After a 10-minute phone call with NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan, the NHL has suspended Vancouver Canucks forward Zack Kassian for the rest of the preseason, plus the first five regular-season games, for his high stick that broke Edmonton Oilers’ Sam Gagner on Saturday. Kassian was assessed a double minor in the game at the time. When asked to comment after the game, Kassian hesitated getting into the details, but insistent that the motion was accidental, “I could sit here all day and plead my case. Like I said, it was accidental. In the game of hockey, things happens at a fast speed. I hope Sam Gagner has a full recovery,” added Kassian. “Obviously you never want to see someone get injured and have to miss games but it was a hockey play.”
This suspension is in addition to fellow Canucks winger Dale Weise who has also been suspended for the remainder of the pre-season (3 games) for a hit to the head on Oilers’ forward Taylor Hall. Weise was dealt two minutes for the hit.
The two teams are to meet again in Vancouver on October 5th.