Hockey Heaven is Sunny Again, Deadline Review
The deadline was a snooze fest yesterday until the 3pm deadline hit. First the Gaustad trade broke and the return of a 1st round pick. I tipped my cap to Sabres GM Darcy Regier on robbing a team of a 1st rd pick for Goose. I was ready to turn off the TV until all H-E-Double Hockey Sticks broke loose. It came across that Zack Kassian was traded to Vancouver. Two thoughts came into my head immediatley. First was..Whaaaaat?!?! Second was wait for Kassian it has to be a huge player coming back. Sure enough it was, Cody Hodgson became the new toy that all Sabres fans hoped for.
Let me start with the Gaustad trade. Nashville will love Paul Gaustad, he will be a great PK and depth player for them. However when draft day rolls around and Gaustad is on his way to being a UFA, Nashville brass might wish they had that 1st rd pick back. It was reported earlier in the day that Regier wanted a 1st and everyone was laughing at him. Well I guess he got the last laugh. I have been hard on Regier all season so I have to give credit when credit is due. Regier said in his post deadline presser 3 teams offered a 1st rd pick. One team withdrew it yesterday morning and the other team just lost out. I believe the team that withdrew was SJ who later went on to snag Winnik and Galiardi from Colorado.
Now to the blockbuster of the day. I'll start with Kassian, he fits exactly what the Canucks need. I think he is going to be a good player for them. Kassian was a bit of a disappointment in his early start in Buffalo. He put up points and goals in Rochester and Buffalo, however the physical game he was supposed to bring never showed up. He got in 2 fights in his pro career, the one in the AHL he didn't really have a choice. All the people covering the team in Rochester said teams/players were all over Kassian and he just skated up and down his wing ignoring it. Now with that said, maybe a new team and coach will get that out of him. However if the Canucks cannot get the physical play out of him, Buffalo will look like robbers in this deal.
Hodgson on the other hand is exactly what the Sabres needed. A young skilled center. Hodgson will probably slot right between top wingers Thomas Vanek and Jason Pominville. It will be very interesting to see if Hodgson has chemistry with the Sabres top scorers. As a 3rd liner in Vancouver Hodgson put up 16 goals and 33 points (already 3rd in scoring on Sabres roster). Sabres fans will enjoy the game that Hodgson will bring. Both teams I think will be happy with this deal in the end
Sulzer and Gragnani are a wash.
The thing to watch with all is how stacked the Sabres are for the 2012 draft. They now hold 2 first round picks and 2 second round picks. Also they will Derek Roy and perhaps Drew Stafford to offer teams. Darcy Regier could be stacking a package to trade up in the draft and one of the two big centers in Grigorenko and Galchenyuk.
Quickly the other big news of the Scott Howson threw Rick Nash under the bus without a doubt by stating Nash asked to be traded. How Jackets management is allowing this guy to make decisions on their future is beyond me. Any flexibilty Nash would give Columbus is now gone. He will give a list of 3 to 4 teams and say go make it happen. The return will be lower because GMs know that the Jackets have to move Nash. What a joke and poor job. Quebec City soon to come??
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