Sabres sign Kassian

The Buffalo Sabres have announced the signing of 2009 first-round pick Zack Kassian to a three-year entry level contract. The deal, which comes on the heels of the bruising forward being cleared of any criminal charges stemming from an off-season bar fight, will kick-in next fall.

From the Sabres:

Now in his fourth year of junior hockey, the 19-year-old Kassian (1/24/1991, 6’3”, 226 lbs.) currently leads the Ontario Hockey League’s Windsor Spitfires in scoring with 20 points (7+13) through 11 games. Kassian, who missed the start of the OHL season after an extended stay at Sabres training camp, is among the league leaders in scoring and has already posted a pair of four-point games this season.

The Windsor, Ont.-native has 135 points (52+83) in 168 career OHL games with Windsor and Peterborough. Kassian was traded to Windsor last season, and played a key role in the team’s Memorial Cup championship run. He finished with 16 points (7+9) in 19 playoff games, and added another five points (2+3) during the Memorial Cup tournament. The hard-hitting winger has also amassed 365 PIM’s during his four years in junior.


My take? This was expected and I'm glad it's done.

I won't be a revisionist and suggest that the team should have gotten things done in the offseason to offer the big boy a clean shot at sticking. There is no question the could Sabres have an immediate use for his bullish presence, but as a business they acted properly by deferring to the legal process. In the end, it's good to see quick action by both parties to close the sale.

Kassian will remain in the OHL but may still skate on HSBC Arena ice this winter as the banger's hot start has made him a virtual lock to wear a Canadian sweater when Buffalo hosts the 2011 World Junior Championships.
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