented untapped potential since he came into the league as a member of the Buffalo Sabres in 2011-12. He was traded to Vancouver that same season for a similarly struggling first-rounder, center Cody Hodgson. Last year, Kassian was even given time on a line with the Sedin twins in Vancouver, but due to a variety of factors, still has not eclipsed 30 points in an NHL season.
At 6-foot-3 and 214 pounds, it's not hard to see why NHL teams are enticed by Kassian, who can use his hands for either scoring or fighting. On the other hand, he was arrested during his junior days in Windsor after a bar fight, which is why this weekend's truck wreck may be weighing on Bergevin's mind a little more than it might have with another player.
Of course, Kassian's baggage has been known for years, so Bergevin may be just as mad at himself as he is at the player who is now on the shelf. Prust was a perfectly serviceable player for Montreal. Sure, at 31 he was much older and slightly more expensive, but he fought more and could also kill penalties.
The trade didn't look too savvy at the time and with Kassian living down to expectations so far, it's looking even worse in the short-term.