Zach Kassian placed in NHL’s substance-abuse program, Oilers demote Leon Draisaitl, plus updates on Stephane Robidas, Clarke MacArthur and much more.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens forward Zach Kassian was placed in the NHL’s substance-abuse program following a motor-vehicle accident over the weekend which left him with a broken nose and injured foot. GM Marc Bergevin voiced his disappointment toward Kassian yesterday, calling into question the winger’s character.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bergevin said there’s no timetable for Kassian’s return and he could be placed on injured reserve. He also said he’s considering his options for the player. That could include suspension or terminating his contract. If Bergevin’s decides to give Kassian another chance, the young forward better make the most of it, as his NHL career will depend on it.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers assigned winger Leon Draisaitl and goalie Ben Scrivens to their AHL affiliate in Bakersfield.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was assumed Draisaitl had earned a roster spot for the upcoming season but older rookie Anton Slepyshev had a better preseason. Unlike Scrivens, Draisaitl has a future with the Oilers and could return to the lineup later in the season.
THE GLOBE AND MAIL: The Toronto Maple Leafs are stuck in a difficult situation with veteran defenseman Stephane Robidas. While officially listed as injured, he didn’t miss any time in training camp or preseason. The Leafs seem reluctant to demote him, as they view their farm team as a youth-only development system.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs have no room for the 38-year-old Robidas, who was past his best-before date when signed by previous management last year. Problem is, they can’t find any takers for him in the trade market because of the two years (at $3 million annually) left on his contract. Perhaps they place him on LTIR, provided his knee injury is serious enough to warrant that move. Otherwise, they’ll have to demote him or just keep him in the press box all season, taking up a roster spot that would’ve gone to another player.
CALGARY SUN: The Flames will enter the season carrying three goaltenders. Jonas Hiller, Karri Ramo and Joni Ortio are all on one-way deals and must be placed on waivers before being demoted.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s widely believed the Flames want to trade Hiller, who has a year left on his contract worth $4.5 million. Unfortunately, they can’t find any takers right now. They won’t demote Ramo and won’t risk placing Ortio on waivers.
OTTAWA SUN: Senators winger Clarke MacArthur (head injury) is doubtful for the Senators season-opener on Thursday.
THE PROVINCE: Youngsters Jake Virtanen, Ben Hutton and Jared McCann all cracked the Vancouver Canucks roster, while Frank Corredo, Alex Biega and Linden Vey were placed on waivers.
WINNIPEG SUN: Jet rookies Nic Petan, Nikolaj Ehlers and Andrew Copps made the cut.