Originally written on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 3/5/12
Wolfgang Amadeus Gragnani

Quick what happened last Monday?

I can’t actually hear you but I’m assuming you said the Canucks traded Cody Hodgson for Zack Kassian, though you should never assume because it makes an ass out of you, especially when you got the trade wrong.

Alex Sulzer, who you forgot existed until 3:30 pm Monday, was also shipped out in the deal for Marc-Andre Gragnani. We can’t pretend Hodgson for Kasssian was a straight one-for-one deal because otherwise Buffalo gets fleeced in the defender swap.

By virtue of actually playing on Saturday, Gragnani has already surpassed Sulzer’s contributions to the team this year.

In fact his blatant disregard for the basic concept of traditional positioning, especially on the powerplay, has made him down-right intriguing. Who is this mystery defenceman that won’t be chained down and why has Alain Vigneault not murdered him between giggle fits?

Well for un he’s Quebecios, so he knows the secret handshake. For deux, his Junior coach was a man named Alain Vigneault.

For the trios, the captain of the PEI Rockets at that time was a player named Maxim Lapierre.

Funny how these details also seem to show up in Mike Gillis trades. Did I mention Sami Pahlsson played with the Sedins at MODO?

Also, he might be harbouring some serious offensive talent.

Marc Gragnani might be harbouring some serious offensive talent. (Photo Vancouver Sun)

193 points in in 256 QMJHL games. 206 points in 283 AHL games. 7 points in seven games during last year’s playoffs with the Buffalo Sabres.

At 24, Gragnani only has 61 NHL regular season games under his belt, 46 of them this year where he has a respectable 16 points.

His defensive game is rather limited and the Marc-Andre Bergeron comparisons are easy, but as a player who has put up tremendous offensive numbers in every league he’s competed in, dropping him into a high-octane offensive system like Vancouver’s is very very exciting.

This is assuming that Vancouver’s system is still high-0ctane. The Pahlsson acquisition seems to be a response to the increasing defensive battles in the West as St Louis and Nashville, and to a lesser extent Los Angeles and Phoenix, have surged to the top of the standings in the strength of never allowing goals ever.

The Sedins are slumping, out of the Art Ross race and clinging hopefully to the top 10, yet are still the highest scorers in the Western Conference.

Of course I could be reading too much into what may have been the best available option to replace Cody Hodgson.

Still, with the powerplay dragged down by the Sedin slump and losing that Cody kid, Gragnani could be a welcome boost in the times when he should be exclusively occupying the offensive zone.

Gragnani switched briefly to left wing in his first season in the AHL which is another wrinkle that could be explored by the Canucks. Remember when Andrew Alberts was dressing as a forward in late November?

He’s quite the unique package and his landing in Vancouver definitely adds more potiental to a blueline that still looks a bit like a work in progress long-term.

Still, as a Junior star with offensive talent, especially on the powerplay, and defencies in his defensive game that may concern Vigneault, there’s a good chance he gets traded to Buffalo.

CLICK HERE CHECK OUT THE VANCOUVER CANUCKS CLUBHOUSE TODAY ON NWSB!

 

© Richard Hodges for North West Sports Beat, 2012. | Permalink | No comment |

Follow NWSB on Twitter or join US on Facebook for real-time updates OR... | Share This on Twitter | Share NWSportsBeat.com on Facebook

Post tags: AHL, Alain Vigneault, Andrews Alberts, Art Ross trophy, Buffalo Sabres, Canucks, Canucks hockey blog, Canucks Player Intro, Canucks Roster, Cody Hodgson, Marc-Andre Gragnani, Maxim Lapierre, Mike Gillis, modo, Nashville Predators, NHL Playoffs, NHL Trade Deadline, PEI Rockets, QMJHL, Sami Pahlsson, St. Louis Blues, The Sedins, Vancouver Canucks Hockey Blog, Western Conference, Zack Kassian

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Evander Kane wins back model girlfriend with billboard

Urban Meyer has 'feeling' who will start at QB

Report: Schilling to return to 'Sunday Night Baseball'

Report: Cardale Jones rushed to hospital with head pain

WATCH: Cubs' Baez swings so hard he falls down

WATCH: Boston host jokes Goodell should be murdered

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

WATCH: Mets get inside-the-park HR after OF flips over wall

Eli Manning remains unfazed about poor preseason

RG3 thinks 'Concussion' movie will 'make a lot of people mad'

Can Darrius Heyward-Bey replace Martavis Bryant for the first month in Pittsburgh?

Treon Harris to start at QB for Gators’ opening game

Marshawn Lynch campaigning for Seahawks to sign Fred Jackson

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Top 10 storylines for Week 4 of the NFL preseason

Matt Williams is still hopelessly married to the idea of the closer’s role

Five unique CFB games to watch this weekend

Be careful what you wish for, Jay Gruden

Ryan taking leap of faith with Bills

Top 10 storylines for Week 1 of college football season

Underdogs: Hopefuls that can shock in the World Cup

Manfred digs Shoeless Joe a deeper grave

Why Mike Trout ain't right

The Opening Drive: Jamal Anderson warns UM fans before heading to Salt Lake City

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker