Charges dropped; Zack back on track

After being sequestered for most of the day in corporate meetings, I returned to my Blackberry to see good news regarding the Sabres future:

Criminal assault charges against Sabres forward prospect Zack Kassian stemming from an off-season bar fight have been formally dropped. Let's turn it over to the Windsor Star for more details:

As part of the deal, Kassian had to perform 25 hours of community service, make a $500 donation to charity and pay for the dental work of the man he punched, said his lawyer, Patrick Ducharme.

Windsor police arrested the Spitfire forward just before 2 a.m. on May 30 at The Beach Sports Bar and Grill on Ouellette Avenue. Kassian, 19, didn’t have to spend any time in jail, being released the same day on a promise to appear in court.

Ducharme said a criminal record would have had “serious” implications on Kassian’s career. He was the Buffalo Sabres’ first-round draft pick and a criminal record would have made it difficult for the LaSalle native to cross the border.

“There’s no question that the Buffalo team wanted him record-free,” said Ducharme, in a telephone interview from an out-of-town trial.

And so it's time to move forward. With 17 points through his first eight games in Windsor, the next steps for the 6'3 bruiser are making Team Canada for the U20s and getting a deal done with the Sabres. The former seems like a lock, while the latter becomes the top priority for an organization looking to achieve that elusive "team toughness".

Kassian and the Spits will be in Erie this Friday for a date with the Otters.
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