Montreal Canadiens: Controversial Former Habs Winger Finds New Hockey Home

Oct 20, 2022; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens defenseman Arber Xhekaj
Oct 20, 2022; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens defenseman Arber Xhekaj / David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports

The Montreal Canadiens have had some controversial players over the year, much like nay organization would. Nobody had a shorter stint with their team than Zack Kassian did with the Canadiens.

The first round pick of the Buffalo Sabres from the 2009 NHL Draft was traded to the Vancouver Canucks in 2012 for Cody Hodgson. He arrived with the Canadiens in 2015 and was traded to the Edmonton Oilers before he ever played a game in a Canadiens jersey.

The reason for that was an incident that occurred in the early morning hours during his only training camp in Montreal. Kassian's truck, that he was allegedly not driving at the time, was crashed into a tree in a Montreal suburb. This was after a few other incidents earlier in his career such as a bar fight when he played in Junior that resulted in an arrest, a 20 game OHL suspension for head contact, a match penalty and three game suspension in the middle of the OHL Final and a two game suspension at the 2011 World Juniors as well.

When he recovered from his injuries, the Canadiens traded him to the Oilers for goaltender Ben Scrivens. He ended up playing seven seasons there, and signed a ridiculous contract that had a $3.2 million cap hit and should have expired following this season but he was bought out after scoring two points in 51 games last season.

He had a tryout with the Anaheim Ducks this season but did not get a contract offer and announced his retirement from hockey at that time. It appears he has changed his mind as he just signed a new contract.

This will not see him return to the NHL, but join Sparta Praha of Czech Extraliga for the remainder of this season. He will join some familiar names with NHL experience like Filip Chlapik, Roman Horak, Michal Repik, Stanley Cup winner Michael Rempny, Vladimir Sobotka and former Canadiens farmhand Michal Moravcik who played part of one season with the Laval Rocket.