Canucks get Zack Kassian

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Re: Canucks get Zack Kassian

Postby damonberryman » Tue Feb 28, 2012 10:22 am

I hate losing the kid but admire the guts MG shows with this trade. IF and that is a big IF Kassian turns out well we win. He is just 21 and is a big bodied work in progress. Coming to Van he is going to be around winners and most of all we did get tougher. MG always said he did not want a goon and this kid has potential to be much more. Like I said I hate losing the kid. Made me feel sick for a moment when I read about it but I have to ask myself one question. Did this trade combined with Pahlson make us more likely to win the Cup this year? The answer has to be yes for me. Pahlson frees up Kes a bit and provides a shut down center who hits. Come the p/o no one is going to push this team around and almost all of us have called for this. Sure it is a big price but so is the prize. If we win the Cup the trade is a winner. Come draft day we are going to get some talent back through trade so the scoring can be replaced. I still wonder if that Mcilrath kid was available for trade? Still, it gives us a better shot come the grind.
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Re: Canucks get Zack Kassian

Postby Aaronp18 » Tue Feb 28, 2012 10:29 am

Reefer2 wrote:Meds - I agree that we needed to add toughness, I just don't see how a 21 yr old with 27 NHL games is the answer for this years playoffs?


Because in the role we are now asking him to play there isn't too much pressure on the kid. Why get an aging player that may be a rental?

Obviously the ideal scenario would be to get a proven winger with some toughness that can add another dimension to our team. There weren't many of those available, and evidently the price tag for a guy like Ott was just too high.

So Gillis took a bit of a gamble in picking up a younger player and giving up his third line centre but he's only going to be asked to play a bottom 6 role immediately, and he has numerous players to look up to in the hopes that he can eventually fill his potential.

Right now he adds significant grit to our wings, in the future he may be that power forward this team has been missing since Bertuzzi Moored Moore!

Gillis stated not that long ago that he wanted to change the dynamics of the line-up. He most definitely has done that.
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Re: Canucks get Zack Kassian

Postby Hockey Widow » Tue Feb 28, 2012 10:57 am

Perhaps one day we will all learn to take MG at his word. He has told us he won't trade younger, star type players for aging vets. When Dallas wanted too much for Ott, Ott was taken out of the equation potential.

MG has said he does not want to trade for rentals, or if he has to he does not want to give up a roster player or top prospect. So far we have seen he is true to his word.

MG has said that if he is going to trade top talent he wants top talent and youth back

MG has said he wants to make hockey trades.

MG has said that when he makes trades he thinks of not just today's needs but the future of the organization.

Just last week MG said that he expected if he was busy on trade deadline day any trades he made would surpise people. He commented on how his past few trades have been off the radar, not talked about and caught people by surprise. Like last year's two pick ups and in the Ballard and Booth trades. They came out of left field with little or no rumour before hand. In almost cryptic fashion MG said if he got a deal done he expect it to follow that pattern. I thought little of those comments at the time but now I can see he was being smug. He wasn't really planning to trade Raymond but would have it the right player was there. He wasn't shopping Cody but I think he knew that if he got his deal it would be Cody moving on. Just no rumours floating around.

So why not? Because whenever a GM called to inquire out Cody they were told he wasn't available. But he was. Just that MG knew what he wanted back and knew who had the pieces so he didn't waste time with unsuitable suitors. Thus no rumours of Cody being shopped. There were numerous teams interested in Cody but MG wanted youth back. He wanted what Cody could not bring, back.

Today I am hearing that Burke offered Schenn straight up for Cody. Burke was told Cody was not available. Would this have been a better fit for Vancouver? It would have been a good fit for Toronto. Cody would have easily slid into number 1 or 2. But MG wanted more than one piece, he wanted balance. He wanted grit up front and the Leafs did not have that part of the answer.

Me, I know more about Schenn that the two we got so I get a little squeamish when I hear we had the chance for a Hodgson/Schenn swap. But I figure maybe its time to take MG at his word. So far he has stayed on plan and so far most of his moves have surprised me. But his moves, love them or hate them, are hockey moves and the pieces coming back are pieces he tries to fit into the tam moving forward.

When asked if he had plans to try and re-sign Pahlsson he said yes, he saw no reason why not and he expected Pahlsson to fit in nicely here. An expected answer but one he gave without hesitation. He could just as easily have said we'll see when the season is over where all the pieces fit. But I believe to him Pahlsson is not a rental and I think like Higgins and Lappy he will do what he can to re-sign Pahlsson to a 2-3 year deal this summer. He will become what we had hoped to have in Maholtra and were getting before his horrific injury.

