When you love something let it go, if it succeeds in Buffalo... You're screwed... Or something like that.
Today Mike Gillis made a decision that could change the course of history for Vancouver hockey fans and their beloved team, with the decision to deal fan favourite Cody Hodgson to the Buffalo Sabres for Zack Kassian. Fans were outraged when the news broke of the trade just after the 12pm trade deadline on Monday. No police cars were torched, no windows were smashed and not one building was looted. Although, Authentix did drop the price of Cody Hodgson jersey down to $100, which... if you ask me is a total rip off for the jersey of someone who no longer plays for the team.
All kidding aside there was an instant uproar from Canuck nation, as fans seemed to ask in unison "What the hell is he thinking?" You can definitely add me to the list of those who were not impressed with this deal, to say the least. After some reflecting though I think I've come around on this one though. It's well known around these parts and throughout the NHL what took place in last years Stanley Cup finals and that the Canucks were on a mission this year to find someone, anyone who would be able to deter such things from taking place, and interfering with their ultimate goal of winning the cup.
Is Zack Kassian that guy?
Kassian is 6'4, 228 lbs. Can skate, can hit, can score and most importantly will drop the gloves.
He has all the qualities that the Canucks have been looking for in a player, there's one draw back though. At the ripe age of 21 years old Kassian has very little NHL experience and hasn't quite been able to put all of these skills together to be the complete player that everyone thinks he can be. Cody Hodgson went through the same sort of growing pains, and was just coming into his own this year, but as a number 3 centre behind the likes of 2 bona fide NHL superstars in Henrik Sedin and Ryan Kesler, it had become apparent that Hodgson would never get a chance at top 6 minutes with the Canucks.
Gillis has really taken a leap of faith with this deal in my opinion; it's basically unheard of for a leading Calder trophy candidate to be dealt at any time. This is the kind of deal that can bring you a Stanley Cup, or could get you fired.
The Canucks are asking a lot of young Kassian to come in and fill the void that has been so greatly debated all season by the media and fans of this city, if he can handle the pressure he just may have his name on Lord Stanley's Cup.
But if not, there could be some major moves taking place in Vancouver next summer and Mike Gillis will not be the one making that decision.
It's been great to follow Cody as a fan ever since the day he was drafted by the Canucks, and heralded as the next great captain of this team. Unfortunately we will not see this come to fruition, but I have no doubt in my mind that he will go on to great things with the Buffalo Sabres and captain them for years to come. Lets just hope he waits until after the Saturday night showdown versus his former mates to start that new chapter of his career, in the right direction.