The Buffalo Sabres have temporarily halted negotiation talks with former first round draft pick Zack Kassian.
Kassian is working on his third incident this year.
He had been suspended one game for breaking curfew when his girlfriend came to visit. He was suspended for the nasty center ice hit this year. And now he has been arrested for a barroom brawl that left a bystander with a chipped tooth and bloody mouth.
While the Sabres have not “abandoned” the 13th overall selection in the 2009 Entry Draft, they are going to wait and see how his final year of juniors plays out.
Kassian has one year of junior eligibilty left if the Buffalo Sabres do not sign him this off season.
Couple of thoughts:
-Sign him, and put him under your wing. If he is in a more structured setting of the AHL – or even the NHL. But you don’t want to give him the impression that you are signing him as a reward for his behavior.
-The kid is ready for the next level. How much more can he grow in the minors? This is the one thing that holds the Sabres back from being a contender every year. They overuse their farm teams. With the rare exception, there has been not one draft pick that the Sabres haven’t allowed to toil away in the minors almost to the point of losing them before they play in the Bigs.
-Don’t wait too long. Remember when we lost the rights to Zigomanis because we waited until the last minute, and there was a documentation problem with the fax? The Sabres can ill afford to allow Kassian to re-enter the draft and have to waste two picks on him, if they can even manage to select him, again.
There’s the problem with the Buffalo sports teams again, the character of players being put ahead of their ability to help the teams they are signed to. I am not saying we should sign every Ray Lewis, Michael Vick, or Ben Roethlesberger that comes along, but the Sabres needed the added toughness that Kassian can bring. Maybe a trip to the bigs will help him grow up and mature to where they want him to be.