Kassian we hope will become what he had hoped for in Bernier and then some. Mags will become we hope, what we had in Ehrhoff.

I do not think the decision to part with Cody was an easy one for MG. I think he would have been OK if he could not have made that deal but felt compelled to act when Kassian became available. He wasn't going to part easily with Cody, not for Ott and not for Schenn straight up. I have to believe that he believes he got the parts he needed. Only time will tell of course.
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Re: Canucks get Zack Kassian

Postby rats19 » Tue Feb 28, 2012 11:04 am

This is why I belong to a community...when left alone, sometimes the ratman is in baad company... :D
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Re: Canucks get Zack Kassian

Postby nyintensity » Tue Feb 28, 2012 11:10 am

HW, I'm glad MG told Burke no, for no other reason than the fact that I hate the Leafs (almost as much as I hate Boston).

Hopefully I don't have to regret the day that we got CoHo instead...
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Re: Canucks get Zack Kassian

Postby Uncle dans leg » Tue Feb 28, 2012 11:28 am

Fantastic thread! I love the varying opinions and insider insight(thx HW) in this one and it's taken awhile to read through the pages.

My opinion is one of shock, initially, followed by curiosity and now pretty well fascination. I'm amazed at the size of Gillises balls on this one. He really went under the table and came up with a couple of very promising, if not unproven assets that completely change the look and dynamic of our team
instantaneously and looking forward.

Kassian looks to be a major-league asshole (strangler approved!) and we haven't had a player on the roster like he appears to be since Bert before Moore. I'm nervous yet fascinated! If he pans out we really do have something special there and there's no indication so far that this isn't going to happen. He's definitely NOT Kyle Beach. He's Zach Kassian and his skills, size and total package will more than likely be unique.

The D-man we get back is a total unknown to me. I can only see his stats and that last year he stood out in a series against the Flyers. Likely a decent player with warts.

My take on CoHo is that he will probably make Buffalo a better team right away but his size and speed are a glaring issue if you're planning on making him a cornerstone of your franchise. He really does have excellent hands and a real knack for being in good position in the offensive zone but his overall game may be exposed when not playing behind 2 all star centres.

So we give up a good young player with offence but lacking size/speed an bring in a big strong power winger with skys-the-limit potential and a promising looking defenseman who has a knack for offence.

I think the trade so far is pretty even. Sure love what ZK could do if all goes well. I love it better than what CoHo could do if all goes well for him so I guess I'm giving us the early advantage, albeit by a hair.
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Re: Canucks get Zack Kassian

Postby coco_canuck » Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:22 pm

A day late to the party, but here are my thoughts...

I'm surprised Cody was traded at the deadline, but I'm not surprised in the least that he has been traded. It didn't take a genius to figure out he's an uneasy fit as skilled centre behind two of the best Centres in the league, who still have considerable time left in their careers. Cody's improved play and ability to step produce in big games made me think he'd stay through the playoffs, but my concern at the start of the year was the Cody's fit long-term and the lack of a solid checking line with Boot-Strap Malhotra and Lappy who is best suited for an energy role on the 4th or as a crashing winger on the 3rd line.

Judging by AV's comments the last few weeks, he was real concerned with not having a shutdown 3rd line, and hinted that it was an area the team might improve at the deadline. AV referenced the team's ability to throw out Manny's line against other top lines, which opened the Sedins and Kesler up to more favourable offensive match-ups. That all changed when Malhotra nearly lost an eye. Last year in the playoffs, Kesler's line had the shutdown duties, and more often than not the Twins were out against the 2nd line to keep from placing too much pressure on Lappy's line, which performed admirably all things considered.

With that in mind, I do not think the Canucks are worse off than they were before the deadline. What they lose in Cody's offensive production on the 3rd, they regain in having a true shutdown line (if Pahlsson is still up for the task), and theoretically, they should see a boost in offence from the top two lines. Also, I don't see Hansen, Higgins, or Raymond being totally shut-out offensively with Pahlsson down the middle. One thing Pahlsson excelled at in the playoffs is pressuring top lines, frustrating them, creating turnovers and creating chances in transition. If you look at the production Pahlsson's line had in 07, most of their points were scored in transition. Hansen, Raymond and Higgins are very strong two-way players who can create offence in transition, and come playoff time they may be more productive than most are currently projecting.

