Gillis' Gamble

Thomas Drance
February 27 2012 04:04PM

Well, at least newly acquired Zack Kassian looks like a hockey player!

Mike Gillis loves to work to a deadline, and he proved that again with a blockbuster trade that only broke about thirty minutes after the deadline expired. What a ballsy deal this was for the Canucks General Manager, who has been the model of conservatism at the trade deadline in the past.

Needless to say, today Gillis departed from him usual approach and sent the well loved and absurdly talented Cody Hodgson to Buffalo, along with depth defenseman Alexander Sulzer in exchange for mammoth forward Zack Kassian, and young offensive defenseman Marc-Andre Gragnani. Wow.

Read past the jump!

Read Article | 15 Comments

The Other Trade: Erixon for Gordon

Thomas Drance
February 27 2012 02:29PM


Lost in the furor surrounding the Cody Hodgson/Zack Kassian deal, was a minor deal the Canucks snuck in before the buzzer today. The team moved undrafted defensive prospect Sebastian Erixon to the Ducks for right-wing grinder Andrew Gordon. Here's the media release.

Read Article | 2 Comments

Canucks sell high on Cody Hodgson

Cam Charron
February 27 2012 02:00PM

The Vancouver Canucks, as we all know by know, dealt Cody Hodgson to the Buffalo Sabres for Zack Kassian, a winger described as a "rumbling bull" by TSN's Ray Ferraro. Also involved in the deal was Buffalo defenseman Marc-André Gragnani.

We knew that the deal might involve a Canuck minor leaguer, as Chicago Wolves general manager Wendell Young alerted the media that a trade affect the Canucks' AHL affiliate around noon Pacific time, but we didn't know to what extent this might affect the team. Perhaps they indicated that Kassian may play with the Wolves for the rest of the season.

Kassian, a 6'3", 228 lb behemoth who played on Canada's World Junior team in Buffalo, scored 77 points in just 56 games for the Windsor Spitfires in 2011. This season, Kassian has 15 goals in 30 games with Rochester of the AHL and 3 goals in 27 games with the Sabres.

Shipping out Hodgson and replacing him with Pahlsson is a move that benefits the Canucks in the short-term, even if that wasn't what we were expecting from Mike Gillis. Pahlsson is a centreman who can play the tough minutes in place of Hodgson, who has had to take on some sheltered shifts which increased his production past December. It was clear to the Canucks that Hodgson wasn't going to fit into this organization in the future as a centreman behind Henrik Sedin and Ryan Kesler, or at least not in their championship window.

Read Article | 15 Comments

Pahlsson Doesn't Displace Malhotra or Hodgson

Thomas Drance
February 27 2012 12:51PM

New Canuck Sami Pahlsson battles Daniel Sedin for the puck.

There's a lot of confusion about what the acquisition of Sami Pahlsson means for the Canucks. Does the trade signal that the Canucks have lost faith in Manny Malhotra? Will Pahlsson cut into Cody Hodgson's precious ice-time? Did the Canucks really need another centre? The answer to those questions in order is: no, no and yes. 

The big implications of the Pahlsson acquisition, from a deployment perspective, is that the trade suggests that the Canucks are planning on doubling down on their "D-zone start specialist" approach to the fourth line. 

Read past the jump for more analysis on the trade.

Read Article | 4 Comments

Canucks acquire Sammy Pahlsson from Columbus

Cam Charron
February 27 2012 12:19PM

The Vancouver Canucks made their first deal of deadline just before 11 am on Monday, acquiring Sammy Pahlsson from the Columbus Blue Jackets for a pair of fourth round draft picks.

This is quite the interesting move for the Canucks, for starters, it looks like he will be the added forward depth that can play some tough competition as a defensive specialist. Pahlsson is no stranger to tough minutes, starting just 32.2% of his shifts in the offensive zone and he's third among forwards in quality of competition faced.

Read past the jump for more analysis.

Read Article | 12 Comments