Vancouver Canucks right winger Zack Kassian arrived in Vancouver on Tuesday with fellow Chicago Wolves teammates Kevin Connauton, Chris Tanev, Andrew Ebbett, and Jordan Schroeder. The latter four took the ice on Tuesday, but Kassian did not raising concerns about his health.
Kassian did take the ice on Wednesday by skating briefly by himself. He revealed to the media that he is dealing with back spasms, but Kassian says it is not too serious and he will be ready for the opening of training camp on Sunday.
“I’ve had some spasms but nothing major,” Kassian told the Province. “It just takes a little time to heal. Today I felt good on the ice and it’s day-by-day, and I’m on track to be good for training camp. I don’t know how I hurt it. I woke up and it was tight and I had another little issue. Skating and playing games probably didn’t help, but we’ve got it solved.”
Whether the spasms are “major” or not will be determined by the Canucks medical staff on Sunday when the players undergo physicals. If he is indeed fine, he could find himself skating alongside Daniel and Henrik Sedin on the top line.
Vancouver Province columnist Tony Gallagher made the suggestion on Wednesday and Henrik sounded open to that idea.
“I think he’s got a lot of talent and a lot of potential and he’s going to be a very good player in this league,” Henrik told the Province. “He’s got good hands, he’s good around the net and works hard. There’s not much time to spend on experimenting, so we’ll see what happens.”
The Canucks picked up winger Steve Bernier from the Buffalo Sabres in 2008 for a second and third round pick because they felt his right-hand shot and size would complement the Sedins well. However, Bernier was unable to show a touch around the net and it was clear his offensive instincts was well-below that of the Sedins.
Whether or not lining Kassian up with the Sedins works or not remains to be seen. But one thing is clear, Kassian has shown a touch around the net and the ability to dominate the corners while playing in the minors with the Wolves this season. He’s even shown some Sedin in him.