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King of the ES

Multiple Warning Signs Surrounding Zack Kassian

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Now that Kassian's essentially played the same amount of games in the AHL this season as he did last, I thought I'd have a look at the numbers to see how exactly he's "developing" (generous term).

WARNING: this ain't pretty

2011-12: 30 GP, 15 G, 26 P, +4, 94 SOG, 31 PIM

2012-13: 28 GP, 6 G, 18 P, -1, 72 SOG, 59 PIM

By my calculations, this amounts to the following data comparatives:

  • 60% year-over-year reduction in goals
  • 31% year-over-year reduction in points
  • 18% year-over-year reduction in SOG/game
  • 90% year-over-year increase in PIMs.

And, to be honest, the two things that are of the most concern to me are the decline in SOG and the increase in PIM. There's really no explanation for getting less SOG as a 22 year-old AHL sophomore than as a 21 year-old AHL rookie. And this SOG figure is even inflated, as Kass did have 7 SOG last game, bringing up his average significantly.

And while it's nice that he does seem willing to throw the body, at times, and drop the gloves, at times, I really hope that we didn't trade Cody Hodgson for a bottom-six goon that will be lucky to get 5 - 10 goals per year in limited minutes. I'm beginning to wonder if Kassian has a bit of "Kyle Beach" in him; capable of so much, too stupid to realize it and in the penalty box way, way too much.

Let's not forget that Kassian was hand held by the Sedin's in the off-season to try and get his training habits in shape (not a good sign), and even went on to be a healthy scratch in 1 (or more, I'm not sure) game, also (clearly) not a good sign.

Who else is concerned?

It raises a few more questions. Is time on ice equal? Is he being asked to play a more physical game. Does he have the same supporting cast as last season? eg a good setup man . Is he playing less on power play? Comparing his stats cannot tell the whole story.

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Is Arniel really as bad a coach as everyone says? Wasn't this board clamoring for him to replace AV a few years ago and complained heavily when the Canucks lost him to Columbus?

Yeah and most of this board was wrong. I think the frustration around AV causes many to just grasp onto any other option.

He's not a bad coach but imo looking at all the things people complain about regarding AV they certainly won't be happy with Arniel.

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He was to not trade him right before the playoffs (most boneheaded move he ever did). If he wanted out trade him in the summer. If he did well in the playoffs the return would have been much better and we would have had our third best scorer who always played better in big games, in the playoffs. Can't say it wouldn't have helped considering zack was a healthy scratch because he wouldn't forechek or play defensively.

Ok so now we cleared up the what was MG to do part, right?

Edit: I don't thing anyone is saying we shouldn't have traded Coho, it's the return and time of the trade that is questionable.

And the opposite to that is Cody unable to play 3C in the playoffs because he isn't a checking line forward. The Kings eat him alive and his value slips when he can't even make the 4C. That scenario (along with rumours that Cody wants out) could have had a terrible effect on his value.

At the time, nobody knew that Lu would be trade fodder, so don't get into the what if Lu + Cody trade...

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I think Kings title of his OP was a little over-the-top but jeez is it verboten now to bring up negative stats on a high prospect for discussion?

That said a few points on what I've read here.

IMO Cody Hodgson WAS a bigger hype than the Sedins or Kesler, at the time they joined the team. But it was almost entirely because of his World Junior tournament play. Heck, Bob MacKenzie was praising the kid as if the Canucks lucked out with stealing the real 1st pick in the draft.

I'm with King and others that are OK with the trade, but not the timing. Who cares if Cody wanted out?...and there is no evidence he did. It sounded more like the Lindros Parent Syndrome. A month before the trade the Canuck management KNEW that Kesler injured his shoulder (we didn't) yet AV laughed in the faces of reporters that merely suggested that perhaps Cody's minutes should go up and Keslers down. Instead we trade away our third(?) leading scorer going into the playoffs. (I always thought it was fourth but still...) and this despite his bench time. I believe he was the leading rookie scorer at the time as well if you factored in points per minute on the ice. Then of course our leading scorer goes down right before the playoffs, so we need all the snipers we can get. Hodgson would have increased his value in the playoffs if only because Daniel was down and Kesler was playing with an injured wing. AV would have held his nose and played the rookie more than he planned to so Hodgson would have definitely gotten more playing exposure. And watching him play in Boston and the World Juniors before that, I have no doubt he would have no problem elevating his play when games really mattered. Its not like we got blown out in those first games. One goal or assist here or there would could have changed everything.

