Trade Deadline Summation: What the heck just happened?

Heading into the trade deadline, Mike Gillis was expected to be active. It looked like the Canucks, who are currently first place in the NHL, just needed to make a minor move or two to address issues of depth. Instead, Mike Gillis made arguably the biggest trade of the deadline, sending Calder candidate Cody Hodgson to the Buffalo Sabres for burgeoning power forward Zack Kassian.

The move was shocking: there had been little indication that Hodgson was  the block and Zack Kassian wasn’t on anyone’s radar in Vancouver. But it wasn’t the only trade that the Canucks made and, when taken as a whole, they do make sense. Let’s take a look.

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To Vancouver: Sami Pahlsson

To Columbus: Taylor Ellington and Two 4th round draft picks

This trade has to be considered a great deal for the Canucks, even though Pahlsson is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. Ellington wasn’t able to stick in the AHL and was on his third ECHL season with very little indication that he was ever going to play even a single game for the Canucks. As for 4th round draft picks, fewer than 8% of players picked in the 4th round make the NHL.

That’s all they’re giving up. What they’re getting is a very good checking center, who made his name in the Anaheim Ducks’ 2006-07 playoff run, shutting down the top opposition forwards on a line with Rob Niedermayer and Travis Moen. Pahlsson is one of the few players in the league who comes even close to the Canucks’ fourth line in terms of starting in the defensive zone, and manages to put up better possession numbers than either Maxim Lapierre or Manny Malhotra.

Pahlsson is also respectable on faceoffs, giving the Canucks yet another center who is better than 50% in the circle. He leads all Blue Jackets’ forwards in shorthanded ice time (and while the Columbus penalty kill is the worst in the league, much of the blame for that has to go on Steve Mason’s league-worst .794 save percentage shorthanded).

The trade makes the Canucks immediately tougher to play against and better defensively.

Pahlsson also has 81 games of playoff experience under his belt and has played with the Sedins on the Swedish national team, which will hopefully help him feel comfortable in the locker room right away. As a side benefit, they prevented another Western Conference team from acquiring him as he has had success in the past at shutting down the Sedins.

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To Vancouver: Zack Kassian and Marc-Andre Gragnani

To Buffalo: Cody Hodgson and Alexander Sulzer

This was the shocker: Hodgson and Kassian were both highly-regarded prospects not that long ago and Hodgson had graduated to a full-fledged, contributing NHL forward. Hodgson had given the Canucks a different look, as the team had turned their fourth line into a checking line and converted the third line into a scoring line, with Hodgson as the linchpin. We at PITB thought that the Canucks wouldn’t trade Hodgson, thinking that they wanted to have that scoring depth in the playoffs.

We were wrong. Wrong wrong wrong. Instead, they went out and acquired the highly sought-after Zack Kassian and defenceman Marc-Andre Gragnani from the Sabres.

What Kassian and Hodgson have in common is that they were both first round draft picks that fell slightly on draft day. The comparison ends right about there. Hodgson is an intelligent and skilled two-way centre still rounding out the defensive side of his game, while Zack Kassian is a prototypical powerforward, a 6’3″, 200+ lb winger with a healthy dose of skill.

Kassian has been compared to Milan Lucic, Cam Neely, and Todd Bertuzzi; if his development follows along those lines and he becomes a top line power forward, this deal will be huge for the Canucks. They simply do not have a player like Kassian in the organization, mainly because players like him are extremely rare. It’s not just the combination of size and skill, it’s his willingness to apply that size. Kassian is known for his devastating hits, some of which have crossed the line in the past.

The question, however, is whether this helps the team now. After all, the Canucks are a contender for the Stanley Cup and sending out Hodgson’s scoring for a player who has played just 27 games in the NHL this season is a tough sell. But there are a couple reasons this trade makes sense for this season.

First, Hodgson’s scoring had dried up recently, as he had just 3 points in his last 13 games after a very productive January. As good as Hodgson has been at times, he has had issues with streakiness, which is expected for a rookie forward. Zack Kassian provides something entirely different, as he can still contribute physically when he is not scoring. Kassian could potentially skate on the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th line and contribute.

Second, the trade includes a talented young defenceman in Marc-Andre Gragnani, who led the Sabres in Relative Corsi and was one of only four Sabres with a positive plus/minus at plus-10 (admittedly against relatively easy competition). Defensive depth ended up being an issue during the Stanley Cup Final, as rookie Chris Tanev needed to step in with Dan Hamhuis injured and Aaron Rome suspended. Considering that Keith Ballard is out indefinitely, the inclusion of Gragnani in the deal should not be underestimated.

As Harrison said at Puck Daddy, “[Gragnani] may flourish in a system that can make Christian Ehrhoff look like he’s worth $40 million.”

Third, the addition of Sami Pahlsson means that the Canucks have a wealth of centres, all of whom are more defensively responsible than Hodgson. It is likely that Pahlsson will center either Hansen and Higgins or Hansen and Raymond, turning the third line once more into a checking line, but one that can quickly transition the puck up ice to create offence. We have seen that Alain Vigneault is hesitant to use Hodgson in the defensive zone, which could potentially have been a liability in the playoffs. The acquisition of Pahlsson and Gragnani is realy what makes this trade work in the short-term.

Hodgson is absolutely a big loss for the Canucks, but in order to get Zack Kassian out of Buffalo, it was necessary to pay a high price. The addition of Gragnani to the deal lessens the short-term blow and the addition of Pahlsson without losing any roster players fills the position of third-line centre. The Canucks took a risk and it may cost them, but it’s entirely possible that this might be one of those rare trades where both teams benefit equally. Or heck, maybe Hodgson struggles under a coach that doesn’t shelter him.

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To Vancouver: Andrew Gordon

To Anaheim: Sebastian Erixon

After the gut-punch of the Hodgson trade, this trade was entirely anti-climactic and may have flown under the radar. More was expected from Erixon in his first year in North America, but he struggled to adapt to the North American game, partly due to his smaller stature. He had 8 points in 30 games in the AHL and was a minus-6.

Andrew Gordon is 26 and is a point-per-game player in the AHL. He has played 37 games with the Ducks this season and 49 games in his NHL career. He has 5 points this season and is minus-5. The advanced stats aren’t too friendly to him either, as he has started mainly in the offensive zone against weak opposition, but has poor puck possession statistics. It’s possible that he will be a Jason Krog-type of player — dominant at the AHL level, but unable to stick in the NHL. At 26, his opportunities may be running out.

This looks like a change-of-scenery type of trade. It seems like neither team was satisfied with their prospect and swapped them to see what a new city might do.

It’s also important to note that the Wolves have had many injuries recently and could use some help at forward. With Byron Bitz on his way back down to the Wolves, Chicago will likely welcome both reinforcements with open arms.

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175 comments

  1. Dave Stevens
    February 27, 2012

    The toughness issue is so overblown. I thought this Canucks organization was beyond that. Canucks lost last year because they couldn’t score. Their powerplay stunk. Just look at the difference an effective powerplay made against Boston a month ago. Now they once again do not have a second unit powerplay. Well, at least, we know what will be written on Gillis’s tombstone. “The moron who traded Hodgson.” Ken Holland would never have done this.

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    • Daniel Wagner
      February 27, 2012

      I’m hoping “Loving Father” might show up his tombstone before “moron.”

      In any case, I think it’s a little early to go saying that Gillis’s legacy will be this one deal. Let’s give this one a little time before freaking out. As for the powerplay, it is a bit of a concern. Hodgson gave the second unit an identity, which will be missed. Gragnani and Kassian might get some powerplay time, depending on how they perform. I think it’s worth taking a look at how the newly acquired players perform for a while before passing judgement. It’s possible that this will be seen as a completely disastrous trade deadline for Gillis, but I don’t think so.

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      • LaLou
        February 27, 2012

        And to be fair, neither of the Canucks power play units has looked terribly menacing lately.

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      • Dave Stevens
        February 27, 2012

        Yes, I agree we’ll have to wait some time to see how this will shape up in the long run, I am not confident that the Canucks are better today or will be better tomorrow because of this trade. From what I’ve been seeing of this Kassian guy, he seems like a head-hunter. Lucky they picked up Pahlsson as the Canucks will probably need to kill off more penalties with Kassian around. This looks very much like the kind of move that Neale or Milford would have made. I’ve watched these guys since 1977 and at this moment I’m wishing that Jere Gillis and not Mike Gillis was the Canucks GM.

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        • Maqywhaq
          February 28, 2012

          I don’t think Kassian is as bad as a much of the fans are fearing TBH… Given how well some of our trades have worked out, I can’t see Gillis picking up a player who is only a glorified headhunter/goon. While I’m with everyone here is not liking having traded CoHo, the potential of Kassian developing into a good fit can potentially make the Kesler line pretty darn intimidating.

          It might also just be that Kassian is making the right noises as a rookie coming in, but if he is serious about adapting his style to our system, and develops the way we want, I don’t think this is entirely a bad thing…

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      • PeeSeeGee
        February 28, 2012

        I would prefer to freak out now just in case we are wrong later and miss the opportunity.

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    • Hips
      February 27, 2012

      The Canucks couldn’t score because they had too many guys injured and not enough guys who could take those tough minutes. Adding grit and sandpaper with Kassian means that we have a guy who can stick up for our top guys and make other teams less willing to throw out huge dangerous hits on them, or to facewash them when the refs aren’t looking. Skill sometimes fails you, having a big body and a willingness to plaster guys into a wall never does.

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      • superreggie
        February 27, 2012

        Wise words from Hips’ lips. You all like the idea of Hodgson. Because it’s this mythical league where people actually play hockey. With skill. And flashes of brilliance. But really, the team that hoists the cup is the team least injured. Sad to say, but we need someone who can crush spines…

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        • Johnny B Goode
          February 27, 2012

          So what does that make the ’07-’08 Detroit Red Wings? A unicorn?

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          • Dave Stevens
            February 28, 2012

            And speaking off myths, the endless Canucks fixation for finding the mythical power forward to lead them to salvation is just that. They lost Neely and have been looking for him ever since. Sanlak, Stojanov, Bertuzzi. Although Bertuzzi had a couple of good years, he brought more harm to the franchise and brand than good. While I have been happy with Gillis’s forward and innovative thinking on things, I’m not sure he has been so astute on talent. The first place Canucks are really just Burke’s and Nonis’s Canucks who have grown up and matured together. Gillis was good about re-signing these guys picking up a few complementary pieces and so far only one draft pick looks to have turned out: Hodgson.

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    • akidd
      February 27, 2012

      that’s pretty much it. and the canucks as a brand will get tainted with that moron brush. what cemented it for me was gillis saying that he would have been fine with the team he had with no trades too. start digging your shelters in a couple of years no canuck fan will be able to show his face on the intraweb chats without having it rubbed in the hodgson trade.

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      • Johnny B Goode
        February 27, 2012

        The whole thing smells of panic and lack of conviction. If lack of bullies on the team was an issue, address it sooner.

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        • Dave Stevens
          February 28, 2012

          I think lack of bullies could have been addressed in a less dramatic manner. Maybe Kassian will one day be a second line type power forward, but not in this Cup run. If you wanted to fill a power forward void now and were willing to throw Hodgson in the package, I think they could have received more.

