Former Canucks forward Zack Kassian announces retirement from NHL
Photo credit:Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
By Mike Gould1 month ago
Zack Kassian, who appeared in 171 career games with the Vancouver Canucks over parts of four seasons with the club, announced his retirement from the NHL on Thursday.
The 32-year-old forward was bought out of the final year of his contract over the summer by the Arizona Coyotes, with whom he collected two points (both goals) and 50 penalty minutes in 51 games during the 2022–23 season.
Kassian attended the Anaheim Ducks’ 2024 training camp on a professional tryout contract but was unsuccessful in earning a spot on the team’s roster. The Ducks subsequently claimed enforcer Ross Johnston off waivers from the New York Islanders.
In total, Kassian managed 92 goals and 203 points in 661 career NHL games over parts of 12 seasons. In addition to the Coyotes and Canucks, Kassian also skated with the Buffalo Sabres and Edmonton Oilers.
“To play in the NHL is one thing, but to make a 12-year career of it is pretty special,” Kassian said in a statement released on Thursday. “From coaches to equipment staff and fellow players I’ve met along the way, I’ve made so many relationships that are going to last a lifetime.”
The Sabres originally selected Kassian in the first round (No. 13 overall) of the 2009 NHL Draft. The former Peterborough Pete and Windsor Spitfire appeared in 27 games with the Sabres as a rookie in 2011–12 before being sent to Vancouver in a shocking one-for-one mid-season trade for Cody Hodgson.
Kassian appeared in eight playoff games during his tenure with the Canucks, but he enjoyed his greatest exposure to the postseason in Edmonton. With the Oilers, Kassian suited up for 37 playoff contests and helped the team reach the 2022 Western Conference Final.
The Oilers traded Kassian to the Coyotes in 2022 as a cost-cutting measure; Arizona received two future draft picks in the deal and also moved up from pick No. 32 (Reid Schaefer) to 29 (Maveric Lamoureux) in the 2022 first round.
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