Montreal Acquires Ben Scrivens for Zack Kassian

The Montreal Canadiens have sent forward Zack Kassian to the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for goaltender Ben Scrivens, in a swap of players who were NHL regulars last year, but have yet to appear in the NHL this season.

The Oilers will retain 24% of Scrivens’s $2.3 million salary and Montreal is planning on having Scrivens suit up on Monday, though they haven’t announced if he’ll start or not. He’s spent the entire season with the Bakersfield Condors of the AHL, where he has an .893 save percentage 10 games.

The Canadiens gain some goaltending depth with Carey Price still out of the lineup. It’s been a problem for the team through their recent slump where they’ve gone 1-10-0 in their last 11 games. Scrivens’s contract is also up at the end of the season, so it’s a low-cost acquisition to get goaltending help now and won’t impair their ability to make moves in the offseason.

In a related move the Habs have reassigned Dustin Tokarski to the St. John’s IceCaps of the AHL.

Kassian was suspended to go through the league’s substance abuse program after a preseason incident. He was just allowed back and the Canadiens waived him and were sending him to St. John’s. With him having been waived just before the holiday break, the Oilers are able to assign him directly to AHL Bakersfield, which they have done, according to’s Dan Rosen.

Edmonton gains a little forward depth as they’ve struggled to stay healthy this season, sending away a goaltender who they weren’t going to bring up to the NHL with Anders Nilsson and Cam Talbot playing reasonably well.