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    • Nick
      February 27, 2012

      When the emotions die down, I think people may adjust their thinking about how good these two players are.

      Hodgson is a fan favourite but he does have weaknesses.

      And nobody here has watched Kassian very much, has enough information to make an accurate assessment of his ability and potential, and the prevailing view that he is physical but no match skill-wise may be dead wrong.

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    • Dazza23
      February 28, 2012

      “Ken Holland would never have done this”

      Really where does Kassian’s childhood idol Todd Bertuzzi play? Where was he just resigned? Holland has done this? Kassian is just a goon or Maybe Todd is because of the hole Moore stuff either way Holland did sign this type of player.

      Or maybe your sad about the loss of a fish.

      I also want to keep writing it is not a 1 for 1 straight up trade. We got what looks like a very useful defenceman as well. If there are four players in the deal rated in order of contribution we gave up one and four and got two and three. I believe two and three will be more productive than CoHo could have been for the Canucks. (He very well may do more somewhere else) Sulzer is going to the AHL.

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      • Dave Stevens
        February 28, 2012

        Holland would not have gotten rid of a potential star player and leader for Bertuzzi. He signed Bertuzzi as a free agent. Hell, if they could have signed Kassian as a free agent or got him through a combination of other players, then sure, why not.

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  2. Rituro
    February 27, 2012

    “What the heck just happened”, indeed. Still in shock over losing CoHo. The arguments for the trade make sense, but it’s very hard to listen to them rationally when I’m still lamenting the loss of our touted prospect. I didn’t think anything could rain on the Sami Pahlsson parade; how wrong I was.

    (Seriously, though, Pahlsson for picks and depth? That’s gold, Jerry, gold. What a deal.)

    ~~quick note, I think you have the final deal backwards?

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  3. Cody
    February 27, 2012

    I will miss the slapper of Hodgson, but I think I understand the reasons behind this trade. Defensive depth is so important in a long playoff run, and power forwards who play a size game are incredibly rare. Let’s hope the Nucks training team can make this kid even better than he is now.

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    • J21
      February 27, 2012

      Which is why we all expected a trade for defensive depth. You know, something like “Bragnani for a third round draft pick”. Tacking on the larger part of the trade makes no sense when the Canucks are buyers. There is something more behind this.

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      • Cody
        February 28, 2012

        Do you think it has something to do with Cody’s agent and his desire for bigger minutes for his client? Perhaps a team with Ryan Kesler and Henrik Sedin isn’t the place for another future top line centre? I heard Cody on the team 1040 yesterday and he certainly sounded blind sided, but who knows.

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        • J21
          February 28, 2012

          Yep, I think they might have gotten “Lindrossed” with family interference. A number of journalists are interpreting it this way, too. We’ll probably never know the whole story, but even if he was legitimately unhappy (which I doubt), the timing is inexplicable. Deal with it in the offseason.

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  4. Gabrielle
    February 27, 2012

    I came home from school and checked Canucks.com, saw that we got Zack Kassian, and didn’t think much of it. Until I clicked on the link. At first I was horrified and shocked and wondered if it might be a misprint. So I checked NHL.com and yep, Cody was traded.

    Then I went to my room and had a good cry. It’s just starting to sink in now. Maybe I won’t hate Kassian after all? :)

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    • Katie
      February 27, 2012

      wow, that is EXACTLY what i did too. As much i love cody, i’m just gonna try and stay positive about Kassian, we’ll just have to wait and see how he performs on the ice with the ‘nucks. :)

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  5. Kate
    February 27, 2012

    I miss Hodgson already. I feel like we will regret this in the long run, and also, probably on Saturday.

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    • Olde Coot
      February 27, 2012

      There is one thing that isn’t clear:
      Mayhap Cody wasn’t happy here.
      The bottomline for all we know:
      He’s better off in Buffalo.

      One suspects he’ll be playing more:
      On a line two not three or four.
      And closer to his Mom and Dad:
      Another reason to be glad.

      Some Sabres’ fans sure like the deal
      Their happiness they can’t conceal
      They think CoHo to be really
      Canucks’ second Mister Neely

      My good advice is wait and see
      How bad this trade turns out to be.

      The Olde Coot

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  6. SteveB
    February 27, 2012

    I first saw the tweet that Sulzer was gone and thought ‘meh’
    I was not prepared at all to the follow-up that GMMG had also traded Silent G too.
    Pools were flipped, man.
    Pools were flipped.

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    • Nee
      February 27, 2012

      Bottom line for me is this feels like a risk that didn’t need to be made right now. The potential with Kassian is there for sure. But we need someone who can contribute NOW, not in a year or two. We’re in our Cup window. Hodgson was contributing now. I just don’t see that happening with Kassian. In a few years, sure, and that’s not even guaranteed.

      I would have loved this trade if we were an 8th place team. But when we’re 1st in the league, and Cody was part of the reason we’re there, it just doesn’t feel like this was the right time for a trade like this. Who is going to pick up the offensive slack? And what if Kesler or Daniel gets injured? We have less guys sharing the offensive load now.

      He may have been a tempting piece for Gillis, and I can appreciate the type of play Kassian MAY eventually bring. But this weakens us in the present.

      Putting my own feelings for Hodgson aside (I feel bad for the guy! And I’ll miss him) I just don’t like the risk Gillis takes with this trade.

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  7. invisibleairwaves
    February 27, 2012

    Ugh, I went to have a nap when nothing was happening and then all this blew up. Serves me right.

    I can see why Hodgson had to go, but I feel like the return could and should have been higher. Kassian has potential, but he’s still largely unproven at the pro level, and he has a tendency to make some very bad hits. We may have gotten the next Lucic or Bertuzzi, or we may have given up a future top-six centre for the next Raffi Torres.

    In any case, the upcoming visit from the Sabres should be even more interesting. And if you look at the moves as a whole, the Canucks are almost certainly a much more playoff-ready team than they were yesterday.

    By the way, the livechat was crazy-fun you guys. Thanks for putting that on, it certainly brightened up an otherwise painfully dull morning,

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    • Tristan
      February 27, 2012

      For the 2012 playoffs, at least, I think I’m with you. Before today, we had a legitimate second-unit powerplay and a third scoring line (albeit one that needed to be somewhat sheltered). At present, I don’t see how Kassian will offer anything Torres couldn’t/didn’t last year. And Pahlsson, at best, may perform as well and in the same role as pre-injury Manny Malhotra. So we’ve gone from looking like we had a new, possibly more dynamic strategy, to recreating last year’s third line.

      You know what really drives me nuts about the reaction to this trade though? The assertion that Hodgson was doomed in Vancouver because he’d always be “stuck behind” Kesler playing a third line role he wasn’t well-suited to. What the heck did we all think Kesler was (at best!) when he was Hodgson’s age? Where is it written in stone that Hodgson never would have surpassed Kesler as a second-line playmaking centre who makes his linemates better, leaving Kesler as the league’s best perennial Selke-finalist with a wicked wrist shot? Maddening.

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      • Daniel Wagner
        February 27, 2012

        Honestly, I’m wondering about this too. All season, I’ve assumed that Gillis and the Canucks wanted to do something different, putting together three scoring lines and have the fourth line be the checking line. It seemed like an interesting innovation that could have paid off. That said, the Canucks got to the Stanley Cup Final with a more traditional looking setup of two scoring lines, one checking line, and a grinder line. It’s possible that they’re more comfortable with the third line being a defensively responsible line, as Hodgson’s line frequently had to be sheltered.

        I’m still unsure how this will all work out. All I was trying to do with this post is explain what I saw as the reasons for the trades and counteract some of the overreactions from some fans.

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        • whisky jack
          February 27, 2012

          Although the Silent G is gone,
          The Nucks will keep on keepin’ on
          In come some guys that we don’t know
          We’ve yet to see what they will show

          Although for Cody we do care
          Think of Higgins and Lapierre
          Who came in place of guys we liked
          And now for them we’re surely psyched

          As big a loss as he may seem
          We may now have a better team
          As with all things it’s time will tell
          If this improves our personnel

          And so for Hodgson shed a tear
          Then wish him well in his career
          But before making further fuss
          See if this deal does good for us

          Whisky Jack

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        • Andrew
          February 27, 2012

          Three scoring lines seems to work well during the regular season, but as others have mentioned, once the toll of the playoffs begins to add up, I really think a second checking line/grinders are needed. Not for the chippy “toughness” that everyone goes on about, but rather, more guys able to shut-down other teams scorers.

          The whole thing can’t fall on Malhotra and Lapierre’s shoulders to stop other teams scoring lines. And while I did like Hodgson, he simply didn’t have the footspeed or defensive acumen to replace Kesler as the 2nd line C, and so was extremely sheltered on the third line, placing extra wear and tear on Kesler, Malhotra, etc.

          The Canucks may have lost a bit of scoring touch today, but the “whole package” is more complete, IMO.

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    • zach
      February 27, 2012

      and lets not forget, Raffi Torres was drafted 5th overall! youre totally right about this, it could go either way, we had a somewhat proven top prospect which we gave up for a mostly unproven prospect. sigh. I hope that we win this trade in the long run, but I still have my doubts. Good luck Coho, you won the heart of the fanbase after so much doubt was cast upon you. Wonder if this trade is actually making this team better or if we are actually taking a step backwards. Only June will tell.

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      • Johnny B Goode
        February 27, 2012

        Based on hockeydb.com, Kassian is on track to have an eerily similar career arc to Raffi. Well-built power winger with offensive pop, streaky scoring. A tendency for reckless hitting.
        A bit over a PPG in last OHL season, drafted in first half of first round, spent the majority of first pro season in AHL, made almost no impact as NHL rookie.

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        • zach
          February 27, 2012

          I am going to go out on a hunch here, and before I say anything I will acknowledge Kassian has yet to play a game as a Canuck of course. However, this guy practically made the jump straight from Junior to the Pros, so it is a very real possibility that Kassian made need some AHL development time before he becomes a solid NHLer, especially on this team. I just hope that he does turn into the kind of prospect he has the potential to be. I know he has been playing spotty minutes at best in Buffalo, who as we all know has struggled this year, which makes me believe this kid needs some more time in the minor Pro system before he becomes a top prospect.

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  8. Phileo99
    February 27, 2012

    I am utterly shocked to see MG allowed the Sabres to commit highway robbery here! Ignore the Pahlsson trade for a minute, because we are talking about trade market value in terms of only what we got from the Sabres, not from the CBJ.
    How is this not mortgaging the future? With CoHo, you know the huge trade market value that you’ve got: CHL player of the year, rookie of the month, Calder candidate, skill of a 1st line centreman, and potential captain and franchise player. With Kassian, you’ve got 27games of a nothin’ burger, and rolling the dice on someone who you hope/wish/pray could be the next Bertuzzi, but could turn out to be the next Steve Bernier!! Throwing in Gragnani does NOT lessen the sting!

    Those who can’t remember the past are condemned to repeat it: In 2008, the canucks gave the sabres a 2nd round + 3rd round draft pick for Steve Bernier. And now, they repeat that same mistake by shipping away a potential franchise player for a 4th line grinder? Does Grabner ring a bell? Cam Neely?

    If the intention was to trade Cody Hodgson all along, then surely CoHo’s trade market value is more than just a 4th line grinder, no?
    The only way this could be a win for MG is if the Canucks win it all this year. Any other scenario and it is a trade bust for MG

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    • Gabrielle
      February 27, 2012

      I don’t agree that Kassian is just a fourth line grinder but I do think that Gillis will get ripped by the entire Vancouver market if we fall short of winning the Cup. The argument will be, “But if we had Cody Hodgson…”

      We need to win the Cup.

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      • John in Marpole
        February 28, 2012

        If Cody Hodgson was the difference between winning/not winning the Stanley Cup there are bigger issues with this roster than were addressed yesterday.

        Everyone take a deep breath and remember back to last June when you watched the sedin’s being manhandled by the Bruins. Remember how helpless that felt.

        Cody Hodgson wouldn’t stop that from happening again this year. And it *would* happen again, because 28 other NHL teams watched that last June and learned from it.

        Then go and watch the very informative compilation video of Kassian highlights that the Sun posted yesterday. He does have hands, as the goals show. And he can chuck knuckles and throw checks. Both are skills that Vancouver needed and didn’t have.

        Then all of those people who are condemming this trade pool up all of your NHL GM experience and compare that to the experience of Canuck management. Add in all of the hours of scouting you’ve done and compare that to what Canuck management has done. Add in the fact that Gillis said on 1040 yesterday that he had his eye on Kassian at the 2009 draft, but he went before Vancouver had a shot at him. Which means he had been closely watched by the Canucks while still a junior.

        How anyone can outright state that this trade is bad, or that it will prevent the Canucks from success this spring is beyond me when the sum total of what all of us outside of Canuck management knows about Kassian amounts to squat.

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    • Daniel Wagner
      February 27, 2012

      You have a little bit of hometown bias here. Hodgson is not quite as good as you’re suggesting and Kassian isn’t as bad as you’re suggesting. Kassian isn’t a 4th-line grinder at all. It’s funny you mention the Cam Neely trade because Kassian has been compared to Neely. While I doubt he’ll be that good, there’s a reason it took Hodgson to acquire him.

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      • Don_Rocko
        February 27, 2012

        Pretty much my thought exactly – I’m hearing the spectre of the Cam Neely trade being brought up again and again this afternoon, but I can’t help but wonder… what if Kassian *is* Cam Neely and CoHo is Barry Pederson?

        Not to sell CoHo short here, but it’s just too easy to rip on the deal now. Let’s actually give it two or three years before we start burning Gillis in effigy.

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    • Amor de Cosmos
      February 27, 2012

      Thing is when would Hodgson ever get to be a first or second line centre here? Barring injuries it wouldn’t be for three or four years or more. He couldn’t be expected to hang around that long, centering the second string PP, and playing on Kesler’s wing now and again. He would have been gone in the next year or so anyway, better now than later for all concerned. As to the newcomers, all trades are gambles to some degree, but the organisation is solid and mature, that’s why we have a player of Hodgson’s calibre to trade. There’s a better chance of a newbie settling quickly in a winning dressing room, like ours, than elsewhere. If these guys have any potential at all they’ve got to realise this is likely their best chance to show it.

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      • Johnny B Goode
        February 27, 2012

        When the Penguins are healthy, who is their 3rd line centre? Injuries happen, too. Especially to Ryan Kesler late in seasons, because he plays too many tough minutes with manic intensity.

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        • pheenster
          February 27, 2012

          And now, because Pahlsson is the third-line centre instead of Cody, Kesler won’t have to play as many of those tough minutes.

          These guys are not idiots. In Gillis We Trust. Or at least I do.

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          • Dave Stevens
            February 28, 2012

            This Hodgson would not move up to the top two lines for years argument is ridiculous. If there are injuries, he would move up; if there is a lack of production, he should move up. Just because Kesler and Sedin are the better two centres at this moment doesn’t mean they will be next year or the year after. I would hope that minutes are given to players for their contributions and not just because they have been pencilled into their slots.

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  9. swizzler
    February 27, 2012

    No man you’eve got it all wrong, this is entirely because AV and Hodgson have a beef. The breaking point was when AV caught Hodgson laughing at Fiddler’s ‘Angry Bieksa’ impression. I mean he did stop laughing all of a sudden didn’t he?, something clearly ruined the moment, and it was Hodgson’s childlike sense of wonder with funny faces. I’m surprised CoHo even played another shift in that game.
    Not to mention the tape throwing incident with Hansen! We saw a glimpse of the type of cancer that Hodgson has become inside the dressing room. (Taking a page from dressing room cancers of yore:) He may even already be sleeping around with, one or both of, the Canucks goalies wives! We may only know a small fraction of his unspeakable transgressions, and the immeasurable pain, anguish and hardship left in their wakes.
    The Canucks are clearly a better team without this sociopath.
    Good riddance

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    • Chazz Ranger
      February 27, 2012

      You, sir, get an upvote for the lolz

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      • stathead
        February 27, 2012

        And a bunch of downvotes… wow, people are cross today. I think no one is ready to laugh? (I voted you up, buddy- thanks for trying!)

        Love them all, but out of Schneider, Tanev, and CoHo, I’d have been more upset at losing either of the first two. My money is on Tanev as a future core member (of course, my money was also on CoHo as a future core member.)

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    • Tom
      February 28, 2012

      Up-vote until the wives reference. Too far…

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      • swizzler
        February 28, 2012

        Jeff Brown is the one who went too far….

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  10. Brosef Stalin
    February 27, 2012

    I’m curious as to what the second unit will do without Hodgson. Do the Canucks bump Kesler down and put Kassian in his place on the first unit to be a net presence? Do they just load the first unit and allow the second to fail like last year?

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  11. peanutflower
    February 27, 2012

    I’m in the wait and see category. I was never a Cody fan, but then Liev Schreiber had to go and ruin my “how can anyone who looks like Liev Schreiber play hockey” argument by actually being in a hockey movie. I think you’re right, Daniel, there are a lot of players like Cody Hodgson but there is only one Bertuzzi, and every time I see him play, especially lately, I think how much the Canucks need a Bertuzzi. I know nothing about Kassian, but I’ll wait and hope that he turns into that power forward the Canucks need.

    As for Pahlsson, I thought that was a great catch and a typically good GMMG move. Here’s hoping that Gillis and AV knew what they were doing and those are the perfect pieces the Canucks need for a good finish to the year, and I’m not going to jinkx it, but you all know what I mean. :)

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    • Johnny B Goode
      February 27, 2012

      Kassian is not now, nor will he ever be, an elite power forward in the NHL

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      • pheenster
        February 27, 2012

        How can you make that statement? Are you clairvoyant?

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        • Chicky
          February 28, 2012

          If he is, I would like the winning numbers for Friday’s lotto please.

          *sighs* I know it’s hard to comprehend, and change is ALWAYS hard, but lets put a tad bit of faith into those who know more about hockey and player performance potential and are actually paid to do so for a living.

          If the Canucks thought GMMG was hosing them over, do you not think he feels a bit pressured to make this work as well? His neck would be on the chopper as much as anyone elses.

          *signs off with hope that I’m not horribly wrong*

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  12. JDM
    February 27, 2012

    MG just traded a guy who panned out for a guy who hasn’t yet. That’s stupid. Sure, maybe this will work out, but it’s such a huge risk. Moreover it makes no sense in the here and now. This is a team that is going to contend for a cup. If you’re going to trade young up and coming players, and mortgage your future, as the saying goes, you need a return that will make an impact right now. You need players that will help you win a cup. Neither of these guys do that.

    Daniel I don’t understand your assumption that Kassian is going to even make this team. He couldn’t stay up to play with the Buffalo Sabres, why do you think he’s a lock as a roster player for the best team in the NHL to this point this season? Cody could’ve been a guy who came up with a clutch OT goal in game 6 of the west finals. That might very well have occurred. Kassian’s not going to be scoring any goals for us if he’s playing in Chicago. Maybe he helps us in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs, but this year?

    The Gragnani acquisition is equally baffling. Essentially, we’ve acquired Chris Tanev. We already have Chris Tanev, and we acquired him again. A puck-moving offensive-minded defenseman with little to no penchant for physical play. Granted, the numbers look good in terms of +/- but talking to Sabres fans who actually watch the guy, he makes a lot of poor decisions. As you might expect with a young, offensive minded defenseman. Again, this is a guy who has plenty of skill, plenty of upside and might be a great player a few years down the road, but he needs time to develop. How does that help us win the cup this year?

    Really, MGGM didn’t mortgage the future. He didn’t necessarily improve it either as both of these guys could well be complete busts at the NHL level. But he didn’t improve the team with this trade. All he had to do after the Pahlsson deal was stop. We all would’ve liked some depth at D, but if all he did was Pahlsson and Gordon, everyone would’ve said “fine, good tweak with Pahlsson, we’re pretty comfortable icing this team for the playoffs”. Instead he drops a freaking bomb… and who knows where we’ll all be when the debris settles.

    This could easily be Cam Neely 2.0.

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    • JDM
      February 27, 2012

      I will also add, after all the noise that’s been made by you and Harrison on the point, that Gragnani is a left side defenseman. Another one. Still no one to fill in for Salo if he gets hurt. Still one low-bridge Marchand check away from our second pairing being as big a disaster as it was in New Jersey last week. Just another reason why this doesn’t make any sense in the here and now.

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      • Daniel Wagner
        February 27, 2012

        I definitely would have liked to see them acquire a right-side defenceman. While Gragnani has played on the right side, he is reportedly more comfortable on the left. It’ll be interesting to see how AV and Bowness put the D-pairings together.

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    • Daniel Wagner
      February 27, 2012

      It could be Cam Neely 2.0, sure. Question is, which player will play the part of Neely?

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      • JDM
        February 27, 2012

        But even if it ISN’T Cam Neely 2.0 and both players go on to strong pro careers, how does it make sense given where the Canucks are right now?

        I mean I keep hearing this “Canucks needed toughness” line being sold as the plus side from the Vancouver perspective and I just don’t see how you can all assume this guy won’t just be making the Wolves tougher this spring. How can you be so sure, or even remotely sure, or for that matter even expect, that he’ll be on the NHL roster?

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        • RG
          February 27, 2012

          Pecking order on the 4th line is as follows: Kassian > Bitz > Weise.

          Weise doesn’t bring the necessary energy like Torres could, and Bitz’s health is questionable. Kassian is a mix of both of these guys.

          Don’t get your panties in a twist even before Kassian and Gragnani play their first games as Canucks.

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      • Chris
        February 27, 2012

        I’m going to say that CoHo will play the part of Cam Neely, and Zack “Stojanov” Kassian will play the part of Barry Pederson, except without the year or two of decent play.

        When Mike Gillis eventually gets fired, this will be on his “list of stupid decisions”.

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    • Brent
      February 27, 2012

      Completely agree with your post. Maybe MG somehow knows that Kassimonster will be a force this season, but like other posters have noted, he hasn’t played that much for the Sabers this year, how the heck is he going to crack the line up of the Canucks? I thought we were already tough enough with Weise, Bitz and possibly Duco. Harrison and Daniel have made a strong argument for the stregth of adding scoring depth to the lineup. I thought we had this, especially with Cody. Yes Cody had some defensive issues on occasion but also could come through with a big goal. Remember the Boston game!? I really don’t see how adding the big galute helps us this year.

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  13. RG
    February 27, 2012

    The Canucks are walking a thin line with the toughness issue. Kassian brings some grit, but his infamous hit on Matt Kennedy goes down in the books as one of the nastiest hits I’ve ever seen. Let’s hope he’s smarter.

    Furthermore, being tough doesn’t mean other teams will back off. In stark contrast, look at the “toughest team in the NHL”, who have both Horton and Boychuk out with concussions on devastating hits from Sestito and Neil, respectively. It almost looks like teams are playing Boston harder, trying to play the Bruins’ game.

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    • Brent
      February 28, 2012

      Yikes, just watched the video of this hit. Now I REALLY don’t like this trade. This is the kind of crap we were complaining about last playoffs, and now it is going to be us. I know Raffi had some questionable hits (didn’t mind seeing him go) but this was brutal.

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  14. Ryno
    February 27, 2012

    That’s Boyd Gordon not Andrew Gordon

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    • Daniel Wagner
      February 27, 2012

      Nice catch. I plead innocence on that one.

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      • Harrison Mooney
        February 27, 2012

        Yeah, that’s my bad. In my defence, I’ve been at the computer a long time today.

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  15. Zach Morris
    February 27, 2012

    “What would it take to nab Jack the Chimp from MVP: Most Valuble Primate? He skates through players legs!”

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  16. I'mjustsuggesting
    February 27, 2012

    Thanks for the article, it calmed me down a bit.

    I am flabbergasted at this trade. I would rather have Torres (who Gillis let walk), Hodgson and Ott. Torres, as a Canuck, spent all his time starting in the d-zone yet still produced 30 pts – the team also obviously knows him. Hodgson gives scoring depth with the top 2 lines get shut down, plus he might be a future Captain. And Ott, give Dallas Raymond and a high pick (the draft isn’t deep this yr).

    Instead, Gillis brings in 2 unproven rookies to a team that has to win the Cup now.

    But the biggest issue I have is timing. TSN stated that no GM knew Hodgson was available. Had Gillis waited till summer, he would have got way more in the deal. Gillis likes to give away his 1st round picks for nothing – he’s killing the future of this team.

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  17. Jethro
    February 27, 2012

    Gragnani is the actual player that Hodgson was traded for. Kassian has size, but is a thug with little to no hockey sense. Gragnani simply fills the void that Edler left when he stepped up to fill in for Ehrhoff.

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    • Harrison Mooney
      February 27, 2012

      That’s crazy talk. Kassian’s more than just a thug. He was drafted 13th overall and put up nearly a point a game in the AHL. imo Hodgson was traded for both of them, and Sulzer was thrown in to cover the hole in Buffalo’s defense

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  18. I'mjustsuggesting
    February 27, 2012

    Does anyone know if Gragnani plays on the left or right side?

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    • Harrison Mooney
      February 27, 2012

      Left, but he’s played right side in the past, and you know the Canucks will try him there at some point.

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      • I'mjustsuggesting
        February 27, 2012

        Cool thanxs.

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  19. tom selleck's moustache
    February 27, 2012

    I’ll have to admit that I was pretty upset when I saw the trade as I really have no idea who Kassian and Gragnani are. But after hearing about the two players, especially Kassian, I can see why the this, as well as the Pahlsson trade, were made.

    To be honest, I’m really skeptical that Kassian, a player who was in and out of the line up of a bad team and now going one of the best in the NHL, is going to make an immediate impact this year. So I think the trades basically take Cody’s immediate and future contributions and divide it into two: Pahlsson is now the immediate and Kassian now addresses the future potential. So, for this year, the question is whether Pahlsson’s defensive upgrades on Cody make up for the loss of offense that coincides the latter’s departure. I really don’t know that one.

    Still, I really liked Hodgeson. After seeing him perform so well in the WJC, and then lose so much time struggling with injury and controversy, it was really gratifying to see him perform so well in his first real NHL season: He seemed to have a really unflappable nature, performing well in tight situations and had delivered some pretty dramatic moments for us to enjoy over the course of this year (eg, Boston). You combine that with the fact that he just seemed to be a really, really good kid at heart… it’s a bit of a let down to see him go.

    So, all the best to him and I hope he has a really successful career and eventually gets to hoist Lord Stanley, as long as the Canucks get to do it first (or this year).

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  20. Body Schmautz
    February 27, 2012

    CO…WHO?

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  21. stathead
    February 27, 2012

    Thanks for the article – it would have taken awhile for me to piece together what happened. This is what I was going to post when I saw you guys had nicely put together a summary so I wouldn’t have to listen to interview & read the articles on TSN, NHL.com, etc. Then I went WHAT? WHAT? and forgot to thank you. But, thank you.

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  22. tj
    February 27, 2012

    I’ve not read through all these comments yet, but I saw enough of the hysteria earlier in the day to notice that Canucks fans are very, very flip-the-pool emotional over this. What some may have missed is the John Scott to the Rangers deal. Why did the Rangers want him? Hmm. Could it be they anticipate facing the Canucks in the SCP and know his history with them? Just a thought…

    Look, the toughness factor sucks. It really does: we want to win by skill alone. We want chess players not goons, that sort of thing. In a perfect world that would be great. But the reality is this: every single potential threat to the Canucks has gritty players, and the meme of the Canucks’ weakness in this area needs to be dealt with. It will not do to have another SCP run with a-holes running roughshod over our top players. GMMG did not just go out and get a goon, he went out and got someone with potential to fill a long-term void. Yeah, it’s only potential, and it’s unproven, but to deny that there was a hole in this area, and that the Canucks weren’t going to face similar problems they faced last year is to be unrealistic.

    And Gillis, as much as the nayseyers will hate to admit, has done CoHo a favour. Sileng G will get his chance to be a top forward. It’s his ultimate test. Will he live up to the hype and hopes of those who were so rah-rah of late (& so meh about him last year)? Very possibly, but he was not going to get anywhere here. He just wasn’t. Blame Tony Gallagher :) Is this as bad as the Neely deal? Only time will tell, but to think that CoHo is the only one who can get shots on net, or to think he was the saviour of the Canucks, is to woefully underestimate the veterans who’ve proven they’re, you know, pretty clutch themselves.

    I’m willing to see if Gillis has pulled out another rabbit–with the help of a very astute AV–in this trade, as much as I was liking Cody Ho’s work ethic of late, it would be a good idea to remember his gaffes alongside his prowess. I’m interested in seeing just what an uncoddled Cody Hodgson is capable of achieving. I don’t think, in any case, it’s worth the unbridled frenzy Canucks fans are exhibiting at this point.

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    • JDM
      February 27, 2012

      Yet another comment that assumes that this guy will even be playing for us in the playoffs. Why is this assumption being made? He couldn’t consistently get on the roster of the Sabres, one of the worst teams in the NHL, during the regular season. How on Earth do you get from that to a sure-fire lock for a roster spot on the current best team in the NHL going into the playoffs?

      This point completely undermines any comparison between the two players in terms of “filling a need” on the Canucks and no one seems to want to address it.

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      • tj
        February 27, 2012

        You’re absolutely right. The line-up during the playoffs will remain consistent, because no one will get hurt, AV will never mix up his lines nor try to outsmart another coach with last-minute callups… Honestly, no one knows how the future will play out. I just don’t think folks need to freak the f out over this.

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        • JDM
          February 27, 2012

          Wait so the argument is that this trade makes sense because the Canucks needed grit and toughness and Kassian will provide that but only in the scenario wherein someone gets injured and they’re forced to play him? So we traded a regular roster guy who makes our second PP dangerous and scores clutch goals in big games for an insurance policy who falls below Dale Weise on the depth chart? That seems to be what you’re coming back with here and it isn’t making me feel any better about this trade.

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      • pheenster
        February 27, 2012

        I would say that how anyone has played in Buffalo this year is no indicator whatsoever of their ability to crack this or any other lineup. That situation is a total mess.

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    • Phileo99
      February 27, 2012

      Everyone is saying Kassian could be the next Todd Bertuzzi, I’m saying he could be the next Steve Bernier. It’s all idle speculation into a future that no one knows. Let’s all just assume that MG wanted to trade SilentG all along.

      So what just happened? We traded away the CHL player of the year, WJC gold medallist, Calder candidate, Rookie of the month, 2nd unit PP QB and 33pts of production, for a WJC silver medallist and 7pts of production barely able to keep a spot in the 3rd/4th line of a bottom feeder NHL team.

      The point is not whether the other members of the Canucks team can make up for the lost production, the point is not whether this makes the Canucks a better team or not, the point is that the Canucks lost on this trade in terms of trade market value. Pure and simple. Over 66% the TSN world already agree that MG got OWNED on this trade, why is anyone trying spin this into the illusion that MG somehow got a great deal in this trade?
      I really thought that CoHo’s trade market value was worth more than a Zack Kassian. The bottom line is that the Canucks paid too high a price, it came at too much of a cost, and we did not get fair value from the Hodgson trade.

      This is not the first mistake that MG made. The Ballard experiment cost MGGM $4.2M. Plus I am wondering whether this trade exposes the mistake that MG made in letting Raffi Torres walk.

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      • The Bookie
        February 27, 2012

        …or, he could just be the next Zack Kassian.

        Stop livin’ in the past y’all, these are exciting times.

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  23. Andre
    February 27, 2012

    First off, I must admit an emotional attachment to CoHo. He came highly-touted, was injured, overcame this hardship, and came through with particularly brilliant game winners against top-notch goalies. We all had something invested in his success.

    Having said this, I believe AV/MG calculated that our existing line-up would not get us the Cup. The Pahlsson/Kassian addition is a bold, calculated gamble aimed at winning the Cup. I’d rather go for all the marbles with that move than go into the playoffs with doubts.

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    • Chris
      February 27, 2012

      The Pahlsson addition has nothing to do with the Kassian “addition”. The Pahlsson trade was a good one. Why not just stop there?

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      • bergberg
        February 28, 2012

        Of course the Pahlsson addition was related to the Kassian addition. We are already trying to balance 5 centres in a lineup. You want to balance 6? Eventually there is a limit to how many centres you can have. It’s a gamble for sure, but if Kassian pays off as a power-foward winger, he is everything the Canucks are missing (which is not much, and therefore difficult to find/obtain).

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        • Chris
          February 28, 2012

          why? Vigneault’s defensive system doesn’t discriminate by position. And there was no desperate reason to trade Cody regardless.

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          • bergberg
            February 28, 2012

            It’s great if guys can contribute out of position, but there is no way you can expect that with everyone. There are tons of examples of the Canucks this season moving people out of position for a “test run”, sometimes it works out, a lot of the time it doesn’t. Even Cody himself demonstrated that he can’t play as well on the wing. It only makes sense – he’s a natural centre. It’s great to have a system where guys can swap in to different places in the line up depending on injuries etc. But you are talking about having two centres out of position every game, plus one defenceman likely out of position (on the right). Doing that and expecting everyone to perform to their top capabilities is not really realistic. I think that’s more of a gamble going into the playoffs than picking up Kassian.

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  24. Dave Robinson (@dcrwrites)
    February 27, 2012

    I think CoHo is a better forward right now than Kassian, and Gragnani is a better D right now than Sulzer; so we took one step back and another step forward. I am a bit concerned that Gragnani doesn’t naturally play the right side, but that seems to be an issue that just won’t go away. If he was a righty I’d be very happy with this aspect of the trade.

    I personally think that while CoHo is more developed right now, his and Kassian’s long-term values are probably about the same. In both cases, it looks like they will have more room to grow with their new teams than the old ones – which is always a good thing.

    Thing is, if you roughly equate CoHo and Kassian in the long-term, then the Canucks come out the clear winners because that makes it Gragnani for Sulzer – and that’s a no-brainer. Sabres may benefit more right now because of CoHo’s greater development, but overall I really don’t think this was a bad deal at all – even if it did feel like a gut-punch at the time.

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    • Brent
      February 28, 2012

      I think the trade was more like Kassimonster and Gragnani for Cody. They just threw in Sulzer and a bag of pucks to sweeten the deal.

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  25. JDM
    February 27, 2012

    This is typical of deals involving young players – everyone assumes that the value of the player is equal to their upside. Basically, we take the best case scenario – both Cody and Zack reaching their potential – and compare that. The problem with that is that Cody has shown he can score at the NHL level, he has arrived, and he’s proved he’s a player. Kassian hasn’t done that – who knows if he ever will – and until he does, he is a much bigger risk. In other words they’re not anywhere close to roughly equivalent.

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    • Hips
      February 27, 2012

      But you’re forgetting that Kassian has 10x the physical edge that Cody does. Sure, Kassian has 4 less points than Cody did at 27 NHL games, but that was playing with weaker linemates. As well, Cody as hardly proven himself as a complete player, scoring at a 43 point pace does not an NHLer make. Wellwood had 45 points in his rookie year!(THANKS HARRISON) Right now, he’s pretty one dimensional.
      While I don’t like this trade per se, I can see why MG is doing this, and I’m going to trust that he has better information than all of us guys on our computers looking at Kassian’s page on Wikipedia.
      The bottom line is that Kassian seems to be a player that’s better suited in the playoffs, when refs look the other way and people start to play dirty.

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  26. Sandlak
    February 27, 2012

    As my nom de plume would suggest, I have a certain fondness for hulking right wingers. However, at first blush I don’t like this trade. While many refer to Cam Neely V2.0, this has more of a reverse Markus Naslund for Alex Stojanov vibe with Canucks playing the part of the Penguins. Wishing Cody well in Buffalo, and hopeful that GMMG knows what he’s doing and Kassian pans out. Never heard of Gragnani before today, but he can’t be worse than Sulzer.

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    • JDM
      February 27, 2012

      Well to be fair Kassian already has as many points in 27 games than Stojanov did in his career. It’s not THAT bad a trade. Probably.

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      • Michael
        February 28, 2012

        Damn, and look at the Penguins today. Pure gold I tells ya. Okay, I’ve been drinking. Puck drop 5pm. Let’s pound some head… or check google for porn.
        ban me..

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  27. sarah
    February 27, 2012

    I don’t know enough about hockey to know whether this is a good trade, but I do know that I’m sad to see Cody go. I’ve enjoyed following his career and was excited that he’s having a break out year [Still hope he wins the Calder]. And, it’s been sweet to see the way the team has taken him under their collective wing and I’ll miss hearing about Juice and Manny taking him shopping and Booth watching Disney movies with him. Also, the interview on TSN with Cody after he found out about the trade just broke my heart a little with how stunned he sounded [finding out through Tanev...] Coho’s right around the age of my younger brothers and so I felt natural protective vibes towards him.

    All this is to say that, yes, I have a tendency to grow over attached to the players I cheer for [don't we all though] but that I hope the best for Cody with his new team. It will be bittersweet to watch him play in a different jersey on Saturday.

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    • akidd
      February 28, 2012

      nicely said, sarah.

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  28. Chris
    February 27, 2012

    Kassian has been compared to Milan Lucic, Cam Neely, and Todd Bertuzzi? I’d say he looks more like Alek Stojanov to me. Since when is 3 goals in 27 NHL games “burgeoning”. More likely to get sent back to the AHL than contribute to a Cup run at this point.

    In return, we trade the best prospect this team has drafted since the Sedin twins.

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    • Nick
      February 27, 2012

      It might be premature to say that Hodgson is the best we’ve drafted since the Sedins. Ryan Kessler turned out pretty good. Edler may put it together soon and be a Norris contender. Even Cory Schneider is thought by many to be a better prospect.

      Coho being superior to them is more like wishful thinking without much basis so far.

      Truth be told, most non-Vancouver fans would be just as happy with Jordan Eberle, Eric Karlsson, Michael Del Zotto, and others pickedafter Coho in his draft year.

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      • Chris
        February 28, 2012

        I’m not one of them. CoHo shows all the signs of being a superstar. Kassian does not. And yes, I think CoHo will prove to be a better player than Kesler.

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  29. Gadsby
    February 27, 2012

    Never mind Hodgson, I’m disappointed to see Alexander Sulzer leave. He was my favourite Canuck.

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  30. foobarbear
    February 27, 2012

    i hate the hodgson trade. i really do.

    why? it’s because i love hodgson’s story. first real prospect the canucks has drafted with any kind of buzz in a long time. and he’s actually producing. how much fun has his progression this season been?

    i was looking forward to many years of hodgson as a top-line center after the sedins finish up their 5 year contracts.

    hmm… but then everything i’ve said has nothing to do with the canucks winning the cup this year.

    but how often is it right for a cup contender to trade a prospect who’s already contributing to one who only has potential?

    right–but zack kassian is 6’3. that’s not a potential, but an attribute.

    and here’s something i was wondering is last year’s playoffs. why is it that the bruins suffered fewer injuries than the canucks did? is it purely because they were playing “soft” teams in the east?

    a big part of that is simply because they’re big. they’re so big that they can actually injure a top defenceman trying to hipcheck you. how often do we see guys bouncing off of a 6’9 defenseman? it’s quite simple, really: the bigger guy simply wears down less. you simply have more muscle to absorb more force–while at the some time delievering it.

    of course, that applies only to wear-and-tear. if you blow a knee or get whacked in the wrist, it doesn’t matter if you’re 5’9 or 6’9 (still does a little bit but not much).

    but factoring that out, size IS a factor.

    another factor is age. kassian is 21. he hasn’t accumulated a lot of mileage yet. if he sticks with the canucks, the body of a 21-year-old recovers quicker than a 30 year old. or heck, a 27 year old kesler who has some mileage on him by now.

    and mileage that’s really not something that shows up in statistics. except for the fact that you don’t see many power forwards in their 30s (am i right on this? playmakers simply lasts longer).

    i have to say one thing i don’t like about cody’s game. the way he turns around and cuts between defenders is very risky. to me, he’s always one hit away from a serious concussion. yes, it’s why he’s creative on offense, but it is a real tail-risk that isn’t reflected in numbers. but if he stays healthy he should have a very long career because of his cerebral game.

    all that being said, i still hate this trade. not so much based on reason, but based from my heart.

    we’re back to hoping sedins and kesler score enough for the canucks to win the cup–all the while hoping that now, with booth and kassian, opponents will take less liberties with us on the ice and thus the sedins and kesler have a higher chance of staying healthy through the playoffs.

    at the end of the day, this is a huge judgment call that is very difficult to evaluate using statistics we have at hand–how many points does size contribute in the playoffs? especially since i believe mainly as a result of attrition. whatever data we have would have so much noise in it perhaps the canucks accumulated some knowledge from players last year we simply don’t know.

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  31. CC
    February 27, 2012

    A lot of people are trying to fit this trade into the “Neely/Naslund” paradigm, but I’m not sure that’s fair to any of the parties involved. NHL scouting is at a very different place than it was 10 and 25 years ago, and the data points that GMs have on players and prospects nowadays is, shall we say, more than the height, weight, and speed measurements that we had on Barry Pederson. So just because we (Canuck fans) didn’t do our homework on Kassian and Gragnani doesn’t mean that GMMG didn’t. In fact, if there’s one thing we know about GMMG, it’s that he’s nothing if not prepared.

    In many ways, this trade is so unusual because you don’t see young studs traded in the NHL. It used to be the same in Major League Baseball, but now young studs are traded all the time in MLB. With the advent of improved statistics, modeling, and performance metrics, MLB GMs have been much more willing to trade on blue chip prospects because GMs know much more about their players and their their likely progression from an earlier age. Of all GMs in hockey, Gillis probably most resembles Billy Beane in his willingness to buck traditional “truths” and rely on unbiased metrics to evaluate players.

    In general, it’s easy to fall in love with a player over time and difficult to let those players go. We’re all experiencing this with CoHo right now and you can bet that GMMG felt the same, having followed CoHo before we had ever heard of him, drafted him, and seen him through the ups and downs of the Canucks farm system. We all know what we’re losing in CoHo. But right now, now only MG and his staff know what we’re getting back.

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    • Nick
      February 27, 2012

      Well put. Hopefully people won’t rush to judge this trade after only a few weeks. Love is blind.

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    • J21
      February 28, 2012

      I think power forwards, writ large, are very non-Moneyball. They take a lot of time to develop, their peak years are brief, they get injured a ton, they are generally overrated, and of course most of them never pan out (wonder why the examples always come down to the same handful of guys over many years? Neely, Shanahan, Gillies, Bertuzzi, Leclair… because there aren’t that many of them!)

      It’s like buying a sports car instead of a family car. It costs way more, the maintenance is exponentially higher, people only ooh and aah over the former, but they both do the same thing in terms of your day-to-day needs: get you to Safeway for a carton of milk.

      If a non-power forward can produce as much as a power forward, but in less tough, exciting fashion, who cares? Fans salivate over power forwards on principle without looking at what they actually bring relative to their cost.

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  32. jenny wren
    February 27, 2012

    This surely is the dumbest trade
    That the Canucks have ever made
    By this exchanging brains for brawn
    Their chances for the Cup are gone
    I hugely hope on Saturday
    When Buffalo is here to play
    The toughness that we traded for
    Sees Cody score two goals or more

    If hockey skills are not enough
    And we’ve to win by being rough
    If we need goons to win Cup rings
    You’ll hear me cheering for the Wings
    If we’ve forgotten Canuck Zen
    Then say good-bye to Jenny Wren

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    • pheenster
      February 28, 2012

      You have clearly never heard of Joey Kocur.

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      • John in Marpole
        February 28, 2012

        Or Bob Probert.

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        • jenny wren
          February 28, 2012

          The Bruise Brothers from days of yore
          I suppose a fact I can’t ignore
          It seems also I must, “Man up!”
          If we’ve a chance to win the Cup

          I guess as well I can’t deny
          That Gillis had his reasons why
          I only hope we’ll find out soon
          This Kassian’s not just a goon

          For as a hockey connoisseur
          It’s clear I really would prefer
          We win by skill not by brute force
          Because I hate what’s crude and coarse

          And I do love this greatest game
          Which played by thugs is not the same

          Jenny Wren

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    • Josh120
      February 28, 2012

      Good. Go cheer for Detroit then. Jesus, one trade happens and all the bandwagoners are ready to jump ship.

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  33. J21
    February 27, 2012

    My reaction, as posted on HFBoards:

    My first thought when it happened (apart from “Double-U Tee Eff”) was that Ritch Winter was somehow involved. We know all the scuttlebutt about rifts and ice time and whatever, and I couldn’t help but wonder if Winter was giving the organization a hard enough time that they decided to wash their hands of him. Just speculation, obviously, but it was a thought.

    That said, like many here, I hate the trade. I don’t get why Vancouver would make a “sellers” trade in swapping current/potential for really just potential (no offense to Bragnani). And as others have said, if you’re doing this, do it on draft day. Hell, this is the type of trade I ultimately expect for Cory Schneider in June, not Cody Hodgson in February.

    Buffalo is the “selling” team here — the one unlikely to make the playoffs. They are supposed to be the ones sending current value away for picks and prospects. The fact that they are getting the more proven commodity is very troubling to me.

    If this was some part of a can’t-miss (Weber-type) deal, I understand the “get to give” reasoning. But what gets me is it didn’t even fill any of the Canucks’ immediate needs. It didn’t get the coveted right-side D-man (even the most average guy in the league would have helped), it didn’t bring scoring depth. For all fans love to talk about “toughness”, I think most of it is exclusively in their heads anyway, and Kassian won’t be doing all that much of it if he’s not on the roster. Maybe Kassian will suddenly explode out of nowhere and find instant chemistry with a couple of non-playmakers on the second line, but I don’t see it. I’d say more likely he and Bragnani both take their time to fit into the system (Kassian possibly in the AHL) as all new players do, and end up being of relatively minimal impact in the immediate term.

    Not the type of thing you do with a contending team at the start of what they hope to be a long playoff run.

    And oh yeah, now a chunk of scoring depth is gone again. Yaaaay. The only mitigating factor I can see is that the Canucks know they won’t get any power plays in the playoffs, so losing a piece of the second unit is a case of sour grapes. (The actual Aesop’s fables variety, not the way that sports fans ignorantly use the term).

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    • J21
      February 27, 2012

      Oh, and as an addition — keeping again in mind that the Sabres are the “sellers” here, the team looking at the future rather than the present. And for this not-now-but-later purpose, they still chose Hodgson over Kassian.

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    • Lenny
      February 27, 2012

      Wait til Kesler or Hank goes down with an injury this Spring…. This trade is silly. If they had done it in the summer, ok then maybe not so bad. Doing now is pure stupidity. If Kassian doesn’t work out next season Gillis / Vigneault and the entire scouting staff have got to go.

      For a while we could assume that Gillis can do no wrong, that a trade or a signing we do not understand could be assumed away that Gillis and his staff have more information than we do and that they know what they were doing. No more! If Kassian doesn’t work out I’ll support any attempt to persuade ownership to replace this management team and coaching staff.

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      • Michael
        February 28, 2012

        Centers we do have. Not a replacement for Kesler sure, but who does? In my dreams Hodgson could step in, but in no fucking “awake world” could he really be that. Faith time. Throw them dice down the hall and get crazy!

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  34. akidd
    February 27, 2012

    the whole story hasn’t been told on this one. from gillis’ reaction it looks like hodgson’s camp had asked for a trade.and maybe the feeling was mutual. lots of guys looked a bit foolish with hodgson’s back episode: dave gagner, AV(said publically the back was an excuse for poor play), the medical staff., and gillis too. it must have been an inevitable situation that cody was not going to be a career canuck.

    because otherwise this trading coho is lunacy. coho is a special player. he’s the proverbial winner. that’s all he’s done his whole life and he’s not stopping yet. if his hands weren’t tied, barring a cup, gillis will be forever known as the guys who traded cody hodgson.

    there’s gotta be more to this story. scandalous.

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    • Nick
      February 27, 2012

      First time I’ve ever disagreed with one of your comments.

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      • akidd
        February 27, 2012

        thanks for not disagreeing more often, nick. and since the deal is done i too now wish that cody wasn’t really that special player and that kassian hasn’t scored a lot of goals up until now simply because he didn’t feel like. that would be great. then gillis would have won the trade and we could all feel good moving forward.

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    • Chris
      February 28, 2012

      Funny, Cody’s reaction was stunned and shocked. Hardly that of someone who had demanded a trade.

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  35. peanutflower
    February 27, 2012

    After reading more about the trade in other places — TSN, Sportsnet et cetera, the general consensus seems to be that this was not a bad trade for the Canucks. A lot of the comments seem to be around Gragnani and how he’s been overshadowed by the Hodgson/Kassian trade. GMMG has done a good job up until now — he’s either made good trades or fixed the ones that didn’t turn out so well, so I for one am going to wait and see. I have faith. The Canucks have done a good job in bringing out the best in players (viz Torres, Lapierre, Higgings) so why couldn’t it happen this time?

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    • Lenny
      February 27, 2012

      Ballard, Bernier, Schaeffer (instead of Brendan Morrison), Tambellini…. I say so far this management has been 50/50 with trades and FA signings.

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      • Kirk
        February 28, 2012

        If we had kept Morrison, Hodgson would’ve been even further down the depth chart. He wouldn’t have ended up with the sort of playing time that led to his development, which in turn led to the acquisition of Zack Kassian. I am firmly on board with Mike Gillis.

        So far I count his only major blunder as choosing Raymond over Grabner – an instance when he kept the known asset and let go the unproven raw talent… sound familiar?

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        • Amor de Cosmos
          February 28, 2012

          I’d agree, also the acquisition of Ballard and rental of Sundin. In comparison to other GMs MG’s record is exemplary I reckon. Unlike others he’s not afraid of the bold move, which when it doesn’t work, invites critics to come down on him like a ton of bricks. What also must be said is that if this trade doesn’t work out he’ll likely be the first to recognise it and they’ll be gone, cf: Marco Sturm. There won’t be any passengers.

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  36. Nick
    February 27, 2012

    Before we all decide to run this Kassian kid out of town before he’s even shown what he can do, here’s something encouraging from the HockeySpy site:

    “A 30-30 guy is the type of player that Lucic is, but I see Kassian as more of an offensive threat. Think along the lines of a mixture between Lucic and Bertuzzi (in his prime). Kassian has great stick handling and a heavy shot for such a big frame (6’3″, 215 lbs to be exact). That frame is used in various situations, but mostly for taking players off the puck with hard checks. But hitting isn’t the only thing Zack can do with his body. His ability to shield off opponents is second to none which gives him and advantage of crashing the net and causing havoc.”

    If Kassian lives up to this, he sounds like something special to build around.

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    • Chris
      February 28, 2012

      I wonder how many people were saying that about Alek Stojanov.

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      • Nick
        February 28, 2012

        I was a rabid fan of the early 90s teams, went to watch them often at the Coliseum, rarely missed a TV game, and read the newspapers virtually every day to follow the tiniest details about the team (Tony G was no different then by the way).

        Virtually NOBODY was talking about Alex Stojanov as potentially the “total package” like hockey people think Kassian might become.

        It make take awhile to develop, but I think you might be pleasantly surprised by Kassian’s skill level.

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  37. canucks in europe
    February 28, 2012

    I wonder if Zack Kassian will bring his sisters, Kim, Klhoe and Kourtney to the games now…

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  38. Johan
    February 28, 2012

    High risk-high gain move. This move (the buffalo one) looks to me like one of a selling team. Weise also had a point/game in teh AHL. Also, the defender seems the bigger part of the package. High risk I tell you. Hope it works out.

    ******* heartbroken /j

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  39. allan graves
    February 28, 2012

    This is a good trade for both teams. Hodgson is a top 6 center prospect out of position in Vancouver as a third line center. Pauhlson will be much better defensively and faceoff wise eating up a few minutes with a classic third linee. That allows Kelser some rest. The young defensiveman is a great prospect and already has the offensive skill set that the Canucks like. He also played for AV. Lastly Kassian will help now, is much cheaper over the next few years and has tremendous upside. He is one draft year younger than Coho so think Hodgson last year in terms of development. The Canucks are a better team overall today than they were yesterday and are better, more balanced and cheaper from a future development point of view. Better now and for future development seems a reasonable way to evaluate a trade.If Kesler or Henrik get injured then yes, it might have been better to have kept Coho but are the Canucks then a favourite to win the cup ? There is no reason whatsoever not to trust GM Gillis on yesterday’s trades.

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  40. Daniel W.
    February 28, 2012

    Not to mention that Sami Pahlsson and the Sedins played together for MoDo/ their junior team in Sweden from 96 to 2000 until all three decided to go to north america!

    Seems like you can never have enough defensively responsible centers, huh?

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  41. Kirk
    February 28, 2012

    Let’s be honest here, does anyone think that Hodgson’s playing style would be a boon to the Canucks in the post-season – where there aren’t any powerplays? Skill players are fantastic in the regular season – when they can get some space. In the playoffs, third-line skill guys don’t get any room, no penalties will be called, and no points will be produced. While Kassian will likely not be much more than a Raffi Torres this post-season (which I would argue to be more valuable than an ineffective Hodgson), I don’t think this move was made with these playoffs in mind. Put a young, raw talent like that in the Canucks’ system, he could mature into something very special.

    Just think of how fun it will be to have a nasty, talented, power-forward type to play alongside Kesler and Booth in the next couple years. It gives the team a multi-dimensional look that they haven’t ever had. Two legitimate first-lines that play in two totally different ways. Terrifying. Don’t forget that next year Jensen could make the team and we still haven’t seen what Schneider could yield. The “window to win” is much larger than people think. If they can’t pull it off this year, the Canucks will be contending for many years to come.

    I wish ‘Silent G,’ all the best of luck, but you have to give up talent to get talent – which is exactly what Mike Gillis has done.

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    • J21
      February 28, 2012

      ” I don’t think this move was made with these playoffs in mind”

      And therein lies the problem. This was a draft day trade, not a deadline deal for a contending team. The Canucks were supposed to be buyers.

      Gragnani also isn’t going to help when there are no PPs in the playoffs.

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      • Kirk
        February 28, 2012

        These playoffs are already locked up. We are ~20 points up on the Northwest Division, guaranting a top-three seed. Yes, the Hodgson/Kassian deal wasn’t a standard deadline deal, but the pressure to just get into the playoffs is so low that it might as well be draft day. The pressure is on these playoffs and by adding Pahlsson they have a much better shot. An experienced, responsible third-line centre is an upgrade on a finesse player that will not get any space to perform in today’s playoffs.

        Kassian will likely be a fringe player this time around and Canucks fans won’t be thrilled by that, but he makes them a better team for the next several seasons.

        Let’s try not to run the kid out of town before he’s even played a game.

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    • Chris
      February 28, 2012

      If Kesler and Booth get demoted to the AHL, then you’re spot on.

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  42. grumpiest
    February 28, 2012

    I’ve read the post and all the comments and mostly want to give all this a chance to settle before some grand rush to judgement but I wonder how this will go down in the room. I think that’s a caring group of guys in there and it’s got to be affecting them more than us fans (if that’s possible). Anyway, going up against an unusually tough Phoenix tonight and eventually into Cody and the Sabres Saturday. We live in interesting times. Bottom line, best of luck to silent g in Buffalo and to the new and old Canucks.

