Blog Entry

Canucks ship Hodgson to Sabres for Kassian

Posted on: February 27, 2012 3:56 pm
Edited on: February 27, 2012 4:08 pm
 

By Brian Stubits

The biggest trade of the day -- by far, if you ask me -- came down some 40 minutes after the deadline. The Vancouver Canucks shipped young star Cody Hodgson and defenseman Alexander Sulzer to the Buffalo Sabres for former No. 1 draft pick and top prospect Zach Kassian as well as defenseman Marc-Andre Gragnani.

Even on a more normal (see: busier) trade deadline day, that deal is going to make a lot of news. Hodgson is a big-time player who has been blocked from getting good ice time in Vancouver. But the idea of trading him didn't seem to be much of a good one with his potential. The problem is he plays center and the Canucks sort of have some good ones ahead of him. You might have heard of Henrik Sedin and Ryan Kesler.

This season playing bottom-6 minutes, Hodgson has 16 goals and 17 assists. He has been a player that the fans in Vancouver have rallied behind to get more ice time, but again there wasn't much of it for him to take.

So he gets sent to Buffalo for Kassian, who won't be blocked at the center spot. He's a true power winger who is rough and skilled. The best way to describe him is as a freight-train type on the ice, he isn't soft out there to be sure.

The addition of Gragnani for Sulzer in the deal makes it a lot more appetizing for Vancouverites. Sulzer is a bit of a journeyman defenseman who plays in the No. 5/No. 6 role when he actually does play (only 12 games with Vancouver this season) while Gragnani is inexperienced but still very young. This was the first season in which he played more than 10 games, appearing in 44 so far for the Sabres while scoring a goal and 11 assists while sporting a plus-10.

Giving up Hodgson definitely comes as a surprise but apparently he was expendable. And it helps the Canucks get something they could use, a little more grit and toughness. It's hard not to view this addition of Kassian as partly in preparation for a possible rematch with the Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup Final based on last year's series. Bruins or not, it's a move to get a little tougher.

For Buffalo, it will be interesting to see if this satisfies the fan base's desire to see the team do something. It's been a very disappointing season, particularly based on the expectations for the Sabres so it was expected they'd do something. They waited until the very end by first trading Paul Gaustad to Nashville for a No. 1 draft pick and then this bombshell.

It's pretty easy to say that Hodgson is the big piece of this deal and he goes to Buffalo. But Kassian will have a role to fill in Vancouver without a doubt.

For the Canucks it was part of a busier day where they were determined to add some forward punch. In addition to the Kassian/Gragnani acquisition, they also landed Sami Pahlsson from the Blue Jackets and finished the day by getting Andrew Gordon from the Anaheim Ducks.

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Comments

Since: Jul 1, 2010
Posted on: February 28, 2012 6:23 pm
 

Canucks ship Hodgson to Sabres for Kassian

I liked the trade for both teams.  Initially I didn't like the trade for Buffalo because I read so much about how they want to be bigger and more physical and what not.   Losing Gaustad and Kassian doesn't do that.   I don't think Kassian is going to be more than a very nice player, I like Hodgson's ceiling better.  Kassian isn't that great of a skater either, which plays into my next point. 

Maybe Darcy is finally just admitting that he's going to have a smaller faster highly skilled team and will adjust the roster accordingly.   Better to be strong up the middle and highly skilled with more speed than to worry about smashing the way to victory at the expense of the other skill sets.   Plenty of teams have found success (and cups) without smashing people all the time.    Hodgson fits in better with the skill in Buffalo imo and they'll be better off long term.   Easier to find the physical role players than the quality talent up front, especially center. 

I haven't followed Ruff close enough to know if he's better suited or not, but I would think he's not the answer.   Anyway, if Buffalo abandon's the idea of being big, which it appears they have, I think they have a much better chance at being a quality team on the ice.    Move the puck and the legs and outmatch opponents in those categories and risk giving teams an edge in physical categories.  

We'll see, but the more I think about it, the more I like the move for Buffalo.    I'm even more curious about what they'll do this offseason.



Since: Mar 21, 2007
Posted on: February 28, 2012 2:15 pm
 

Canucks ship Hodgson to Sabres for Kassian

...a weak team just got weaker !
With Gaustadt and Kassian leaving; there's a huge hole ! Not only in size and hitting and fighting but in face-off winning.
Like Leino, CoHo will find that there's no one on his line willing to stick up for him. Couple that with his moving up to the 1st or 2nd centre spot (after shining on a Van. 3rd line) and you'll see him up against the better forwards and defensemen the opponent's have to offer.
And, Darcy's history with 1st round picks has been more bad than good or he just ships them out of here.
All this does is make a team lacking in chemistry even more inert !
We are 'Fracked' !
 




Since: Dec 11, 2006
Posted on: February 28, 2012 9:56 am
 

Canucks ship Hodgson to Sabres for Kassian

I thought Darcy did a great job yesterday.  Receiving a 1st round pick for Gaustad is beyond a steal.  Buffalo now has (2) 1st round and (2) 2nd round picks this year to add to the farm.  Gaustad is a decent role player - but I don't want him back.  It's amazing to see all the teary eyed comments from Sabres fans....even though over half of them were bashing him as part of the "core" that needed to be shook up.  Look, he was here for 7 years - that's long enough.  Time to move on.

As for the Hodgson / Kassian deal I'm all for it.  The Sabres desperatly need more talent down the middle and Hodgson is a yong gun that has a ton of potential.  The more I watch Kassian, the more I think he was severly overated as a prospect.  If you actually watched him this season, you'd see he almost never hits, is not aggressive, and only marginal in the offensive zone.  His strength could be his puck possesion, but he's just a long ways from being NHL ready.  He may have the skill and talent to turn into a decent player down the road, but I'd highly, highly doubt he'll ever become a force in the NHL.  I just don't see it at all at the NHL level, and it's not really any different when he plays in Rochester (under a different coach I may add).  Rochester media were on his case for not playing physical in the AHL this year.  He has 1 fight....and he had to fight as it was during a brawl.  His calling card was supposed to be his physical play - if you actually watch him you won't see it.  I think the Sabres definately have more potential with Hodgson.

As for losing Gragnani....another soft puck moving d-man isn't what the Sabres need.  He was expendable, especially with Brayden McNabb being the next d-man up for Buffalo.  I'll take a huge hitting, 6-5 d-man over an undersized softie any day. 

Oh, btw....the decision to move Kassian was made much easier by the great play and potential of the "real" power forward prospect in the Sabres system....Foligno.  This kid hits harder, is more aggressive, more talented, and more NHL ready than Zack.  Great moves Darcy.  LET GO BUFFALO



Since: Sep 4, 2010
Posted on: February 28, 2012 2:23 am
 

Canucks ship Hodgson to Sabres for Kassian

"I'm sorry, I guess Chris Drury, Daniel Briere, Jason Pominville, and Thomas Vanek all stunk for Ruff.  Brian Campbell was useless for the Sabres as well.  It's all Lindy Ruff.  Stop with the uninformed comments and learn the game of hockey."


I was talking about recent trades sonny - Vanek, Campbell and Pominville were drafted by the Sabres.   And even Ruff couldn't mess up Drury and Briere.  And without any history for Vanek, Pominville with any other teams there is no way of knowing how well they would play with someone else.  Vanek might be a perennial 50 goal scorer if playing somewhere else.


How about Boyes (for a 2nd pick),  Raffi Torres (for a 2nd pick),  Dainius Zubros (for a 1st pick) - established players - all busts for Buffalo


And how about players who leave Buffalo and immediately play better - Afinogenov - last 2 years for Ruff (10 goals, 6 goals) - next year in Atlanta 24 goals.  Clarke McArthur - best season in Buffalo 17 goals - 1st full season out of BUffalo - 21 goals - 2nd season on pace for 25 goals.  And Toni Lydman - 1st season away from Ruff - 2nd in league in plus-minus.

My comments were far from uninformed - please do a little research before making such "uninformed comments." 



Since: Jan 26, 2007
Posted on: February 27, 2012 8:16 pm
 

Canucks ship Hodgson to Sabres for Kassian

"Nope - players always stink once they start playing for Ruff.  On the other hand Kassian will play great for Vancouver.  Vancouver definitely got the better end of this deal.  "

I'm sorry, I guess Chris Drury, Daniel Briere, Jason Pominville, and Thomas Vanek all stunk for Ruff.  Brian Campbell was useless for the Sabres as well.  It's all Lindy Ruff.  Stop with the uninformed comments and learn the game of hockey.



Since: Jan 26, 2007
Posted on: February 27, 2012 8:12 pm
 

Canucks ship Hodgson to Sabres for Kassian

"Gaustat trade - good

Kassian trade - idiotic "
1st, its Gaustad.  2nd the Hodgson trade (I list trades by the best player) was very good for the Sabres.  For all the Kassian fans out there, have you watched him play?  Kassian has shown a few flashes of being physical, but he has vanished too many times.  You want size and that is fine, but you CANNOT win without scoring and you got rid of 2 guys who combined for 10 goals.



Since: Sep 4, 2010
Posted on: February 27, 2012 8:12 pm
 

Canucks ship Hodgson to Sabres for Kassian

"I'm sorry, but you don't know too much about Cody Hodgson.  He will have a breakout in Buffalo."

Nope - players always stink once they start playing for Ruff.  On the other hand Kassian will play great for Vancouver.  Vancouver definitely got the better end of this deal. 



Since: Sep 4, 2010
Posted on: February 27, 2012 8:09 pm
 

Canucks ship Hodgson to Sabres for Kassian

I totally agree sheh065.  Trading Kassian was moronic.  I fully expect him to go on a scoring binge now that he's out of Ruff's doghouse.  Hodgson will do nothing under Ruff's guidance, like every other late season pickup.



Since: Sep 4, 2010
Posted on: February 27, 2012 8:07 pm
 

Canucks ship Hodgson to Sabres for Kassian

Gaustat trade - good

Kassian trade - idiotic 




Since: Jun 23, 2008
Posted on: February 27, 2012 6:50 pm
 

Canucks ship Hodgson to Sabres for Kassian

Roy wants to stay in Buffalo.


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