Hodgson for Kassian
Vancouver sends center Cody Hodgson and Alexander Sulzer to the Buffalo Sabres for Zack Kassian and Marc-Andre Gragnani.
The deal basically saved the day for the TSN’s and Sportsnets of the world. For the most part it was a terribly slow, boring day filled with minor deals and draft picks changing hands.
The deal itself sees Vancouver lose its third line Rookie of Year candidate in exchange for a bigger, tougher, slightly less experienced, version in Zack Kassian.
In Hodgson, the Canucks give up some definite scoring depth as through 63 games this season he had 16 goals and 17 assists – not bad for a rookie playing third line minutes behind the like of the Sedins and Ryan Kesler. He was quickly becoming too good for the third line role he was in and instead of trying to keep him happy, the Canucks shipped him east for a player that a lot are comparing to Milan Lucic.
Kassian has split time between the AHL and NHL this season scoring three goals and adding four assists in 27 games with the Sabres. At 6’3” and 228 lbs. he gives the Canucks the size they have been looking for, but it’s not going to provide immediate dividends in my mind.
Pundits on the boob tube were saying that Kassian will be Vancouver’s answer to Milan Lucic. One (Steve Simmons) went as far to say that would if Vancouver plays Detroit in the conference final and then doesn’t even get a chance to play Boston in the final then this deal makes no sense...
Ever heard of putting the horse before the cart Steve? Get your head out of your ass. First off, there is no guarantee that Vancouver will make the conference final, let alone the final and there is no guarantee Boston will make it back either. I guarantee Mike Gillis didn’t say, “We better get Kassian so he can take down Lucic when we get to the final.”
There’s some logic.
Kassian probably will see time with the Canucks this season but to expect him to provide the immediate impact that a Lucic brings to the Bruins is ludicrous. This is more of a long term move in my mind for the Canucks and could pay dividends as it’s a kind of player the Canucks do not have. Losing Hodgson will hurt and puts a lot more pressure on the Sedins, Kesler, Burrows, Raymond et al to do all of the scoring.
The Canucks pick up of Sami Pahlsson fills the third line center role for the team and will become a part of the new shutdown checking line in Vancouver.
Truthfully, the loss of Hodgson will sting right now, but the move, along with the Pahlsson move, makes Vancouver a more complete team. Add in a puck moving defenceman in Gragnani to fill the void left by the injured Ballard and Gillis did a decent job.
This, coming from a Flames fan that is forced to hope that the Canucks still fall short given their ridiculously good team.
For more trade day breakdowns check out these quick hits from TCL-West's Nick Symon and Greger Buer:
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