The Montreal Canadiens announced Monday evening that newly acquired forward Zach Kassian has been suspended without pay. The right winger will also be enrolled in Stage 2 of the joint NHL-NHLPA Substance Abuse & Behavioral Health program.
The organization’s decision stems from an incident early Sunday morning, when Kassian’s Ford F-350 slammed into a tree in the Notre-Dame-de-Grace. Kassian was not driving the vehicle, but was in the truck along with two women, aged 20 and 18 years respectively.
With the long-standing rumours of substance abuse and erratic behaviour that has followed the 24 year-old Windsor, Ontario native, it comes as no surprise that the Canadiens’ organization, which values character, would come to this decision.
It remains to be seen whether or not successful completion of the program will allow Kassian to rejoin the Canadiens at some point in the future, but more importanly, let’s all hope he can clean up his act and get back to living a reasonably normal life.
(Photo: ANDRÉ PICHETTE, LA PRESSE)