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[VAN/BUF] Hodgson and Sulzer for Z. Kassian and Gragnani
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02-27-2012, 10:41 PM
Join Date: Apr 2002
Originally Posted by
And this has what to do with Hodgson?
As near as I can figure, having Hodgson on the third line is going to threaten the opposition soooo much that the Sedin and Kesler lines will be free of the Webers and Keiths and CHaras of the league as they will be matched up against Hodgson. Also because of the defensive excellence of Hodgson the opposition wouldn't dare match him up against a Joe Thorton or Pavel Datsyuk or Jon Toews any chance they had. Especially when they get the last change on the road. Put Hodgson out for an offensive zone faceoff and over the boards comes those lines because they know they will get possession 60-70% of the time off the draw and put the canucks on their heels. Offensive zone starts were not going to be the protection they are in the regular season.
I'm not throwing Hodgson under a bus, he's an excellent top 2 center PROSPECT but he is still a prospect for that role. He is not suited for a third line role when the playoffs come around. The opposition would be salivating to match up their best against his line in the playoffs any chance they could. Because of that Hodgson wouldn't get much of a sniff at the ice. He would truly be a second unit PP specialist...for the 30 seconds of each powerplay the first unit is on the bench.
The canucks made a very difficult but honest assessment of where they saw themselves using Hodgson in the playoffs. The conclusion they came to was that they were not comfortable using him in any significant role this year. Going forward he was going to be stuck behind Henrik and Kesler given his inability to move to the wing and his development would begin to stagnate. I'm not shocked Hodgson was moved...I'm only a little shocked that it wasn't the summer or next season.
Disagree with the assessment the canucks made but if that was the assessment (and I truly think it was) then they had to move him now. Not playing him in any significant role in the playoffs only destroys his value.
Kassian...most are selling him short. His AHL numbers are stellar for a first year pro. THere is no arguing those numbers. And no they aren;t good numbers because the Sabres always have a good farm team. Rochester is a 9t place team in the conference. No one but Kassian is even close to scoring at a PPG pace (leading scorer has 37 points in 57 games or something). THey are honest to goodness excellent numbers. And when it comes down to it 7 points in 27 games in the NHL is a fine start...he's already a 20-30 point pace power forward at 21 years of age.
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