When Zack Kassian was in rehab, we wondered what his conditioning might be like, how game-ready he’d be once cleared to rejoin the team. We batted around the fact that he had to come back from a broken foot and broken nose, that that would set him back. I wondered if he was in lockup like in the movies for the guys who need to clean up from heroin, or whether he was in outpatient counselling, or somewhere in between these two poles, etc.
Anyway, it appears he trained for six weeks near the end of his rehab with a former LHJMQ player, Luc Beausoleil who was with les Voisins de Laval. The latter describes it as an “intense” six weeks session, and he says he’s optimistic that things will work out for Zack.
So yeah, it’s not as I feared somewhat, that Zack had barely any opportunity to work out while he was recovering, maybe pumping away on a rusty exercise cycle for twenty minutes a day, and had a long road to get back into shape. Most of the work was done when he was cleared.
Which makes sense. Zack’s needs as a patient are different than for your average bond trader or truck driver. NHL players or other athletes have facilities with programs tailored specifically for them, to get them to deal with their addiction, but also maintain their ability to earn a living in their field. He wasn’t eating bonbons and crying on Sandra Bullock’s shoulder for 28 days, he got in a lot of skating and training.
Which is demonstrated by his callup by the Oilers yesterday.