Zack Kassian's Career Could Tragically Be Over

TJ Tucker
March 20, 2024  (9:57)

Zack Kassian while playing for Sparta Praha of the Czech Extraliga
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What has been a very strange hockey season for former NHLer Zack Kassian has become even more strange after the gritty forward left his new team as it prepares for the playoffs in the Czech Extraliga.

Former NHLer Zack Kassian Leaves New Team and Returns Home

Kassian had announced his retirement from pro hockey back in November after failing to find anyone to sign him as a free agent.
However, in late January it was announced that Kassian was coming out of retirement, having signed a deal with Sparta Praha in Czechia.
Kassian played 8 games during the regular season with the team, scoring 2 goals and 1 assists. However, with Sparta getting ready for the first round of the playoffs, it was announced that Kassian has returned to North America and the agreement with the team has ended.
"Canadian Forward Zack Kassian is leaving our club for personal reasons. By mutual agreement, he will no longer continue in Sparta. Today, he flew back to his home country to visit his family. With regard to the player's privacy and the ongoing playoffs, HC Sparta Prague will not discuss the termination of the contract in more detail. We wish Zack all the best in his personal and professional life. - HC Sparta Praha's Official Website

The head of the team, Tomáš Divíšek, sad Kassian's departure is disappointing, but Praha has to move on.
"Of course we regret his return to Canada, but we fully respect him. We agreed to end the cooperation. We have a wide enough squad, in which we have 100% confidence in the ongoing playoff."

Kassian, who is 33 years old, was a high NHL draft pick, going 13th overall in 2009 to the Buffalo Sabres. He also suited up for the Vancouver Canucks, Edmonton Oilers, and Arizona Coyotes over the course of his 661 regular season games in the NHL. Kassian made his money on the ice with his fists and his ability to get under the skin of opponents. He finished in the NHL with 92 goals and 111 assists for 203 points. He also racked up 993 PIM.
Hopefully, his departure from Czechia isn't a signal of something serious happening with him and/or his family. Kassian seemed very excited about coming out of retirement and joining a new team, even if it wasn't in the NHL any longer.
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Zack Kassian's Career Could Tragically Be Over

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