The Oilers will be without winger Zack Kassian for the next little while as head coach Dave Tippett told reporters, including TSN’s Ryan Rishaug (Twitter link) that the veteran is listed as week-to-week after suffering a lower-body injury early in Wednesday’s game against Montreal.
It has been a tough year for the 30-year-old who also missed time with an upper-body injury sustained in a fight that cost him 17 games. As a result, Kassian has been limited to just 27 appearances this season where he has struggled offensively, notching just two goals and three assists while averaging only 11:51 per night, his lowest ATOI since his rookie season. Of course, he is more well-known for his physicality and he has delivered at that end, ranking third on the team in hits per 60 minutes at 13.68. Having said that, it has not been the year he or Edmonton had hoped for, especially with him being in the first season of a four-year, $12.8MM contract.
Kassian joins Jujhar Khaira (concussion) and Joakim Nygard (undisclosed) as forwards that are injured which means that James Neal, who was recalled on an emergency loan earlier in the week, could stay on the active roster for a little while longer. On the surface, with only 11 healthy forwards on the roster and veterans Tyler Ennis and Kyle Turris being on the taxi squad along with winger Patrick Russell and prospect Ryan McLeod, it would seem that one of those players would be recalled. However, with only $278K in LTIR room remaining, per CapFriendly, they can’t afford to bring anyone else up unless someone else is transferred to LTIR which could force them to dress seven blueliners for the time being.