For the Canadiens, the deal addresses a need between the pipes. They’ve had to adjust to life without Carey Price, who’s been out since November 25 after sustaining another lower body injury. There is currently no timeline on a return, so Montreal turned to rookie Mike Condon and Dustin Tokarski in the meantime.
The 29-year-old Scrivens had been putting in time with the AHL’s Bakersfield Condors, but he was the starter for the Oilers in the 2014-2015 season. In that time, he posted a 3.16 goals against average and a .890 save percentage with a 15-26-11 record.
Scrivens has also seen time with the Los Angeles Kings and Toronto Maple Leafs, with 129 games of NHL experience. He’s a lanky netminder and he covers a lot of the net, but he’s not overly gifted in the speed department.
If the Habs intend on slating him in as the starter, he’ll have some adjustments to make. Apart from the 2014-2015 season, Scrivens has never played more than 21 games in a single season with a National Hockey League club.
The Canadiens have sent Tokarski down to the AHL’s St. John’s IceCaps. Meanwhile, the Oilers recently called up netminder Eetu Laurikainen from Finland.
Kassian cleared waivers a week ago and will not have to pass through them again to play in the AHL. He was suspended without pay and was placed in Stage 2 of the NHL/NHLPA’s Substance Abuse and Behavioural Health Program this season. The Canadiens immediately placed him on waivers when he was reinstated by the league and he was subsequently assigned to St. John’s. Montreal asked him not to report.
It should be noted that Kassian is still involved in the Behavioural Health Program. He’s in a stage the league calls the “follow-up care phase” but he’s cleared for takeoff.
The Oilers have expressed their intentions to stick Kassian in the AHL for now, however, and that’s likely where he’ll stay for some time. He’ll be a restricted free agent come this summer, plus he carries a cap hit of $1.75 million.