BROSSARD, Quebec — Montreal Canadiens forward Zack Kassian has entered a substance abuse program after being involved in a motor vehicle accident.
Kassian, 24, was placed in “Stage Two of the Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program,” according to Monday’s statement from the NHL and NHL Players Association. He is suspended without pay until he is cleared for on-ice competition by the program administrators.
Earlier in the day, Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin said Kassian showed a “lack of character” when he was involved in the accident.
Kassian broke his nose and left foot in the crash early Sunday morning in Montreal. Two women with him in the vehicle also suffered non-life threatening injuries.
Bergevin was told that Kassian was not driving the vehicle when it went off a road and crashed into a tree. No charges were filed against the player.
Bergevin said he hoped it will serve as a wakeup call for Kassian, who was acquired in a trade with the Vancouver Canucks in the offseason for veteran Brandon Prust.
Bergevin hadn’t yet spoken to Kassian and was still gathering details. Forward Dale Weise, who played with Kassian in Vancouver, had talked to him and was just happy to see that no one was badly hurt.
“That’s the main concern here: No one in the car was seriously injured,” Weise said. “I don’t think we should be worrying about who did what wrong.”
Thumbnail photo via Eric Bolte/USA TODAY Sports Images