Adding Gragnani and Kassian as depth players also strengthens the team. We needed another capable depth defenseman who can play the right side, and preferably we would have liked either a "beast" or someone with offensive skills. Gragnani can play the right side, has PP skills, has tremendous passing skills and reads the offensive game fairly well. He's a guy I've kept an eye on for a little while and was very impressed with last year in the playoffs for the Sabres in the first round. Gragnani has had a tough year, but the entire team has been shit, and coming here he's more of a depth guy at the moment, albeit a potentially valuable one.

The other area the team needed help was adding a tough winger with size, and Kassian first that bill. At worst, he won't be much different than someone like Winnik who the Canucks apparently had interest in, and obviously Kassian has a very high ceiling.

So internally, the Canucks wanted to shore up the 3rd line defensively, add a gritty winger and another defenseman, and they scored high on all three.

As for the value the Canucks get in return for Cody...if you're trading your best young prospect, you either have to get top young talent in return, be it a top prospect or an established top young/fairly young player. Kassian is the Sabres top prospect and from all accounts, IS a can't miss player. Anyone who follows the Junior hockey, or at least the Mem Cup and the WHJC, will be familiar with Kassian and his potential. But as a straight up trade, I probably don't move Cody for Kassian unless he had a bigger NHL sample size, but adding Gragnani was enough to make a deal go through. Kassian absolutely has the chance to be a Lucic type forward and Gragnani has the potential to be an offensive top 4 d-man in the Ehrhoff hold. Even if Cody turns out to be the best player in the deal, the Canucks get the missing talented and nasty element that's a rarity in the NHL plus a top 4 d-man if it all goes to plan. Those two can end up being more valuable and fitting pieces for this team than just Cody.

But, the deal isn't without risk, and that's what makes it potentially troubling. It's incredibly difficult to project power forwards, and many a can't miss bruiser has gone the Brad Isbister or Alek Stojanov route. And while Gragnani's upside is Ehrhoff, his downside is Krajcek.

Time will only tell if the deal will be a win, but it has all the earmarks of being a perfect deal for a player that really didn't have a long-term fit on this team...largely due to the two guys in front of him, and possibly due to Cody and his family wanting more for him.

As it has been mentioned, Corey's likely trade (although I'd like to re-sign him) is very likely to bring back a high-end offensive prospect or young player like Cody, and the Hodgson trade addresses two big needs for the team: a young power forward and another young offensive d-man.
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Re: Canucks get Zack Kassian

Postby Potatoe1 » Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:24 pm

Hockey Widow wrote:So why not? Because whenever a GM called to inquire out Cody they were told he wasn't available. But he was.



Just a theory but I think the Dallas game changed a lot.

I dont think the Canucks felt that the top9 was tough enough with both Raymond and Hodgson. The plan was to move Raymond and bring in a more physical 3rd liner to play with Cody and Hansen.

My guess is that Gillis was very much pushing Dallas to give us Ott in a deal around Raymond+. When Dallas won on Saturday Dallas felt they had a shot at the playoffs and pulled Ott off the table (or asked for Cody which was not going to happen).

The other thing that happened in that Dallas game is that during the 3rd period and over time, the refs put the whistles away and the Stars pretty much took over. I know I was pretty concerned when I saw that happen and I'm sure it served as a reminder that the Canucks struggled under similar circumstances last year with forward group that was probably a bit bigger and stronger.

It helped them cement the need and Gillis went our on deadline day and started sniffing around for a more physical forward.

He probably called about Paul Gaustad and offered Raymond. Sabers turn him down of course but express interest in Hodgson (who's play has obviously been slipping). Who knows how it evolved into the deal we ended up with but my guess is that Gillis wasn't planning to move Cody for very long, and was likely speaking the truth when he told Burke he wasn't available.

Obviously very speculative on my part.
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Re: Canucks get Zack Kassian

Postby TDA Rum » Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:29 pm

Kassian reminds me of Cam Neely before we traded him to Boston...young & big with lots of raw talent....wouldn't it be nice if he turned out as well...
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Re: Canucks get Zack Kassian

Postby Jovocop » Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:35 pm

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Re: Canucks get Zack Kassian

Postby Fred » Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:42 pm

For me it's the uncertainty of what we got. While most pundits suggest he's a good prospect not many think he's a shoe in to be a 1st/2nd line player. I think we're being asked to wait and see and that's unsettling when we've seen the huge upside Hodgson brings. When you think that we're so close this season I think that another time it would look better...but now ? I thought we'd found some edge already with Bitz/Weise.

