Forward Zack Kassian has been reinstated and entered the follow-up care phase of the league’s substance abuse and behavioral health program, the NHL Players’ Association and the NHL announced.
Kassian, who had been under contract with the Montreal Canadiens, was subsequently waived by the team, reports Renaud Lavoie of Journal de Montreal.
After being involved in a car accident in Montreal on Oct. 4, Kassian was openly criticized by Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin for being out late just a few days before the start of the regular season. Kassian, who was not driving, broke his foot and nose in the crash.
Police told the Montreal Gazette that the driver, a 20-year-old woman, hit a tree in a pickup truck. Kassian and an 18-year-old woman were passengers.
A first round draft pick (13th) by the Sabres in 2009, Kassian has since bounced from Buffalo to Vancouver to Montreal without fulfilling his potential. He recorded 16 points off 10 goals and six assists last season. Before the accident, he was expected to be the right winger on the Canadiens' fourth line.
Montreal sits atop the Atlantic Division with a 20-8-3 record.
- Christopher Chavez