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.
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.
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…..
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© Carolyn Smith for North West Sports Beat, 2012. |
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