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Kassian says he's learned from 'big mistake'

Sabres rookie camp LEWISTON – Zack Kassian knows he made a mistake.

"A big mistake," he said.

The Buffalo Sabres’ prospect seems eager to atone for it.

Kassian, the Sabres’ first-round pick in 2009 who was charged with assault last month, is attending the team’s development camp this week at Niagara University. His on-ice skills in Dwyer Arena have shown why the Sabres picked him 13th overall, but there’s also no doubt his off-ice moves are worth watching as well.

The 19-year-old was allegedly involved in an early morning confrontation at a bar May 30 in Windsor, Ont., with the victim suffering a bloody mouth and chipped tooth. After examining the evidence, police charged Kassian with assault June 2.

"Yeah, it’s been tough, but I’ve learned from it," Kassian said. "I’m just trying to get better day in and day out, and my main focus right now is to leave a good impression and make this team."

The altercation occurred shortly after Kassian and the Windsor Spitfires won the Memorial Cup as champions of junior hockey. He said he’s learned "how fast things can turn around on you and not to take anything for granted."

Kassian and the Sabres were working toward his first professional contract prior to the incident. Afterward, the team decided to temporarily suspend negotiations with the 6-foot-3, 210-pound right winger.

"They were upset, obviously," Kassian said. "No team likes to hear that news. But I’m young. It’s a mistake. It’s a big mistake, but I’ve learned from it and I think I’ve become a better person from it."

---John Vogl

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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl |

About Sabres Edge

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

@BNHarrington |

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz |