Originally written on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 2/28/12
Canucks swap key pieces with Buffalo

And just like that, the stud is gone.

To the absolute shock of Canucks nation and the entire NHL, talented rookie Cody Hodgson was traded to the Buffalo Sabres yesterday in exchange for “a force” – hard-hitter and winger Zack Kassian.

Fans are surprised that the team canned the All-Star before he’d fully had a chance to prove himself. Hodgson’s 16 goals and 17 assists apparently weren’t enough to solidify his spot in Vancouver.

Social Media Report: 2012 Trade Deadline

General Manager Mike Gillis admitted that it was an extremely difficult trade, but in the end it was the best strategic decision for the team.

The Canucks need power in place of skill – and with Hodgson playing behind Ryan Kesler and Henrik Sedin, he would have stayed on the third line for another three to five years.

At 6’3 and 228 lbs, Kassian is a big and rough player that will bring an element of toughness that our team so obviously lacks (see: last year’s playoffs) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPqT5OJaoDQ).

In Gillis’ defence, the Canucks haven’t had a Bertuzzi-esque, goon presence since, well, Todd.

Along with Kassian, the Canucks swapped defensemen with the Sabres, trading the often benched Alexander Sulzer for Marc-Andre Gragnani.

Some fans are puzzled by the move, others are praising it. We cover the spectrum in another Social Media Report.

The “talking heads have weighed in” as well.

TSN’s Perry Solkowski – “Kassian brings size and grit Gillis felt was needed on his team.”

TSN’s Bob McKenzie “I thought the Canucks were going to do something big, I didn’t think it would be two young players. There two reasons the Canucks traded Cody Hodgson. Their names are Henrik and Daniel”

TSN’s Marc Crawford “Zack Kassian’s not going to have to start on a top 6 position for Vancouver. He’s going to get a chance to move up in this lineup.”

Sportsnet’s Dan Murphy “GM Mike Gillis didn’t overhaul his roster he did make significant changes, and pulled off the biggest surprise of the day.”

Here’s some  local tweets.

https://twitter.com/#!/tg_gman/status/174232041536233473

https://twitter.com/#!/benkuzma/status/174261694611202048

https://twitter.com/#!/imacVanSun/status/174233896538472449

https://twitter.com/#!/blakeprice1040/status/174278111742005248

https://twitter.com/#!/BotchonCanucks/status/174266123544576001

https://twitter.com/#!/passittobulis/status/174295895133782017

On the other hand, some sentimental fans understandably aren’t thrilled about losing the young and studly, full-of-potential COHO before he got a chance to shine.

Check out the cheesy video embedded in the last tweet.

Fan Reaction

https://twitter.com/#!/JasonPHT/status/174239299712200705

https://twitter.com/#!/VancityBuzz/status/174232024138260481

https://twitter.com/#!/HeadtotheNet/status/174539857765482496

https://twitter.com/#!/FlyingVHockey/status/174274639764262912

https://twitter.com/#!/prfctsoundforvr/status/174347381863755777

https://twitter.com/#!/vancan19/status/174261545054904320

https://twitter.com/#!/NWSportsbeat/status/174522338572902400

This trade could prove to be short-sighted – giving away a skilled player like Hodgson for size could hurt the Canucks in the long term. On the other hand, it could give the Canucks some balls that they’ve been missing for years.

Canucks play the Coyotes in Phoenix tonight at 6 p.m.

If you’re pissed about this trade, you’ll be happy to know that Kassian is literally taking the jersey off Hodgson’s back and will be dressed as #9 from now on.

Go Canucks Go…..

CLICK HERE CHECK OUT THE VANCOUVER CANUCKS CLUBHOUSE TODAY!

© Carolyn Smith for North West Sports Beat, 2012. | Permalink | No comment |

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Post tags: All-Star rookie, Buffalo Sabres, Canucks, Canucks hockey blog, Canucks On Twitter, Canucks social media, Canucks tweets, Cody Hodgson, Henrik Sedin, NHL Trades, NHL tweets, NHL twitter, Trade Deadline, Twitter Canucks, twitter trades, Vancouver Canucks, Vancouver Canucks twitter, Zack Kassian

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