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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Since: Jun 23, 2008
Posted on: February 27, 2012 6:49 pm

Canucks ship Hodgson to Sabres for Kassian

Kassian is not a Center

Since: Jun 12, 2009
Posted on: February 27, 2012 5:43 pm

Canucks ship Hodgson to Sabres for Kassian

I was big on Kassian.  I hope this deal works out for Buffalo.  But the main problem is still Ruff and the mind games he plays with his team as well as his inability to adapt and grow with the times.

Since: Oct 24, 2006
Posted on: February 27, 2012 5:40 pm

Canucks ship Hodgson to Sabres for Kassian

Well to add to the discussion...I think Buffalo did super and for once Darcy
needs to be complimented...he got the job done

added to this is the fact that after taking Nashvilles #1 Gausted will
return to the Sabres July 1st. He wants to be in Buffalo, the Sabres want him
as well as the fans so you can betcha a deal will get done and Buffalo's
center position will be covered

Since: Nov 17, 2006
Posted on: February 27, 2012 5:35 pm

Canucks ship Hodgson to Sabres for Kassian

Kassian's potential is undeniable, but the question is why would the Canucks trade for yet another center?  They already traded for Sammy Pahlsson earlier in the day, and like the author says, Sedin and Kesler are fantastic.  What am I missing here?

Since: Dec 14, 2006
Posted on: February 27, 2012 5:24 pm

Canucks ship Hodgson to Sabres for Kassian

The national media is drinking kool-aid regarding Kassian. Anyone in Western New York will tell you his reputation as a tough guy doesn't match his play. He actually is very soft, immature, but does have skills. The Sabres were big enough to admit their msitake drafting Kassian as high as they did. He's young, maybe he'll turn it around, but you can't teach heart. Kassian doesn't have it

Since: Jan 16, 2008
Posted on: February 27, 2012 5:04 pm

Canucks ship Hodgson to Sabres for Kassian

Good trade. Hodgson would get picked apart in the playoffs. Both teams are going to win out of this deal, Vancouver gets a wild man who has some skill/potential and Buffalo gets to stick with their small skilled forwards theme they've been rolling out since the early 90s. Hodgson was blocked for ice time in Vancouver and he is obviously the more polished. Maybe next yr it will look like Buffalo won this trade, but in 4 years I'll wager to bet that the trade will look fairly even if not tipped slightly to Vancouvers favor, from their standpoint only. Holding onto Cody was doing a disservice to him they can only give him so much ice time. In Buffalo he immediately will fit in as their number 2 centerman with the possibility to garner the number one spot in the next yr or two. Derek Roy wants out of Buffalo and they needed a suitable replacement for him when he finally does walk. Hodgson fits that bill fairly well. Kassians style and character will be loved in Vancouver and will make the fans soon forget about Hodgson.

Since: Feb 27, 2012
Posted on: February 27, 2012 4:50 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.  You could just see his talent being wasted behind Sedin and Kesler.  It was painful to watch.  I think the opposite; Buffalo just fleeced Vancouver.  You'll see next year.

Since: Apr 21, 2010
Posted on: February 27, 2012 4:47 pm

Canucks ship Hodgson to Sabres for Kassian

Kassian's a goon.  If the Canuck's lose the cup again he'll fit right in with the rioters in Vancouver.

Since: Oct 20, 2006
Posted on: February 27, 2012 4:27 pm

Canucks ship Hodgson to Sabres for Kassian

Why would you trade Kassian ? He was part of the future for the Sabres . The Goose was going anyways , even though he was doing something under Ruff's so-called " coaching " . This deal , I'll tell you , we were robbed ! So , how many centers do the Sabres need ? And , under Ruff's " coaching " , I bet you my last dollar that  Hodgson  doesn't even play center . Ruff thinks that any winger does a better job at center , and makes a true center into a winger . Why can't Regier trade Ruff ? 14 YEARS , AND nothing . He only sent his teams to the playoffs 7 times . With only 3 times they make it to the second round .

 With all the spending on better players , Ruff has proved that he can't coach in this league . Pegula is in the first full year of being the owner . He came out with a wishy washy of " going back to the past " , to hire Ruff . Again , 14 years as the head coach , and nothing to show for it . Any other team in this league , would has fired him by the 6 year by now . The ex-owner , hired Larry Quinn , and he only looked to the bottom dollar . And look how that worked . Ruff can't coach , and if you can't see that by now , you're in the wrong business . Mr. Black , it's time to tell your boss , Pegula , to start acting as the boss , and fire Ruff , and look for a REAL  coach .

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