Kassian actually played very well in his short time here this season. He made very good decisions with the puck, he played hard in his own end and was responsible defensively, he chose his spots to be physical but did not run around getting out of position trying to hit people or impress simple fans, he took his cue from his veteran leaders, and he managed to fit into the various roles he was given in a short time as a very young player in a new city and system. People who are complaining that he wasn't visible enough lack vision, plain and simple, and weren't really paying attention - they were too busy wishing for failure so they could cry foul over the intelligent decision to clear out all the growing Hodgson baggage. Kassian was actually quite impressive - anyone would be hard pressed to identify a single mistake the young guy made. On the other hand, if you were watching any of Buffalo's late season games....
A person who's watched the game for a long time would know he was a liability out there defensively, which was maybe why he was stapled on to the bench. If you analyzed his game properly, you would've seen that he's way too aggressive in his own zone when he's trying to cover the point-men, hence leaving them wide open for easy shots. Not only that, he was chasing the puck like crazy as well.
I want Kassian to succeed, and I was stoked after his first 2 games. Then what happened? how come all of a sudden he stopped hitting, stopped being "mean", stopped driving the net, and resorted to bone-head plays which involved making ill-advised passes. Why was he COMPLETELY invisible in the playoffs when he supposedly is this great power-forward in the making?
I look at the rookies of the Flyers and they were not brought in for toughness, yet they had more of a mean-streak and offensive touch than this so called "mean-machine Kassian". I saw Schenn, Coutourier, and Read getting into the faces of Malkin, Crosby, and Neal, yet I look at Kassian and he was no where to be found. If that's not enough, look at Dwight King from LA.
If you're a mean player, its not going to change whether you're in the AHL, NHL, or w/e league in the world. Simply put, that facet of his game is overrated and he's, not that type of player. Like I said before, he was labeled by Buffalo fans as a "Gentle-Giant". He's being compared to the likes of Lucic, but if you think about it, did Lucic change his game when he was a rookie? He hit at every chance he got, and hit hard. I look at Kassian for the 30 somewhat games he played and he maybe threw a few hits in 2 of those games he played?