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BLOG: Kassian fit, but needs reps

by Chris Wescott / Edmonton Oilers

As a part of the whole process in getting back to the NHL, Zack Kassian has kept himself in good shape. He passed the fitness testing and is four games into his season, having played down in the AHL with Bakersfield.

“I feel good,” said Kassian. “Obviously, with the hands, I’ve only played four games. All-in-all, I feel really good. I did some fitness testing and did well in that. I’m just excited to get into games.”

Kassian’s excitement will almost certainly provide a boost tomorrow against San Jose, but that can only take a player so far. He may need some time to get back up to NHL game speed. However, Kassian’s familiarity with the conference and the league could help him feel it out quicker.

“He’s got NHL experience in all these buildings,” said Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan. “He played out in the Western Conference a lot, he understands his opponent. He’s mature. He knows enough to know what to expect and he’s in tremendous condition. Now, is his timing and awareness at the NHL level elite yet? He’s got to play to get that.”

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