Anyways, that was one glaring mistake on MG's part IMO. But its water under the bridge now. I'm excited to have Kassian on board. He's still young. As someone upthread said, if he turns into another Chris Neil I'd be happy with that. Bigger players seem to take a little longer to develop.

I just find it somewhat amusing and baffling that so many on here seem to think that killing the messenger is an adequate response to the OP. With so many of the top prospects on the Wolves struggling it does seem like it could be the coaching approach problem. It could be that Scott Arniel has changed McTavish's system around 180 and players are going through an adjustment. I'd seriously like to hear from someone who knows more about this to fill me in. Is Arniel's system radically different than McTavish's?

The point is it is difficult to diagnose Kassian's dropping production. And its also valid to point out that the whole team is struggling offensively so its not like Kassian is tanking alone. But I don't think King said he knew all the answers, only bringing it up for discussion. I think its a valid concern especially with him being regarded in the top three of our NHL ready prospects. At least enough for debate on a Canucks board, which I see has happened with 17 pages and counting.

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And the opposite to that is Cody unable to play 3C in the playoffs because he isn't a checking line forward. The Kings eat him alive and his value slips when he can't even make the 4C. That scenario (along with rumours that Cody wants out) could have had a terrible effect on his value.

At the time, nobody knew that Lu would be trade fodder, so don't get into the what if Lu + Cody trade...

From my understanding Cody had a fantastic record in crunch games (check his stats) was he not the MVP in the worlds? To say our third leading scorer would not have helped us in the playoffs more then zack did is crazy.

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17% dropoff, and at the time of this thread's creation it was even lower.

Some people would call that significant for a 22 year-old.

No, only you it seems.

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For those panicking about Zack have a look at Todd Bertuzzi's stats prior to coming to Vancouver.

Thanks.

I hope you'll also look at Steve Bernier's, to be fair.

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Really...I mean literally right after one another.

Wrong. The 17% dropoff is based off his AHL performance.

Reading comprehension weakness confirmed.

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He's not a bad coach, it just seems like this year he's not implementing the proper system for a team that has as much high-end offensive AHL talent as the Wolves have.

Perhaps it's not actually as "high-end" as you think, hmm?

Arniel had no issues implementing a system that allowed guys like Grabner to flourish.

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Anyone else think this discussion is a waste of time?

Cody did this! Oh ya? Well, Kassian did this and Cody didn't do this! But Cody did this and that while Kassian can't do this and that! What a joke.

Cody is the better player all around currently. Kassian has a production dip due to the Wolves being a lesser team offensively than Rochester was a couple seasons ago. It's profoundly idiotic to make judgment at the time when barely a quarter of the season had come to pass. Just like it's profoundly idiotic for all the Canuck cry babies to complain the Canucks are .500 15 games into the season.

Especially when you consider how crape Cody was the year before. They wouldn't even let him play, much like Kassian when he first got here. When you look at it he has played 44 games in the NHL, he will improve by leaps and bounds when he makes the jump full time just like Cody. Remember he is one year behind Cody in development. Kids these days.

He was to not trade him right before the playoffs (most boneheaded move he ever did). If he wanted out trade him in the summer. If he did well in the playoffs the return would have been much better and we would have had our third best scorer who always played better in big games, in the playoffs. Can't say it wouldn't have helped considering zack was a healthy scratch because he wouldn't forechek or play defensively.

Ok so now we cleared up the what was MG to do part, right?

Edit: I don't thing anyone is saying we shouldn't have traded Coho, it's the return and time of the trade that is questionable.

Some of you guys need to realize that those in control aren't looking for instant gratification like a lot of us. MG made a hockey trade for the future of the club, not to win the Stanley Cup. In hindsight he made the right choice anyway because we were horrible in the playoffs and going no where. Cody wasn't changing that no matter what some of you might want to believe.

I thought we may have been able to package him with Schnieder for something really good but take a step back and think about the actual job MG does. These dumb EA trades a lot of us do don't really happen that often.

Sit back and embrace the Kass ...

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And the opposite to that is Cody unable to play 3C in the playoffs because he isn't a checking line forward. The Kings eat him alive and his value slips when he can't even make the 4C. That scenario (along with rumours that Cody wants out) could have had a terrible effect on his value.