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  43. Maqywhaq
    February 28, 2012

    I find the stay pat mindset to be a bit flawed personally… In another season or so, we’re gonna end up bleeding pieces to free agency/cap, so the only real options were to make moves to improve chances now, or blow up the team and rebuild for the future. IMO, the people who insist on trading Luongo, more PP/icetime for CoHo/etc. are the ones who are in the later category. The problem with that is IMO, our current core of veterans are what got us here. Our emerging talent/young ‘uns/surprise trades have lifted us further, but the bulk of the credit should go to the core guys.

    If we win it this year, the trades wouldn’t have been a bad move, and we can start considering whether we can put together another run the season after, or whether we need to rebuild the roster. As is stands right now though, a lot of people are getting too emotional and reacting instead of considering what this might actually be.

    Lets give it some time and see where the trades take us eh?

    For the record, I’m a CoHo fan, and my initial reaction was a similar WTF!?! But then again, we know very little about Kassian and what he can do. I don’t think he’s just gonna be a goon like so many are fearing(guessing that many, like me, went and wiki’d him and didn’t like what they saw there), or Gillis would never have made the trade.

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  44. Locky
    February 28, 2012

    Love the Pahlsson Move, Hate the Hodgson move.

    With the addition of Pahlsson and Raymond staying, I really don’t see a place on this roster (this year) for Kassian. Unless we want him on the 4th line instead of Weise/Bitz. But do we really want him fighting? If we try him on the 2nd, which on of Raymond, Higgins or Hansen goes to the 4th? The Hodgson deal makes our scoring depth worse today.

    The loss of Hodgson right now renders us somewhat incapable of icing a 3rd ‘scoring’ line, unless we want Lappy to centre it. This is going to be an major problem in the playoffs IMO, as if the Sedins are once again rendered ineffective by a Weber/Suter/Chara or a good defensive line, it is 100% on Kesler and Booth. To me, scoring depth was our second greatest problem (behind defensive depth) in last years final. Now we have 3 checking centres.

    The loss of Hodgson in the future is more of a problem I think. The Sedins will be 32 next year, Hodgson 22. Hodgson would have been 24 when the Sedins’ current contracts expired. I am absolutely sold on the idea that Hodgson was a vital piece in ensuring that this team does not drop down when the Sedins either leave or their inevitable decline occurs. 1st line centres do not grow on trees, and a 1-2 punch like Sedin-Kesler or (to be) Kesler-Hodgson is even rarer. I recognise that Kassian is a damn good prospect. So was Cody. If you have the option of building a core around a 70pt centre or a 70pt power forward, I think you take the centre every time in the current NHL. This is not the ‘Detroit model’ of bringing your prospects along steadily that Gillis had spoken about. A lot rests on the shoulders of Jordan Schroeder or the return from Cory Schneider.

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    • Lenny
      February 28, 2012

      I agree 100%. PITB calls Cody the ‘linchpin’ of our new found scoring depth. Now we lost it. Are we still trying to win the Cup?

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  45. bergberg
    February 28, 2012

    Alright, well it’s the next morning and I’ve had some more time to process this trade. And to be honest with you, the more I think about it the more I like it. Here’s why:

    The Canucks problem all season (of course I use the term “problem” loosely seeing as we are at the top of the standings) has been their D. I think we can all agree on that. We all had ourselves convinced that the addition of a right handed stay-at-home D to fill in for Salo when needed would solve all our defensive woes. Maybe it’s just that such an individual was not available for a price we could afford, or maybe Gillis saw that it would just be a small patch on a much bigger problem. For sure the right handed D will have to be filled at some point, but for now Gillis has provided us for a lot of options on D to try and mitigate this problem. So what is the bigger problem? When it comes to shutting down the top lines of other teams, we have to rely completely on our D pairings. We did not have a forward line capable of doing this. Granted, this was because we had an extra scoring line, but it’s just not practical, and I think the Canucks have proved that in the last two years. You need to be able to stop the other team from scoring, as well as be able to produce yourself. Sure, we’ve got the Malholtra line which is great at winning faceoffs and getting the puck out of the zone. But what if you don’t get that faceoff? The addition of Pahlsson creates that much needed shut-down line for the Canucks. One move that costs us pretty much nothing and remedies what I see as one of the Canucks biggest weaknesses. But whats the downside? The Canucks are already center-heavy. Somebody has to move to make space. Kesler and Hank are not moving. Malholtra’s role in the defensive zone cannot be over-stated. Lapierre has demonstrated that he is willing to adjust his style of play, he has bought into the Canucks system so much. That is invaluable. And Cody, as loved as he is, has never progressed as fast as the Canucks needed him to. Cody is not likely to come into his own for another several years, and the Canucks just don’t have that time to wait and shelter somebody. In Kassian, you have somebody who can come in to his own in the next 1-2 years and that is a game changer for the Canucks. This takes them from being Stanley Cup Contenders for the next year or two (and then maybe again later when Cody has fully developed) to being Stanley Cup Contenders for the next 5+ years. It sucks to lose someone as talented in Cody, but he was just not what the team needs, and you might as well trade him while his stock is high.

    All that said, my heart still hurts for Cody. I will still mourn his loss from our team for some time. But I think this is the right move for him, and for the Canucks in the long run. Hopefully Cody knows how much support he has from Canuck Nation now, and in the future!

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    • bergberg
      February 28, 2012

      It really bothers me that I ended three sentences in a row with the word “problem”. Why can’t I edit you!? Blast.

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  46. JDM
    February 28, 2012

    I like how so many people whose initial reaction was shock and horror have taken the time to calm down and justify this to themselves. Sign of some hardcore fans. I can’t bring myself to do it though. I will hate this trade, hate it, until Zack Kassian is playing 15 minutes a game for the Canucks and making a real contribution.

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  47. RobG
    February 28, 2012

    IT seems ot me that the people who are most upset with this trade are the ones who feel an emotional connection to Hodgson becasue of everything he has been through. When I heard about the trade I was shocked, and since I heard it first among my circle of Canucks fans I was the messanger – they didn’t just shoot me – they unloaded the clips. It’s tough to see him leave because it appeared that he was finally turning the corner. After it all sank in, I thought about it with my head – not my heart – and this is where I came too. What did Boston, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Anaheim, and Detroit have when they won their cups? They didnt have scoring depth, they had grinding depth that could chip in goals at opportune times. I liked the new-age idea of having 3 scoring lines and 1 checking line and that works well for the regular season – but not the playoffs. By playing 3 scoring lines and one checking line the Canucks would not have the ability to grind down other teams over the course of a 7-game series. We cant be asking kesler to produce on the 2nd line while asking him to check like a third line – its too taxing on the players to play those kind of tough minutes over a long playoff run. Coach V wanted a traditional set-up of 2 scoring lines a checking line and an energy line. To be a checking line center you have to have good defensive awareness, you have to be a fast solid back checker, and most importantly you have to be able to win deffensive zone face-offs – Cody Hodgson does not have any of those qualities in his skill set. As much as some Canucks fans see players with rose-coloured glasses and only see the good qualites – they tend to overlook the bad ones. Quiet simply, Hodgson just didnt fit into this teams’ overal plan. Gilles definately took a gamble by getting an unproven power forward – but remember Canucks fans it wasnt that long ago that a big unproven defenceman-turned-winger named Dustin Byfuglien was wreaking havoc in front of Luongo. The Canucks have proven very effective at developing players over the years, there is no reason why we cant develop Kassian into the player that management thinks he can be. In Gragnani we get one of the best defencemen in the AHL. He is a swift, young, puck-moving defencmen and we are now lucky enough to have 2 of them in the system (Tanev being the other) when most teams have none. Neither players we recieved will bring immediate help to the line-up but they give the Canucks more depth – which is always good in the playoffs. I know most fans want results now (Stanley Cup or Bust) but what happens if we load up for the present and neglect the future, where does that leave us? We would be Chicago 2.0. By getting 2 very young capable players in return, Gilles managed to protect the future of the franchise , freed 1M in cap space, and there is always the possiblitly that these 2 players will help us now as well. Gilles went out and did what all Canucks fans wanted him to do after the loss to Boston, he has made the team bigger, faster, grittier and deeper.

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    • tj
      February 28, 2012

      This.

      So many Canucks fans are emotional (and have dysfunctional memory loss).

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    • Prophet
      February 28, 2012

      Well said. Everything I wanted to say but you said it better. GMMG did EXACTLY what fans were screaming for after the loss to Boston. Fans not in touch with reality think we can get a young, big, skilled power forward with spare parts and a bag of pucks. Well, figure this out.. the other 29 GMs in the league are still probably smarter than 99.99% of puckheads on this forum. Kassian is a better fit for the Canucks to contend for a cup than a “Sedin lite” player. We already got two and they are great, but we just got to keep them protected andd healthy, yes?

      The 80s Oilers dynasty team didn’t have or need 3 Gretzkys. They had one Gretzky, one Messier, one Coffey, and…. one SEMENKO. Which kind of player is the Canucks really missing???

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  48. pete
    February 28, 2012

    in all of my disappointment and disbelieve at losing Hodgson, i had missed something pretty crucial: quite a significant contingent of us Canucks fans, myself included, have been hoping for a real Power Forward on the roster. according to all the analysts i’ve heard, those are in extremely short supply. and according to those same analysts, Kassian is pretty much the only available guy of that description not already holding a solid roster spot.
    there’s a lot more to the situation than that, but i think it’s worthwhile, and somehow a consolation, to keep in mind that even though we just lost a player we’ve grown to love, we just got a player we’ve been looking for. let’s hope we see Kassian blossom in a winning environment where he’s needed.

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    • Chris
      February 28, 2012

      By “this roster” did you mean the Chicago Wolves? Kassian is not an NHL calibre player.

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  49. yobbei
    February 28, 2012

    wow 122 comments this is getting crazy…

    Anyway I can see this trade being beneficial for all parties involved… BUT too big of a risk to take at this time of the year… we are the top ranked team in the NHL and don’t need to retool like this at this point.

    MG was good at getting more for giving up less (Erhoff, Booth, etc..) but we got ripped off by buffalo…. again

    When I saw Coho to buffalo I was expecting to see Myers in return.

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    • Amor de Cosmos
      February 28, 2012

      Does this trade represent a “retool?” I wouldn’t have thought so. More than a “tweak” for sure but not a major readjustment.

      You have to believe too, that at the back of Gillis’s mind, when he made this deal, is this coming summer when Schneider’s situation will have to be sorted. That will surely necessitate the kind of shake up that’ll make yesterday’s developments like stirring a cup coffee in comparison.

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  50. sarah
    February 28, 2012

    Kassian is going to be wearing Cody’s old #9…not so sure about that move.

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  51. Gerry MvGuire
    February 28, 2012

    A pure goal scorer for a goon that takes stupid penalties. There’s a reason he was in the minors. Terrible trade, one that will haunt Mike Gillis for a decade.

