Can you imagine how that phone call went at six this morning? Marc Bergevin’s pulled out of a deep sleep by a caller – the police? Habs communications czar Donald Beauchamp? A reporter? – telling him that the guy he recently traded for, Zack Kassian, was in a traffic accident just minutes earlier.
As reported in The Gazette, the jeep he was in smashed into a tree on Clanranald Avenue near Cote St. Luc Road in N.D.G. A 20-year-old woman was driving the truck and there were two other passengers, in addition to the Canadiens forward.
Kassian suffered minor injuries, acccording to Beauchamp, who was quoted in The Gazette story.
So let’s hope that he and the other passengers are all doing fine.
Now on to the impact on the Habs. The short answer? Not so good. Bergevin traded fan favourite Brandon Prust to the Vancouver Canucks this summer in return for Kassian, who was an enigma with gusts up to a dud in Vancouver. Prust has been on a decline since his strong first season in Montreal and after a terrible playoff this past season, it was clear Habs management no longer had any faith in the gritty forward.
The view amongst many I talked to was that the Habs traded one problem for another. The other thing to keep in mind is that the Canadiens have always had a zero tolerance policy re off-ice problems. From Chris Chelios to Shayne Corson to Andrei Kostitsyn to Mike Rebeiro to Prust, the team has been quick to ship out guys when there’s even a hint that they might be a bad influence on the other players.
So what happens with Kassian? My pal Bruce Dinsmore insists they were on their way to church and certainly I’ve often made that trek straight from the after-hours club to the house of worship. Rafael Oullet suggested – ‘il allait bruncher avec ses cousines je crois!’ Maybe.
But let’s just be mild-mannered here, for a change, and mention that this is kind of a disastrous way for the first weekend of the season to start.
- Brendan Kelly