Zack Kassian owes Taylor Hall an apology.

Oilers center Sam Gagner was whacked in the face by Canuck Zack Kassian Saturday night (in a PRESEASON game) and will need surgery to repair his broken jaw. Gagner is out indefinitely.  Zack is really sorry.  Who are we kidding; Kassian a repeat offender and likely won’t lose a wink of sleep.  This heaps more bad news onto a team so thin at center; Oiler fans wish Shawn Horcoff was still on the roster. But that wasn’t all the bad news  from Saturday.  

In the same game, Vancouver forward Dale Weise (who?  EXACTLY!) missed decapitating Taylor Hall with the kind of elbow that would have made the Macho Man proud.  I believe both Weise and Kassian will be disciplined by the league.  The trickle down from these 2 events, by these 2 knuckle heads, should be noted.  But before we do that, let’s look at the financial ramifications:

Weise + Kassian = $1,56M in salary.

Hall + Gagner = $10.8M in salary.

This is the equivalent of Chevy Cavalier rear-ending a Ferrari while texting-and-driving. Think about that for a second.

Back to the point:

With Gagner out until who-knows-when, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins on the shelf until at least November recovering from shoulder surgery, the Taylor Hall at Center Experiment is all but assured.  Taylor will be challenged play and excel at a new position out of necessity.  To add personal insult to the team pain, Hall’s chances of making Team Canada are all but squashed.

As an Oiler fan, I can admit it.  Taylor Hall was a bit of a long-shot to make Team Canada on left-wing.  Now he can forget about it.  Even if he only plays 15 games at center he will then only have 15-25 games to prove he’s got what it takes to represent Canada on the wing.  If playing at an elite level in multiple positions was “easy”, players would do it all the time.  But they don’t ’cause it ain’t.

Clearly, I’m an Oiler fan.  Obviously, I’m upset.  Yes, my opinion may be a little slanted.  But what if a repeat offender (Kassian), and a career minor leaguer (Weise) put your team’s already-slim-playoff-hopes on the brink and came 5 inches away from killing one of your best players and an Olympic hopeful?   I think you’d be hot under the collar too.  What dumps gas on this fire is the fact that it’s PRESEASON.

The league needs to send out a memo to owners and General Managers.  The gist of it needs to be this:  It’s bad for the league to have yahoos running around trying to “play intense” or “show that they have edge”, etc. in the preseason.  If your player does something that warrants a suspension in the preseason, the franchise will be penalized with draft picks.  I’m not saying do this in the regular season (although I might say that a few years from now) but it’s just down-right ridiculous in the preseason to have this level of injury and violence.  How GM’s and Coaches deliver this message to their franchise is up to them.

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11 responses to “Zack Kassian owes Taylor Hall an apology.

  1. dale weise aint a career minor leaguer and kassian plays a physical game and is only 22, so calling him a repeat offender is a little silly, hes a young guy who plays a physical style its bound to happen, p[lus its not like he crushed him from behind or hit him to the head, he accidentally hit him in the face with his stick, (although still extremely careless i agree) and has he been suspended before? and if so when? must have been when he was in buffalo because to my knowledge this is his first suspension, but come on, cut him some slack, you oilers need a guy like kassian, and weise for that matter, who, is not a career minor league player

    • At the time this post was written, Weise had 194 games played in the AHL and 78 in the NHL. Maybe not a “career” but certianly a “long time” minor leaguer. Kassian has been suspended before: google it. The big one was 20 games in Junior for a nasty hit. The guy plays dirty. Sorry, man. The Oilers don’t need either of these guys, in my opinion.

  2. and wouldnt kassian owe gagner an apology?

    • No. The point of this article was to show that Kassian’s recklessness hurts Taylor Hall’s chance at making the Olympic team.

  3. aha i guess he does owe hall an apology then, put i disagree kassian plays dirty, he plays like a young reckless power foward still learning the proper way to play, like i said hes only 22, and that suspension was in junior so whatever, hes been suspended once in over a 100 nhl games, and it wasnt even for a hit. once he learns to take the recklessness out of his game, hell be extremely effective and wether the oilers wouldwant him or not, they still need a player like him to stand up for hall and gagner

  4. and youd be silly and bias to not want a player with kassian’s skill set, speed and size, whos also young and would fit right into your rebuild, could make your team better now,, and would make it alot better in the future, even as close to next season

  5. although id understand why you wouldnt want kassian in particular becuase of his jawing at sam gagner, but a young player just like him, although who has his package of size speed and skill, who also throws hits (clean hits, never been suspended for an illegal hit in the nhl) and stands up for himself and team mates,

  6. and sorry to keep posting this is my last one, but does a suspension in junior and the a suspension in the nhl like 4 years later make you a repeat offender? and would you consider adam erne dirty as well?

  7. sorry you just cant call a still developing player who plays like kassian dirty, it doesnt make sense, he plays physical, he made a mistake, its been known to happen

  8. If the Edmonton Oilers EVER trade a real asset for Zac Kassian, I’ll burn all my Oiler merchendise in the street and take you out for a steak dinner. Fact.

  9. Cody, is now a bad time to bring up the fact that Kassian did it AGAIN and that Weise hasn’t played in a while?

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