Kassian itching to return

After being handed a 20-game suspension stemming from his January 10th hit on Barrie's Matt Kennedy, Zack Kassian is officially one week away from his March 7th return to the Windsor Spitfire lineup. Earlier this week, QMI spoke with Spits GM Warren Rychel and the tough-as-nails 19-year old about the time off and the impact his return could have on the talented club.

"He is going to be a huge addition for us going into the playoffs," Rychel said. "Zack's a physical fitness freak. He's been very good staying in shape. There is no problem that way."

With Windsor and Barrie clearly the class of their respective conferences, Kassian appears ready to move forward by sticking to his game.

If it should play out for the top seeds that way, Kassian said he won't shy away from contact with anyone, including Kennedy.

Kassian never spoke to Kennedy about the hit.

He held no grudge against Kennedy before or after the hit.

"It's the way I play. Hard, physical hockey.

"That's my game," Kassian said.

SabresProspects fully anticipates Kassian to make a significant impact in the OHL playoffs, where the intimidation factor should create space and set a tone for the loaded Spits. Having the 6'3 bull back-up their efforts physically while getting back in touch with his offensive side looks to be a win/win for both Kassian's current club and his future employer in Buffalo.
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