There was no evidence whatsoever throughout the year that would suggest that Cody would've been "unable" to hang in the playoffs. Certainly, he would've been infinitely more valuable than what Sami Pahlsson was. And I look at Cody and I just see this guy who's got an off-the-charts motivation level, and he's the exact type that may have stepped up as a hero in the playoffs.

Even if he did play bad in the playoffs, his value would not have "slipped" materially as a high-end 22 year-old. Has Kassian's value slipped, since he wasn't able to make our playoff roster? Or is he held to a different standard?

EDIT: meant to say that the 3rd line being called a "checking line" by default is an EA Sports creation, not necessarily reality. The Canucks had an edge when they had 3 lines that could score, which no longer exists.

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Time will tell. Kassian still has some work to do, most notably between the ears in regards to decision making and commitment to being the absolute best player he can be. The physical tools are all there.

As with every young player unless you are a gem - such as RNH, Tavares, Duchene, Landeskog -you are not bound OT be a safe pick. Look at Barker for example who as a 3rd overall pick. He's now 26, whereas Kassian is only 21 going on 22. How there are signs that he is regressing is beyond me. Stats and production should not be judged what or how Kassian is developed. We have all established he is not a sniper. He has all the skills and tools to be successful, but to expect him to put a PPG in the AHL with the talent he had S line ages was expecting much. There were a lot of things that he did well that King fails to acknowledge.

Hence when the season starts and Kassian stops doing what he was doing well in the AHL I will be a tad bit worried but I am not crapping my pants or getting them into a bunch. I preach patience. This kid will be decent now and great in the future if we develop him properly.

All signs are that hes doing all the things that he's being asked of. Last time Lucic played in a 50 game season he put up 20 points (9g 11a) which is who most of CDC compares Kassian too. Now is he not one of the premiere power forwards in the game?

Edit sorry posting on my iPad there maybe typos and I'm lazy to correct them haha.

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There was no evidence whatsoever throughout the year that would suggest that Cody would've been "unable" to hang in the playoffs. Certainly, he would've been infinitely more valuable than what Sami Pahlsson was. And I look at Cody and I just see this guy who's got an off-the-charts motivation level, and he's the exact type that may have stepped up as a hero in the playoffs.

Even if he did play bad in the playoffs, his value would not have "slipped" materially as a high-end 22 year-old. Has Kassian's value slipped, since he wasn't able to make our playoff roster? Or is he held to a different standard?

EDIT: meant to say that the 3rd line being called a "checking line" by default is an EA Sports creation, not necessarily reality. The Canucks had an edge when they had 3 lines that could score, which no longer exists.

Seeing as Buffalo didn't make the playoffs, I don't see how you can say he would have been 'infinatley more valuable than Palhsson.' I believe the Kings would have had there way with Cody's defensive inadequacies. That scenario, combined with rumours of his 'unhappiness in Van' would surely have a negative impact on his value at the end of the season.

Kassian was not 'projected' as high as Cody. Zack was underwhelming with Buffalo. I have never suggested that Kassian would be a better player than Hodgson. He is a completely different kind of player. His contribution to the team will be different from Cody as well. Your contention that we should be worried about his development is premature. Let's give him some time to develop, shall we?.

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Certainly, he would've been infinitely more valuable than what Sami Pahlsson was.

You keep trying to insist this, but it is diametrically incorrect. The fact is that Pahlsson scored once in five games - exactly the pace that Hodgson put the puck in the net through the season - the infinitely more valuable aspect was the additional defensive game that Pahlsson brought as opposed to what was patently obvious in Hodgson't time in Buffalo - that he wasn't ready to handle that aspect of top 6 responsibility.

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There was no evidence whatsoever throughout the year that would suggest that Cody would've been "unable" to hang in the playoffs. Certainly, he would've been infinitely more valuable than what Sami Pahlsson was. And I look at Cody and I just see this guy who's got an off-the-charts motivation level, and he's the exact type that may have stepped up as a hero in the playoffs.

Even if he did play bad in the playoffs, his value would not have "slipped" materially as a high-end 22 year-old. Has Kassian's value slipped, since he wasn't able to make our playoff roster? Or is he held to a different standard?

EDIT: meant to say that the 3rd line being called a "checking line" by default is an EA Sports creation, not necessarily reality. The Canucks had an edge when they had 3 lines that could score, which no longer exists.

So you think Hodgson would have been the difference maker in giving the Canucks 3 more wins in a 7 game series against the team that took out all three top seeds in the west and went on to win the cup? Buffalo was 3 wins aways from a playoff spot with 20 games left and yet the addition of Hodgson wasn't enough for them to make up those three wins. I think your fooling yourself.

