(Full article is here)
Basically, what I think you should all take from that article is to look at the trades from that day in a different perspective. A lot of people have been fuming about the Kassian trade, the primary reason (other than CoHo fandom) being that we've thrown away a currently contributing player for a future project that might not even work out! I know, I had similar feelings immediately after the trade. But Hodgson wanted out, and the trade is done. So let's analyze a little before the playoffs.
As has been stated time and time again, Pahlsson is Hodgson's replacement. Not Kassian. I'll run that by you one more time. Pahlsson...is Hodgson's replacement. And though Hodgson might turn out to be a star, the Canucks as an organization are focussed on the now. And Pahlsson is a vast improvement; he's been a godsend for this team. Hodgson does have 8 points with Buffalo compared to Pahlsson's 5 with Vancouver. However, Cody is a massive defensive liability and would be a liability in the playoffs. Some evidence from PITB illustrates it:
"Since arriving in Buffalo 18 games ago, Hodgson has been on the ice for 15 Buffalo goals. However, he’s been on the ice for 18 of the Sabres’ 44 goals against. That’s 41% of them. Worse, the Sabres have been outscored 13 to 7 at even-strength with Hodgson on the ice...the Sabres control 44.6% of Fenwick events when he’s on the ice, which is a fancy way of saying the opposition has the puck a lot."
By comparison, here are Pahlsson's stats:
"Since the trade, Pahlsson has been on the ice for the same amount of goals as Hodgson at even-strength: 7. However, rather than watch the red light go on 13 times, Pahlsson has only been on the ice for 5 even-strength goals against. Furthermore, Pahlsson is boasting a Fenwick rating of exactly 50%, and this is more impressive than it sounds: consider that Pahlsson’s line has been playing against top lines and eating up defensive zone starts. Consider Cody's output the past week: with the Sabres' quest to make the playoffs currently hanging in the balance, Buffalo has lost 2 of 3 and nearly 3 of 3, surrendering 14 goals. Hodgson has been on the ice for 9 of them. You can't tell me that's helpful right now.Adjusted for these zone starts, Pahlsson’s Fenwick is actually 58%. In effect, match the Swedish centre up against the best forwards in the league and he’ll win the shift more often than not."
Basically, his scoring doesn't lag far behind, but his defence is supremely better (and we all know the old adage, don't we?) Though it isn't the postseason quite yet, the Sabres have been fighting for their playoff hopes for quite a while now, and in these games, there's an undoubtable playoff atmosphere. And this is just further evidence to illustrate that yes, Cody would be a liability in the playoffs.
"Consider Cody's output the past week: with the Sabres' quest to make the playoffs currently hanging in the balance, Buffalo has lost 2 of 3 and nearly 3 of 3, surrendering 14 goals. Hodgson has been on the ice for 9 of them. You can't tell me that's helpful right now."
Now a lot of people will begrudgingly admit that Kassian could be a good player in the future, but that Hodgson was more ready now and that we've thrown away current impact players for a power forward project because Boston is in our heads. However, if you combine the Pahlsson and Kassian trades together, you get a whole different view.
The 3 Canucks trades involved in that day were Cody Hodgson and Alexander Sulzer to Buffalo for Zack Kassian and Marc-Andre Gragnani, Taylor Ellington and two 4th round picks in 2012 to Columbus for Samuel Pahlsson, and Sebastian Erixon to Anaheim for Andrew Gordon. Essentially, regarding the more 'current impact' players, we traded Cody Hodgson and Alexander Sulzer (who would've simply been defensive depth here) for Samuel Pahlsson. On the 'future considerations' side, we traded ECHLer Taylor Ellington and two 4th round picks for former 1st rounder Zack Kassian and Marc-Andre Gragnani, who was practically a p/g player in the AHL (as a defenceman). Erixon for Gordon is negligible really, though Gordon can fill in as NHL-ready depth.
Reviewing the trades of that day from a different perspective, it becomes apparent that MG has actually improved the current Canucks a great amount. Sulzer's unlikely to slot in come spring, and Pahlsson has been a big improvement over Hodgson; this article really illustrates how much more sound Sami's been. Though CoHo has a bright future ahead of him, Taylor Ellington and two 4th rounders (basically peanuts) for two very rare talents in soft-handed power forward Kassian, and puck-moving blue liner Gragnani sounds like a fleecing. Of course only the future will tell, but I like the odds of these two developing more than Ellington and the pair of 4th rounders. Also keep in mind...does Hodgson even have a future here? He's competing with a younger Schroeder to play behind Henrik and Kesler. It was only a matter of time before he wanted out. Kassian and Gragnani will have chances here.
Anyways, just thought this was an interesting article and it's really made me sincerely look at the trade in a new way, rather than just be optimistic with conflicted feelings. Some might say Buffalo fleeced us in that trade, but if we're looking at the actual day itself, I feel that Gillis has actually improved our team both for the current Cup run, and the future. Got more appreciation for GMMG, and I feel if some of you doubters read this article and post, you might too.
Edited by Witchcraft and Sedinery, 05 April 2012 - 02:02 PM.