Thursday, December 30, 2010

zack kassian, the sabres' chris neil

or maybe the sabres' daniel carcillo or sean avery...

not doubt the kid brings a tough, gritty package to the table for the blue and gold, but he's starting to come off as a mental midget in the vein of the aforementioned...

yesterday on wgr, host mike schoopsie was just gaga over kassian--an unadulterated, johnson-throbbing man-crush...

i say whoa...the kids got issues, whether or not they can be resolved is a different story...

lets start with this cheapshot that warranted a 20-game suspension from the ohl last january:



youthful over-zealousness?...yeah, absolutely...could he refine his game while still retaining the edge?...on the ice he could, as he helped harness his aggressiveness while the spits won the memorial cup, but the mental midget came out last may as he was arrested and charged with assaulting a man in a peterborough, ontario bar at 1:50am...

ok, sure, most of us have been in that situation, and because we're not "celebrities," not much happened except for the scrapes, bumps and bruises incurred on both sides...but for kassian, it furthered his reputation as hot-headed and easily provoked into aggression...in addition, it also meant customs troubles at the border, “If an individual has an assault charge on their record, they’d be found inadmissible into the United States,” said Chief Ron Smith of U.S. Customs and Border Protection. “There are ways to mitigate that, primarily through the Department of State which issues visas.“But under normal circumstances, initially, the individual would be inadmissible in the United States for the assault charge.”

that's why the sabres couldn't/wouldn't sign him to his first pro contract...they were forced to wait until the issue was resolved with kassian doing community service as a prelude to the charge being dropped, which it was in october...shortly afteward, he was signed by the sabres...

all of this meant that kassian would need to spend another year in juniors, and he's been doing well, especially on the offensive side of the game...he still remains one tough s.o.b. for the spits, but he hadn't done anything too stupid...until...this at the world juniors playing for team canada in front of a raucous canadian crowd at hsbc arena in buffalo, the team who drafted him:



he lines the unsuspecting czech up and unloads on him catching a shoulder and a chin and whiplashing the guy into a neck brace...was it clean?...borderline...but for a guy with his reputation (see above,) is it any wonder why the iihf added an extra game?...

before anyone blurts out, "it's hockey! ya pantywaist," try and recall what you were thinking when chris neil nailed chris drury in the very same fashion:



pretty similar, eh?

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