You still completely ignore the fact that sometimes a move is dictated by when what you're looking for becomes available. Buffalo was in dire need of a center at the trade deadline and were offering exactly what Gillis was looking for. Buffalo wasn't going to wait.

You may prefer three scoring lines, but the recipe that got us to the SCF was having a third line as the checking/shutdown line allowing the second line to play a more offensive role.

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Wrong. The 17% dropoff is based off his AHL performance.

Reading comprehension weakness confirmed.

So you're saying that you're talking about him having a drop in AHL stats is not you making a judgement based on those stats and that you don't think AHL stats will have any relation to what he will do in the NHL? Is that what you're saying?

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There was no evidence whatsoever throughout the year that would suggest that Cody would've been "unable" to hang in the playoffs. Certainly, he would've been infinitely more valuable than what Sami Pahlsson was. And I look at Cody and I just see this guy who's got an off-the-charts motivation level, and he's the exact type that may have stepped up as a hero in the playoffs.

Even if he did play bad in the playoffs, his value would not have "slipped" materially as a high-end 22 year-old. Has Kassian's value slipped, since he wasn't able to make our playoff roster? Or is he held to a different standard?

EDIT: meant to say that the 3rd line being called a "checking line" by default is an EA Sports creation, not necessarily reality. The Canucks had an edge when they had 3 lines that could score, which no longer exists.

Sounds like Jordan Schroeder aswell to me.

Cody wouldn't have won the series for us, he may have gotten a few goals, maybe not, would he have greatly changed the series? No chance, anyone who thinks that needs to take the Cody glasses off.

It's not about his value slipping as much as it is Zack not being avaliable, as Baggins has proven a ton of times they wanted help right away and Kassian was made avaliable to do so, MG had held on to Cody from the last time he requested a trade to try to get his value as high as possible so we could get something worth while in return, and when Zack was made avaliable MG's waiting had paid off and we got the player we are looking for.

Trades aren't dictated by just are needs, other teams have needs they need to fill and who knows if Zack still would have been avaliable in the summer? Buffalo picked up Grigorenko and Girgensons in the draft and perhaps they would have thought twice about trading away Zack to add another smaller center after picking up those two.

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You keep trying to insist this, but it is diametrically incorrect. The fact is that Pahlsson scored once in five games - exactly the pace that Hodgson put the puck in the net through the season - the infinitely more valuable aspect was the additional defensive game that Pahlsson brought as opposed to what was patently obvious in Hodgson't time in Buffalo - that he wasn't ready to handle that aspect of top 6 responsibility.

Yeah,35 year old players that cost 2 picks and a prospect that have no desire to stay more than an hour after the season ends is infinitely more valuable than Cody ever was.

Pahlsson scored twice in 19 regular season games and headed for the airport as soon as the final buzzer sounded.

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Sounds like Jordan Schroeder aswell to me.

Cody wouldn't have won the series for us, he may have gotten a few goals, maybe not, would he have greatly changed the series? No chance, anyone who thinks that needs to take the Cody glasses off.

It's not about his value slipping as much as it is Zack not being avaliable, as Baggins has proven a ton of times they wanted help right away and Kassian was made avaliable to do so, MG had held on to Cody from the last time he requested a trade to try to get his value as high as possible so we could get something worth while in return, and when Zack was made avaliable MG's waiting had paid off and we got the player we are looking for.

The Kassian and Schroeder fan club president weighs in yet again.

Baggins has opinions that are worth just that.

Gillis spins his version of events and you project them like they were gospel.

If the Canucks wanted help right away they would not have traded for a project in Kassian.

The Canucks failed to make their team more playoff ready and they lost a valuable center doing so.

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The Kassian and Schroeder fan club president weighs in yet again.

Baggins has opinions that are worth just that.

Gillis spins his version of events and you project them like they were gospel.

If the Canucks wanted help right away they would not have traded for a project in Kassian.

The Canucks failed to make their team more playoff ready and they lost a valuable center doing so.

I said the Sabres wanted help right away not he Canucks you should learn to read, I love how he apparently failed to make our team better for the playoffs yet he picked up a proven playoff competitor in Pahlsson, and I also laugh at people who think AV wouldn't have cut Cody's icetime down, he totally would have.

We were missing our best player and LA out played us more most of the series, whenever those two things happen your not going to win and having Cody would not have changed our fortunes.

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