I've enlisted the help of Joey Pinzone from Buffalo Wins for his thoughts on Zack Kassian and Marc-Andre Gragnani
1. Describe Zach Kassian's style of play.
Joey: Kassian was suppose to be the Sabres version of Milan Lucic. He's a big power forward with a really nice shot. Now I want to make something clear, Zack Kassian wasn't even suppose to play in the NHL this year.
Last year, he'd played in the OHL and for the Canadian World Juniors. Normally, the Sabres would have their first round picks play for at least 1-2 years in the AHL before they get brought up. This was suppose to be the year that Kassian got his taste of The AHL and maybe within a year or two, he'd be up with the Sabres.
Unfortunately, the Sabres were hit heavily with injuries this past year and had recalled like 6 players at one point from the minor league. Kassian was one of those guys. At first, he played alright. He got a goal, an assist and a fight in his first three games. But like with most rookies who haven't played in the AHL, he started to play sloppy. At times he looked like he was coasting and wasn't physically involved like we had all hoped he would. Once the Sabres got healthy, they sent him back down. It didn't last long until as the Sabres recalled him a month later. Again, he's a young player. I don't think he will be a ready made NHL player until next year or at least 2014. So, I know TSN has been going crazy about him and how he will add toughness, but we didn't really see that this year.
2. Is he close to NHL ready? How big of a gamble is it going to play him in the NHL?
I think fans have to be patient with him. There were people in Buffalo who had been begging him to come up from the minor league system and become a tough guy for almost 15 months. If the Sabres were physically outmatched in a game, people would beg for Kassian to be called up. It was ridiculous. Again, he's a young guy and realistically, it takes 2-3 years to really become an NHL player.
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Hodgson was never the answer to our 3rd line center question but it still hurts to see him traded away.
I've been waffling on whether I like or dislike this trade. Sometimes it's easy to feel one way or the other, but with this one I just don't know. Obviously during the past two seasons I've come to love the little Liev Schreiber look-alike. I've adopted his nickname Coho and even when saying his last name, finally made myself say 'Hod-son'. And now he's gone.
Our prized little 3rd line center, is now a Buffalo Sabre? Like a slap in the face that trade was.
I was stunned by the trade. Stunned. I had prepared myself that it might be Hodgson for Ott, but not this Kassian fellow that is coming our way.
Who is Zack Kassian? I'm not even sure how to pronounce his last name yet.
He has been called the Sabres version of Milan Lucic. He's supposed to be a big, tough power forward that is supposed to give the Canucks the grit that we lacked during the SCF last year. From what I've read of him he might be what the Canucks are looking for in like a year, but is he NHL ready? I've asked a Sabres blogger that question and I'll post their take on it tomorrow, but right now that is the question I am asking of this trade.
What went wrong last year is due to not one factor but a culmination of many. The two factors to me that were our biggest issues were the lack of secondary scoring and our injured defence. Injuries on defence are hard to predict and so far, Sami Salo is still in one piece. But the move in trading away Hodgson seems so backwards to me right now. Hodgson has scored some goals in recent months when the top two lines haven't been able to do that. His play on the 2nd PP unit has made that unit much more effective than in previous months. And I've really just grown to like the little one.
But back to that issue of secondary scoring: What will happen when the Sedins and Kesler can't score? I just don't feel confident that trading him away was the right move now. I feel that this trade or a trade like it would have happened eventually since there are only so many 1st and 2nd line center positions to go around in Vancouver and Henrik or Kesler isn't going anywhere fast, but is Kassian the best option for the team now?
Here is what Gillis says about him:
”There’s not much not to like,” said Gillis. “He’s 6-4 and 225 and he just turned 21 a month ago. He put up almost a point a game numbers in the American League, so for a player who is that physical who can do that, it’s a rare opportunity that you get the chance to get a player like that.”
Let me emphasize that the point a game numbers is in the AHL.
Ok. I'll stop with the venting. There's a reason why I'm not a GM and only a blogger. What's done is done and there's no sense in bitching for the rest of the season about this trade. I haven't even seen Kassian play yet, so like the leeway we gave Hodgson, I'll try to do the same for Kassian. But right now, I'm still a little stunned from this trade. no comments
Let's not stop promoting the website that lives on in his legacy, visit mindcheck.ca if you haven't ever done so. no comments
Via Aaron Portzline this afternoon, it is believed that Rick Nash has Vancouver as one of his team's on his list that he would waive his no trade clause for. The others are Boston, LA, New York Rangers, San Jose and Toronto.
Vancouver being on his list is not unexpected, but I wouldn't suggest you read that much into this putting us really in the running for him. We're on the list because we're a competitive team that Nash wouldn't mind being traded to. That's really all there is to it at this stage in the game. A similar argument could be made for the other teams on his projected list, or if not currently competitive they are a major market team that has the potential to be competitive.
So relax, his giant ass contract most likely has scared away Gillis from a potential trade that would ruin the team chemistry made this far into the season. But at the same time you have to expect that Gillis will look into what Howson wants for him. Doesn't mean that the Canucks would have to trade for him but Gillis still has to do his due diligence in looking into what it would cost to get such a potentially great winger. He would be foolish to not. Though it would seem very out of character for Gillis to make this large of a trade at the trade deadline. This seems more like a trade that GMMG would make in the off season if the Canucks royally screw up in the playoffs. no comments
The Canucks has no business winning this game tonight. Their first and second period was all Detroit, the only reason they were still in it going into the third period was because of Luongo. Bitch all you want about him losing the shootout, but we wouldn't be in the overtime or the shootout if Luongo hasn't been huge tonight.
Question we are all asking ourselves: why was Mason Raymond in the shootout?
God I hate to play Detroit. They are just so damn good.
A bring spot for the Canucks were the two Michigan born players playing great tonight.
But how about Sam Gagner? Ridic.
Since I'll be at tomorrow's game with one of my season ticket buddies, I thought it would be fun to chat about the latest stupid things in hockey if say the Canucks played as lacklustre-ly as last night. So in prep for tomorrow, let's get started on an education of silly things in hockey, today's topic is Dustin Penner of the Kings. And for a bonus, I've also thrown in Ovechkin's guest spot in a rap video as well.
As you may or may not have heard, Penner was injured last week due back spasms caused when he was settling into eating pancakes. Yes, you read that right.
Here is Penner describing it via the LA Kings Insider:
“Not bad. Better than yesterday. I woke up fine, sat down to eat and it locked right up. It never happened to me before. I couldn’t stand up. I was probably at the third stage of evolution. So my wife helped me get dressed, and then I drove to the rink here, to hope they could do some magic and get it opened up. Kinger [trainer Chris Kingsley] just looked at me and said, `Go home.’ So I got some treatment and went home.
“Apparently it’s one of those mysterious things, where you can throw it out (from) sneezing. I just leaned over to dip into some delicious pancakes that my wife made. It’s just like it [the pain] wraps around you and squeezes. … So it was disappointing. Hopefully it’s just an isolated incident, and not something that’s going to become chronic.”And then Penner decided to pen a hilarious reponse to the events which came via MayorsManor.com:
So it seems as though I need to address Pancakegate for those in the sports media world, as well as those following #pennercakes on twitter, in light of the recent phenomenon I've created.
Right off the bat, I'd like to clarify a few things.
For example, they were vegetarian pancakes. The injury happened as I was sitting down to eat, not mid-bite. And yes, I did finish them.
There has been some feedback from the media as a whole regarding the lack of transparency involving injuries. So, I decided to be candid.