Sep 25, 2013, 1:31 PM EDT
A day after his fitness received only a lukewarm endorsement from head coach John Tortorella, Canucks forward Zack Kassian was vowing to take advantage of the extra training time — courtesy an eight-game suspension for breaking Sam Gagner‘s jaw — that he’ll be afforded the next few weeks.
“I need to make sure I stay on top of things,” Kassian said today, per The Province. “If you’re looking for a positive, it’s a time to get into even better shape than I was. I have to look forward to something and it’s getting into even better shape.”
Yesterday, Tortorella referred to Kassian’s fitness as merely “OK,” adding that the suspension “gives us a chance to really nail him as far as conditioning. That’s one plus. And he will get nailed.”
The Canucks are hoping for big things from Kassian in 2013-14. The 22-year-old winger is expected to get the opportunity to skate with the Sedin twins on Vancouver’s first line.
Before he was suspended, however, Kassian’s performance in two preseason contests failed to draw a ton of praise.
- Arbitration filed: Holtby, Nyquist & Stepan highlight list released by NHLPA 10
- Report: Plotnikov paid $500K to get out of KHL contract 12
- Philadelphia signs ’15 first rounder Provorov 11
- Brandon Saad brings championship experience to Blue Jackets 22
- Sharks sign Joel Ward to three-year deal 24
- Sabres lock up O’Reilly through 2022-23 74
- Locked in: Columbus signs Saad to six-year, $36M deal 28
- Oilers sign McDavid to entry-level contract 29
- ‘Hawks would like to re-sign Oduya, but still working through ‘financial hurdles’ 17
- Trade: Caps acquire Oshie from Blues for Brouwer, Copley and draft pick 73
- Blockbuster: Kessel traded to the Penguins (131)
- Trade: Flyers send Rinaldo to Bruins for 2017 third-rounder (105)
- Trade: Jackets land Saad; Anisimov and Dano headed to Chicago (93)
- Bypassing a buyout? Kings terminate Richards’ contract for ‘material breach’ (90)
- Sabres lock up O’Reilly through 2022-23 (74)