Reports are indicating that the Edmonton Oilers have signed Zack Kassian to a 4-year contract extension with an AAV of 3.2 million dollars. This comes after weeks of reports that said the two sides were very close on a contract extension.
Four-year term.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) January 29, 2020
Kassian has proved to be a valuable player for the Edmonton Oilers this season, putting up 28pts and playing the majority of his time beside Connor McDavid. He is also on pace to surpass career highs in goals, assists and points.
He has been an unlikely fan favourite in Edmonton. His first impression in the city was made during his time with the Vancouver Canucks, where he infamously broke Sam Gagner’s jaw with an errant high stick. This would give him the label of public enemy number one in Alberta’s capital until a controversial 2015 trade brought him to the Oilers. His impact was immediately felt and he ended up being a major part of the team’s playoff run during the 2016/17 season.
Recently he has found some chemistry on the top line with Connor McDavid and James Neal. His aforementioned career high totals have gone a long way in cementing his future with the team for the next 4 seasons and the organization clearly values the type of game that he brings on a nightly basis.
It will be a highly contested contract among the Oilers faithful. While he largely liked by the fan-base there are doubts that Kassian will remain as productive over the course of this contract. His gritty style of play inserts a level of wear-and-tear that could easily derail a career. There is also the fact that the it seems as though the Oilers are paying for 1-year of above average production from Kassian which involves a high-level of risk that it continues into the following seasons.
The timing of the contract is certainly of interest, as Kassian is set to return the Oilers lineup after missing the last 2 due to a suspension stemming from the January 11th incident involving Matthew Tkachuk. After much anticipation Kassian and Tkachuk will meet tonight at Roger’s Place.
Whether you like the deal or not, Zack Kassian has cemented himself as a key player on this Edmonton roster for the next few seasons.
Bob Mackenzie reports that the contract will not have any type of trade clause attached to it:
Kassian contract breakdown:— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) January 30, 2020
Year 1: $2.5M salary, $1M signing bonus.
Year 2: $2.5M salary, $1M signing bonus.
Year 3: $3.5M salary.
Year 4: $2.3M salary.
The contract does not include any type of no-trade protection.