The trade deadline has come and gone. It would have been the lamest deadline day ever if it were not for the shocker pulled off by the Canucks and Sabres at the buzzer. As most of you know by now the trade centred around two young prospects: Cody Hodgson and Zack Kassian. The two are polar opposites with Hodgson being a slick, skilled, smaller player and Kassian being a big, gritty, physical power forward.
The trade addresses both teams’ needs. Buffalo was in dire need of a number 1 or 2 centre and Vancouver has needed a physical force since last year. The main question around Vancity today was, did the Canucks give up too much for Kassian? In my opinion no, this was a great trade for the Canucks.
I listened to countless complainers on the Team 1040 today. Some were quick to compare the trade to the trade that brought Naslund to Vancouver. Other callers stated they were fine with the trade as long as the Canucks won the cup and if they didn’t then it was the worst trade ever.
I understand where the emotion is coming from. Hodgson is a good looking player who likely will become a stud in the league one day. However, fans need to take a longer look at this deal. Hodgson is a skill player, a player that is best suited in an offensive role. Unfortunately for him, the Canucks are loaded with skill players in the top 6, especially at centre. Kesler and Henrik aren’t going anywhere soon so his path to the top 6 was blocked for years unless he switched to the wing.
The second reason this trade was right for the Canucks is they needed more toughness and grit. They have been looking for a more balanced line up since last year’s playoff run. As one caller put it, the Canucks have enough Porsches, but they don’t have enough tractors. Adding Kassian and Pahlsson allows the Canucks to form a true shutdown checking line to allow Henrik and Kesler to focus on scoring rather than chasing around elite forwards.
Some would argue that the Canucks should have dealt for more well known grit players like Gaustad or Moen. The Canucks have been saying all along they didn’t want a rental player, or a vet on his way out of the league. They are trying not only to be a Stanley Cup champ this year, but also a team that is a long term winner (i.e. Detroit).
Of course with all trades only time will tell, but before we call Kassian a bust or Hodgson the future messiah we all need to chill and let it happen.