I'm not sure I can agree to this article. While Hodgson was playing on the third line, his skill and intelligence was quite apparent to pretty much every fan and sport0 analyst, in his rookie season he scored 41 pts and anchored our 2nd Powerplay for near half a season. Here we can instantly see that Hodgson is 1. likely a perennial 20+goal scorer 2. offensive potential is self-evident 3. makes his linemates better.
In the trade, it has pretty much boiled down to Kassian for Hodgson, since the other parts were less significant or even completely discarded. (MAG)
The point here is, we have a short window of opportunity, since last year, to win a cup with this core. Luongo, Sedins, Bieksa, Burrows, Malholtra, etc. are all past their 30s, we have a few contracts in Hansen, Edler, Burrows, (Hodgson), (Schneider) that were solid bargains and are likely facing significant raises that may displace them in our future, therefore our aim should have been to WIN NOW.
That's the main argument against Hodgson trade back then, and still is today. Hodgson was contributing significantly to our team and overall play, and was gaining prominence in our offense when he was traded, whereas Kassian did not contribute to our offense nor did he make us "tougher" to play against. In that sense, MG lost the trade (for that year). While both players are young and still have bright futures, our team is getting older, and other teams with youth are beginning to develop their systems and strengths (i.e. Oilers, Panthers, Blackhawks, Bruins, Senators, etc.)
We are now still without a cup, but now we face significant obstacles in our offensive front - it was obvious last year was not the same dominance as the year before, where we dominated near every major team statistic. During the playoffs we struggled mightily once again offensively, (albeit to a better team in retrospect).
The arguments put forth in the article attempts to dissuade naysayers that Kassian will develop to be a 20-30goal scorer in due time - the examples circled around four years. Unfortunately for our team, we don't appear to have four years.
The reality of this team, this core, is that our window is closer to 2 years left. If winning the Cup is our goal, then this trade according to the article's argument means we've lost out on the trade.
The only "working" argument for trading Hodgson away was if his party really did demand either a trade or unreasonable demands for ice time that was unwarranted. In that case, then he may have been a lockerroom distraction or a significant obstacle come off season or contract time, then trading him when his external value is high but internal value low means we make the best of a bad situation. While most reports regarding this has been speculative, my opinion is that something along the suggested lines happened and set off warning flags for Mike Gillis.
Further, ad hominem attacks against critics is not a sound argument... suggesting that most critics of kassian/MG are teens living in their parent's basements (really, how many teenagers live in the basements of their own homes?) Teens are expected to be still living with their parents... anyhow...
The fundamental argument of how Sedins, Burrows, Kesler, Edler, Hansen etc. took many years to develop to what they are now is moot, considering Hodgson is NOT Kassin, and are NOT any of those players mentioned. Completely different backgrounds and skillsets make their comparisons as useful as if I compared Kassian's lack of production against Milan Lucic's (8-19-27 89PIM) rookie season, or maybe to Jeff Skinner's (31-32-63 46PIM) or maybe to Ovechkin's (52-54-106 52PIM)...
What I'm trying to illustrate is that Kassian is not comparable to any of those players listed above. Sedins were known as playmakers with potential but deficient in skating, Kesler was a speedy grinding forward, Hansen was a speedy grinder, Edler was a defensive defenceman. (different position to boot.)
Kassian was described as a top power-forward prospect, therefore if he cannot jump right into scoring he should at least use his large frame to benefit the team by adding toughness. Unfortunately his addition did little to affect the overall performance of our team.
The fact is in the new NHL, strong skaters with skill have exploded onto the scene, regardless of their age, and we should not be EXPECTED to develop Kassian for another four years before he may or may not become the player we traded for.
For the TL;DR people...
- The trade did not benefit the makeup of our team during the remaining season and post season.
- Kassian is a young player with potential, but potential's all he's got unless he develops properly. Saying he needs more time does not make our team any better.
- Loss of Hodgson as our secondary offensive threat in my opinion greatly contributed to our powerplay woes in the latter half of the season, stretching into the playoff exit.
- Comparing Kassian to Kesler, Burrows, Sedins... is not a valid argument, else it begs the question why he cannot be compared to the Crosby, Ovechkin, Kane, Hall, Stamkos, Tavares,... or maybe not 1st overalls, but Evander Kane, Skinner, Couture, Couturier, Giroux, Shaw... hell, Hodgson...etc. List of young players having a big impact on even veteran teams is long and still growing.
- The final outcome of the trade has yet to be finalized for obvious reasons, but our window of opportunity if we intend on winning with our current core means we do NOT have "four years" to develop our players. We should be in a Win-Now mentality, therefore whatever "future" problems Hodgson may have been had he been discontent, did not automatically mean this trade was "good", even if MG felt it was necessary.
Edited by ChaosCanucks, 15 July 2012 - 12:27 AM.