I hope this guy will develop along the power forward we need for the future
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Re: Canucks get Zack Kassian

Postby Potatoe1 » Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:47 pm

coco_canuck wrote:
But, the deal isn't without risk, and that's what makes it potentially troubling. It's incredibly difficult to project power forwards, and many a can't miss bruiser has gone the Brad Isbister or Alek Stojanov route. And while Gragnani's upside is Ehrhoff, his downside is Krajcek.


That's the reason I was cringing when I started getting text messages about this deal yesterday.

Cody just seems like a much more sure bet then Zack.

I don't say that because of any gap in talent or potential but because Cody has shown more at the NHL level and because of they types of players that they are.

Good offensive centers who can get you goals and points seem to work out more then the often elusive power forward.

For every Milan Lucic, there are probably 10 guys dubbed "the next one" who never manage to elevate themselves past a bottom6 role.

If Hodgson goes on to become a high end second line center and Kassian levels off as a 30 point 3rd liner who doesn't hit or fight enough, then this could be a pretty tough deal to take in a couple of years.

Not sure about the trade but I do no think Gillis has a big ole set of brass ones.
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Re: Canucks get Zack Kassian

Postby Jovocop » Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:49 pm

Fred wrote:For me it's the uncertainty of what we got. While most pundits suggest he's a good prospect not many think he's a shoe in to be a 1st/2nd line player. I think we're being asked to wait and see and that's unsettling when we've seen the huge upside Hodgson brings. When you think that we're so close this season I think that another time it would look better...but now ? I thought we'd found some edge already with Bitz/Weise.

I hope this guy will develop along the power forward we need for the future


As Pots pointed out, Cody's production slipped in the last little while, exactly when teams are playing hard for a playoffs spot. I am not sure Cody will be a clutch performer in the playoffs. As I said, the deal is really two (Kassian and Gragnani) for one (Hodgson), as Sulzer is just a throw-in to get rid of one contract for the Canucks. If Gragnani turns out to be a Ehrhoff lite, the Canucks could easily win this trade.

This is from Andy Strickland,

Mike Gillis Shines…

The more I see of Mike Gillis the more I like. Moving Cody Hodgson to Buffalo for Zach Kassian may prove to be good for both teams but may also be the difference in the Canucks winning a Cup.

Kassian is a pure hockey player. Some hockey people believe he’s a better skater and has better hands than Milan Lucic of the Boston Bruins. Whether he’s tougher remains to be seen as he’s still maturing as an NHL player.

Plenty of teams have first and second line centers like a Hodgson but few have a Zach Kassian. Vancouver can probably replace Hodgson’s skill this summer by moving goaltender Cory Schneider. Does Cody Hodgson makes others better? Kassian will.

Teams want players like these guys which is why LA GM Dean Lombardi turned down offers for Kyle Clifford.
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Re: Canucks get Zack Kassian

Postby Nuckertuzzi » Tue Feb 28, 2012 1:06 pm

damonberryman wrote:I hate losing the kid but admire the guts MG shows with this trade.



This is THE most ballsy move I have ever seen a Canuck GM make, maybe any GM. THE top team of the league three-quarters of the season in decides to make a major philosophical move. Talk about rolling the dice.

If he doesn't make the move or makes minimal moves yesterday and we fail in the playoffs, NOBODY, not a sole, will wonder why MG didn't trade Cody for more pressing needs at the deadline.

If we fail in the playoffs having made the deal, mostly everybody will rip MG eternally for messing up a good thing. No matter in what fashion it goes down, you know that will happen.

I think it's a good thing we have a GM who's worried less about public opinion than trying to do what he thinks is best to win. I just hope to hell he's right.
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Re: Canucks get Zack Kassian

Postby Potatoe1 » Tue Feb 28, 2012 1:07 pm

Jovocop wrote: If Gragnani turns out to be a Ehrhoff lite, the Canucks could easily win this trade.


I personally do not think Gragnani was a big part of the trade. Sabers fans seem prety much in consensus that he has been terrible this year and was basically a throw in.

If the Canucks can mold him into something great, but IMO he's basically just a depth guy this season that will get a 1 year deal and a chance to earn a spot in camp next year.

Andy Strickland,

Plenty of teams have first and second line centers like a Hodgson but few have a Zach Kassian. Vancouver can probably replace Hodgson’s skill this summer by moving goaltender Cory Schneider.


I think that was also a factor.

The teams who will be interested in Schneider all seem to have good offensive forwards on ELC's. Lots of players like that around, almost none like Kassian.
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