Here's a video interview of Zack Kassian from the Habs site.
I’ve slowly warmed up to this trade, although admittedly I’m an easy sell. I was sour at the outset at the loss of veteranship and chemistry and effort from Brandon Prust, but I do see the greater potential of Zack Kassian, especially the type of skills he brings.
This isn’t a Christian Thomas for Danny Kristo trade, ‘quatre trente sous pour une piasse’, this is a topnotch light-heavyweight enforcer for a heavyweight with hockey skills who can tally goals, and who fills a need on the Top 6 RW side. Add in the smaller cap hit, his upcoming RFA status compared to Brandon’s UFA, and the throwed-in 5th-rounder we got, which is gold in Trevor Timmins hands, and this may be an inspired swap.
I remember how over the last couple of years, when someone would float a Zack Kassian trade, I’d derisively shoot it down, explaining that the ‘Nucks would want a similar type of prospect/young player in return, a Mike McCarron or Jarred Tinordi, to replace that kind of talent and size profile, which they are also short of, as they measure up to the Ducks and Kings. I wanted the player, but I didn’t want to give up that much. Now we have him, and didn’t.
Sure, Zack’s trade-value has fallen even further since then, I know that the Canucks were at their wits’ end with Zack, couldn’t even fire-sale him for a seventh-rounder at the deadline last season, but he is young, can benefit from a change of scenery. He certainly seems to have the right attitude and vowed to work his hardest this summer to have a career year. Based on the video he is trim and fit, he’s less jowly than he’s been at times with the Canucks, and passes Paul Maurice’s now-famous ‘shirt off test’.
If Michel Therrien can do the same job with him as he did with Dale Weise, giving him clear direction and then letting him play, we might have something on our hands here.