Welcome to a new feature here on Canucks Army and all sites on the Nation Network: What Would You Do Wednesday, where we put you, yes YOU, in charge of your own imaginary Vancouver Canucks. We’ll present you with a different scenario each week, and you tell us how you’d solve it in the comments section below. Give props to the answers you do like and trash the ones you don’t. Easy! So let’s get started:
First and foremost, last week’s best answers on what Vancouver should do with their powerplay. Readers bossram:
The 1-3-1 set Willie is trying to employ does rely somewhat on having a RH player at the top. They’re essentially aping Washngton’s PP, with Vrbata in the OV spot and Vey playing the Brouwer slot presence.
One of the keys for Washington’s set though is that their PP QB is usually Green or Carlson and they’re both right-handed. When they take a pass from the right-wall (where Hank/Danny would be for us) they’re immediately on their forehand and can throw a quick shot/one timer on net that Brouwer can make a play on, OR quickly and easily slide it over to Ovechkin for the one timer.
For us, if Edler is the QB when he receives a pass, he can’t shoot right away or throw it to Vrbata right away for the one-timer. He has to make a shift and put it on the forehand first. This takes away a lot of the speed from a potential shot or Vrbata back-door play and allows PKers the extra second to get into position. This shift will also probably result in a few more fumbles and misplays at the blueline.
Now as for who I’d put there, if we are going to continue this PP setup, I would prefer a RH player there. But I don’t think Bieksa or Tanev are really smooth enough for the role. If you’re going to dress Weber and be afraid to use him at ES, you may as well use him in his only strength. So in the 1-3-1 we run, I’d use Weber.
BUT I think it’s probably more important to put your best PP players on the PP. I think a better solution would be to tweak the system somewhat and get Edler out there. He is our best PP pointman. Maybe run more of a traditional umbrella set up.
And van Malmsteen:
I would try very hard to score more goals.
On to this week’s order of business. Buffalo Sabres beat writer John Vogl dropped this little nugget on Twitter this morning:
Sabres’ Cody Hodgson says being on fourth line doesn’t matter to him. Ted Nolan says Hodgson is close to being a scratch.
— John Vogl (@BuffNewsVogl) October 29, 2014
I’m no expert, but “not good enough to play for the Buffalo Sabres” seems alarming to me.
Now, Cody Hodgson has been a bit of a hot topic around town in the past, and for good reason. The lauded young centre had finished up a stellar CHL career with the Brampton Battalion, was a Canadian World Junior hero, and did this to the Boston Bruins a few short months after they did that thing in Vancouver in 2011 that one time:
But then, at the trade deadline that season, Mike Gillis unexpectedly dealt the young pivot away for a big goofy power forward named Zack Kassian, citing “ongoing issues” with Hodgson, and noting that he and Alain Vigneault had built Hodgson “into something we could move” by feeding him tons of offensive zone starts and seeing a huge PDO spike.
Well, how this deal worked out for Vancouver is still up for debate. Kassian has struggled to gain footing with three coaches now, but has been saddled with some pretty poor 5v5 players, never really been given an extended shot in a top-6 role, but has generally built himself into a useful hockey player.
Hodgson, on the other hand, has been moved to the wing and been in a free fall down the Sabres depth chart. He has a 45.9% Corsi in the past 3 seasons – among the worst marks of all regular Sabres – and a 37.6% Corsi this season to go along with 2 points in 10 games. Still, he’s scored 88 points in 150 games with Buffalo, while Kassian has about half of that total in Vancouver, but Kassian has also carried a better points/60 since the start of last season.
Regardless of what you think of Kassian, Mike Gillis also targeted other young players in a Hodgson deal, including John Carlson of the Capitals (who wasn’t made available), Brandon Sutter of the Hurricanes (who wasn’t made available), Erik Gudbranson of the Panthers (who we don’t know if he was made available), and Kyle Clifford of the Kings (who would have been a disaster), and another mystery player.
So here’s the scenario for you: it’s the 2012 trade deadline. Assuming you’re some sort of future seer and you know then what you know now, including everything about their career paths and the behind-the-scenes issues involving all the players, do you trade Cody Hodgson for Zack Kassian? Do you trade Cody Hodgson for someone else? Where do you trade Cody Hodgson and who do you trade Cody Hodgson for? Let us know in the comments below!