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  52. RobG
    February 28, 2012

    Leave your emotions at the door and look at the big picture – Mike Gilles has done what Canucks fans have been asking him to do since the loss to Boston. He has made the team bigger, grittier, faster, and deeper than it was last year. It wasnt all that long ago that a big unproven defenceman-turned-winger was wreaking havoc in front of Luongo, and we always said “gee wouldnt it be great to have a guy like that!” and the Canucks are now lucky enough too have two young, puck-moving defencemen in the system when most teams have none. Whether he made the current line-up better is yet to be seen but he added some much needed depth on the wing and on defence and definately protected the future of the franchise by bringing in Gragnani and Kassian. Looking at it with a head free of emotions – this trade improved the team as whole for the present and for the future.

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  53. Chicky
    February 28, 2012

    Ya know, as much as this trade feels sucky, we seem to be forgetting that this was one player (well ok, two if you want to get technical) traded here. Yes, CoHo was coming into the player that we want to see, yes, he seemed truly surprised about the trade. NONE of us were part of the behind the scenes on this, so we can only sit and speculate. BUT

    The core of the team remains… those guys are the ones who’ve gotten us to the top spot and are yet again making a play off run. They’re contending for the Cup, not just an 8th spot showing.

    Change sucks, but really, Kassian is being raked over coals before he even steps on the ice. As is Gragnani, and well, no one’s really touched Pahlsson because it was a quieter deal. I want to see what happens before I flup the inground pool. (I tossed my inflatable one last night in honor of CoHo’s time here)

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    • Chicky
      February 28, 2012

      Damn & blasted! *Flip* the pool, not flup. Damn italics.

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  54. Chris T
    February 28, 2012

    So the book is closed on a 21 year old former first round pick who scouts love and oh yeah Cody is sure to be the next Steve Yzerman. That plus Gillis is a horrible GM an the team is going to be blown up in a year.

    Are you people listening to yourselves?? Take the blinders off, step off the ledge, and take some medication or something….some of you have lost it.

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  55. Norman
    February 28, 2012

    Out of curiosity, does any one know if hodgson is still having problems with his back? Or has he overcome that entirely? I mean this might be a major contributing factor to the trade.

    Don’t get me wrong, I was furious about the trade when I first found out. but when I took a step back and looked at it, I wonder if there’s more behind the story?

    In any case, I wish Cody the BEST of luck! You’ll always be a Canuck in my heart.

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  56. PW
    February 28, 2012

    Prediction: Kassian will be suspended for 5 of the remaining 19 games after running Hodgson in this Saturday’s game. I’ve watched him play and he appears to have the IQ of a houseplant.

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    • Harrison Mooney
      February 28, 2012

      Venus Fly Traps are houseplants and, when you think about it, they’re pretty damn clever.

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      • PW
        February 28, 2012

        Was this a WKRP reference?

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        • Harrison Mooney
          February 28, 2012

          I don’t think so…. was it?

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  57. Cathylu
    February 28, 2012

    I agree with CC. I figured Gillis is playing “Moneypuck”. I will miss Cody though. I’m on the road to Phoenix right now so tomorrow I can let you know how the new guys look in person.

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  58. superreggie
    February 28, 2012

    I keep thinking about the Higgins/LaPierre scoop. They must know something I don’t… I’m going to have faith in this trade. Here’s one possible scenario: Kassian kind of sucks for a while, doesn’t do great in the playoffs, costs the canucks a crucial game or two because of dumb penalties (remember Bertuzzi? Whew!). Everyone dumps on the GM. Then next year Kassian grows into a great player. Cody starts having trouble with his back again…

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  59. Phileo99
    February 28, 2012

    To the one and only who could make goalposts sing, from the bottom of my heart, I most sincerely will miss you

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  60. SteveB
    February 28, 2012

    I’ll never forget that *ping!* sound that Cody’s shot made on Tim Thomas:

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  61. akidd
    February 28, 2012

    i feel worse today than i did yesterday. yesterday i was angry, today i’m just sad. gillis’ hands had better have been tied on this one. otherwise he just gave away the future for no good reason.

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  62. Prophet
    February 28, 2012

    What short term memories… if the Canucks got beat up (again) in the (should damn well be) long playoff run, we would have been screaming why Gillis did nothing to address the grit/size factor. Was he expected to land Rick Nash for bag of pucks, and Columbus happily picks up $5M of his salary for the remainder of his contract? Can you buy a house on the West side for $250K?

    GMMG did EXACTLY what fans were screaming for after the loss to Boston. Fans not in touch with reality think we can get a young, big, skilled power forward with spare parts and a bag of pucks. Well, figure this out.. the other 29 GMs in the league are still probably smarter than 99.99% of puckheads on this forum. Kassian is a better fit for the Canucks to contend for a cup than a “Sedin lite” player. We already got two and they are great, but we just got to keep them protected andd healthy, yes?

    The 80s Oilers dynasty team didn’t have or need 3 Gretzkys. They had one Gretzky, one Messier, one Coffey, and…. one SEMENKO. Which kind of player is the Canucks really missing???

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    • akidd
      February 28, 2012

      no one is saying the canucks didn’t need grit. it’s the price gillis paid for it that has the town gobsmacked. there were lots of other assets he could’ve got some good grit in return for besides, “the special one.” canuck fans will rue the day. 27/02/12.

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  63. akidd
    February 28, 2012

    1) chl player of the year.
    2) record for most points scored in world juniors

    these two achievements which came after he was drafted and before his back injury. now the back is healing he’s a year behind but back on track to being the spectacular player he’s been groomed his whole like to be.

    coho has done nothing but win. he’s battled back from his injury and is on the verge of a calder at 12 mins per night. guys as smart as hodgson and with as much character as hodgson are very rare. and one just flew away. gillis just couldn’t calculate the intangibles of coho, the smarts, the clutch, the scoring instinct. his head was in his advanced stats,he let his staff make a decision that the big boys get paid the big bucks to make and he let himself get pushed around by a hockey dad and a pitbull agent.

    not good. cody will be twice as valuable a year from now. and would surprise av and gillis in the playoffs this year. they could’ve got grit for a different price.

    we’ll see what happens. but i say gillis squandered this asset. he traded two beautiful birds in the hand for one big ugly one in the bush.

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    • Prophet
      February 28, 2012

      There is no argument who is the “better” player at the present time and I don’t even argue that Hodgson probably mades the Sabres a better team than Kassian can contribute to Vancouver. I’m not arguing skill sets here. We should look at the BIG PICTURE.We’re not trying to be the “best team” because we already are. We are reigning President’s Trophy winner and we might even repeat. For spoiled Vancouver fans, the regular season is just a 82 game pre-season for what really counts…

      All I’m saying is give the guys who are currently in charge a little time here. They are only the best management and coaching tandem in Canucks history.

      If every team plays everry playoff game like Vancouver and Detroit in the regular season, I agree that this would be the stupidest trade this year. We gave up a really good skill player that may possibly one day put up 80-90 points? He won’t get any bigger or faster. He’s got great character and work ethic and has leadership potential. So that would make him the next Sedin. My point is that we already got two of them in their prime, as well as Kesler. We also got a backend who can score. However, nobody who’s playing on one leg with a dislocated shoulder and broken fingers are going to put up too many points. Teams like Boston and Philly are going to rough up anybody on the roster who can score over a 7 game series, so we can have a whole team of Sedins and by the final round, they’ll be pounded so badly they can barely stand,, let alone score. Cody is not that fast and not that big, and history shows that he’s fairly prone to injuries and as we all know, Cody doesn’t play all that well when hurt either.

      Go back to last year’s final against Boston. Let me ask you one question… do you think we would have won if we had a third Sedin or if we a guy named Lucic? Chew on that.

      This is obviously a high risk, high return move. Kassian can turn out to no more skilled than Bitz and this will go down as one of the worst trades ever. Funny thing though, everyone followinng the Sabres side of the trade out East seem to think it wasn’t so lopsided.

      It’s possible to train a big player with potential some skills. It’s impossible for a guy to gain 40 lbs and 4 inches.

      Cody was getting fewer minutes but he was getting easy minutes against third pairing defense and other 3rd and 4th liners, and playing on the best powerplay in the NHL. Buffalo is a harder place to play and especially as a top 6 forward. How many points is Ehrhoff putting up this year? Maybe a player’s production has something to do with the quality of the rest of the team.

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      • akidd
        February 28, 2012

        people are trying to console themselves. a little westcoast forced positivity. getting grit is fine. giving up coho for unproven grit is not fine. there’s more to this story. there has to be. buffalo is pretty close to ‘team hodgson’. coincidence? i doubt it.

        there are some big egos in canuck management. and their handling of coho left them with egg on their face. a lot of backroom issues here. it wouldn’t be the first time that ‘pride’ led to a boneheaded decision.

        there’s no way this is a good hockey trade. there must be more to it.

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  64. tj
    February 28, 2012

    The hyperbolic tangents this thread has taken is disappointing. There’s passion, and then there’s just childishness. Even over at Chloe’s post–with the tearful goodbyes. Jeez. I feel like I’m on CDC with a bunch of overemotional teens, save for a few reasonable perspectives, including PiTB’s. Maybe there’s a mirror version of this site somewhere, without all these crocodile tears. Gosh, CoHo was a good asset, but for crimey’s sake he wasn’t the almighty saviour of the Canucks. He wasn’t the sole reason they’re sitting up on top. All this bawling over him, and doomsday predicting does a disservice to the rest of the great skill on the team. You know, the bulk of the same fellas that got us to the SCF last year, without CoHo.

    Ack. This is the side of hockey fandom I have to turn my eyes and ears away from.

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    • Harrison Mooney
      February 28, 2012

      Ha. Yeah, the overwhelming grief is pretty amusing. But hey, not everyone’s a robot like you, tj. Let Canucks nation have a sad.

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      • akidd
        February 28, 2012

        you haven’t really weighed in on this trade yet, harrison. what do you think?

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        • Harrison Mooney
          February 28, 2012

          I weighed in at Puck Daddy, but I’m on the fence about it. Basically, if it works out, the Canucks win, since they need what Kassian brings at his ceiling more than what Hodgson brings at his, but if it doesn’t…. yikes.

          On the plus side, I think it gives me the win in our ongoing debate over Hodgson. Great offensively, mediocre enough defensively to be traded without remorse.

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    • Amor de Cosmos
      February 28, 2012

      It does seem a bit OTT. You’d have thought we’d traded the next Wayne Gretzky for one of Todd Bertuzzi’s old jockstraps, rather than flipping a couple of fairly raw ex-first rounders and getting a decent defenceman to boot. Amid all the weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth I haven’t seen any scenario where Hodgson could have stayed here beyond the next year or so, promising as he is.

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  65. akidd
    February 28, 2012

    it was probably inevitable that cody had to go one day. it’s the risk of an unproven return who hasn’t exactly lit it up in buffalo(most sabres fans don’t seem to really know who coho is and half of them seem okay anyway with dumping kassian and are already looking to rochester for foligno and others) that makes no sense. to me cody is just getting back on track and his upswing in the next year or so looks to be pretty dramatic.

    gillis could’ve played hardball with the hodgson camp and kept cody for another year. at that point it’s tyler myers at least who comes back. imho.

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