The Canucks At the Deadline: Reaction Round Up

New Canucks defenseman Marc-Andre Gragnani makes a funny face.

Generally speaking the writers here at Canucks Army seem to think the Canucks did well at the trade-deadline. Adding Sami Pahlsson for two fourths and ECHLer Taylor Ellington was a fabulous deal. The Hodgson/Kassian trade is a bit more complicated – it’s clearly a massive gamble, but the Canucks sold high on Cody Hodgson and improved themselves in the short term.

Interested in what the mainstream, National hockey media thought of Gillis’ trade deadline handiwork? A full roundup, after the jump.


In a discussion of trade deadline "winners and losers" during the deadline telecast, the Canucks made it onto Mike Peca’s "winners" list, while Craig Button called them a loser in the same segment.

Peca, who can relate to Cody Hodgson’s plight today – seeing as he too was traded from Vancouver to Buffalo as a young player – praised the addition of Zack Kassian. He said the Canucks needed toughness, and that Kassian gives them that in a player who can also play the game at a high level. Button on the other hand, called the Canucks a "loser" today. Button sees the trade as an overreaction to the team getting pushed around by the Boston Bruins in last season’s Stanley Cup Final, and hates those sort of reactive deals.

On the site’s list of "winners and losers" the panel is again polarized on the trade. Marc Crawford, and Michael Peca both put the Canucks down as winners, while Craig Button and Mike Johnson have them in the "losers" column.


Scott Burnside, a man who most Canucks fans believe hates Vancouver’s club, listed the Canucks as one of the teams who "improved their stock" at this years trade deadline. He liked the addition of Sami Pahlsson, and on the acquisition of Zack Kassian wrote:

"Kassian is 6-foot-3, 228 pounds and having watched the Canucks get pushed around by the Boston Bruins in last season’s final, this is the kind of player GM Mike Gillis was looking for to ensure that won’t happen again."

Seems like most of the folks who like this trade for Vancouver, really like it for the "toughness" aspect. Clearly the Canucks have added one hell of a physical specimen to their roster.

USA Today

USA Today’s Kevin Allen made a top-10 list of "Deadline winners" that lists the Canucks as the #2 most improved team based on today’s moves. The nuts and bolts of it:

"GM Mike Gillis wanted to make his team tougher up front, and he accomplished that by acquiring 228-pound Zack Kassian, a tough, rugged young forward who can run over opponents. There is some risk here, because Kassian isn’t fully developed. But the reward potential is great, Plus, offensive-minded defenseman Marc-Andre Gragnani could fit nicely into the Vancouver mix. Samuel Pahlsson, picked up from Columbus, is a proven role player."

Puck Daddy

The world’s most influential hockey blog doesn’t have a straight up: trade deadline losers/winner posts up yet – but we can gauge from what they’ve got on their site at the moment what they think of the deal. Writes Ryan Lambert in a post about "prudence not parity" ruining all of our deadline fun: "Certainly, losing the idea of Cody Hodgson is going to sting more than losing the physical presence of Cody Hodgson." Fair to say that Lambert nailed that one.

Lambert goes onto praise the potential upside of Marc-Andre Gragnani, and points out that Kassian provides "sand-paper." Fair to say that he thinks the Canucks did alright in this deal.

Harrison Mooney agrees, writing:

"What we have here, clearly, is two elite NHL prospects changing hometowns, and if either one of them fails to live up to expectations, this could be seen as a massive steal for one side in a few years. It’s a massive gamble, the sort of gutsy deal that could blow up in either side’s face, or turn out quite well for everyone."

Obviously Puck Daddy as of the mind that the Canucks have emerged on the other side of the trade deadline an improved team.

Sporting News

Jesse Spector includes the Canucks in the "winners circle" in his "Who Won the NHL Trade Deadline" column. Included among the reasons why the Canucks were net winners today:

"In order to trade Hodgson, the Canucks had to be getting something special, and that is just what they got in Kassian, who brings a bull-in-a-china-shop element that has been lacking in Vancouver… Gragnani also is an intriguing addition for the Canucks, a puck-moving defenseman with a solid reputation on the power play who has yet to reach his full potential in the NHL…Adding Sammy Pahlsson for a pair of fourth-round picks was a coup in a seller’s market."

While Spector has the Canucks as "winners" on this day, he has the Sabres as winners as well. This reflects the general consensus in mainstream hockey outlets: the Canucks made themselves a better team today, but that was a very even trade that Gillis made with Regier.

The Hockey News

Ken Campbell of the Hockey News likes the trade for both teams. From a Canucks perspective, he writes:

"Nobody is going to push the Vancouver Canucks around anymore – all right, at least not in a couple of years. The biggest criticism of the Canucks last year was that they were too easily pushed around and Zack Kassian will address that void, if not immediately then in the long-term…Marc-Andre Gragnani is a decent offensive defenseman and will provide the Canucks with depth in the absence of Keith Ballard."

Campbell may like the trade, but it’s worth noting that Hockey News readers seem to be entirely less enthusiastic:

  • I like the added toughness of Kassian, but I am going to look for his offense to develop. Watch the goal and assist from the Buffalo – Philly game on Dec 7. Both plays show he has some hockey sense. I’m hoping he is more good Bertuzzi than bad Bertuzzi (but some of the highlights I’ve seen tell me bad Bert is in there)

    • Can’t believe the Canucks would give up on such a great prospect. Toughness is nice but Buffalo clearly wins this on a pure talent level. I think the Canucks should have waited until summer and got a boat load more for him if he is not in the long term plans. There were plenty of other tough grinding forwards they could have added for picks/prospects…