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10-15-2012, 01:41 AM
Socratic Method Man
Weise's Lost Lunch
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I was going to make a thread about this at the end of last season but never got around to it. This is as good a place as any to say it.

Gillis traded Hodgson for Kassian. Hodgson was Gillis' first-ever draft pick for Vancouver, the hghly valued center of the future. To give up a piece like Cody, Gillis must have seen something he was looking for - maybe something other people didn't see. Right?

Let's go back to the summer of 2008. Gillis drafted Cody that summer. But there was another move he made - an incredibly insightful move. Gillis extended an offersheet to rugged forward David Backes (which he signed). At the time, people weren't sure what he was doing, perhaps just trying to add an asset to the team. Because that summer, Backes was coming off a 31-point season.

Gillis saw something that other people didn't.

Fastforward to last season. What started me thinking about all this was watching Kassian play. The guy he really reminded me of, watching his massively oversized body skate around the ice (quite well) and hitting anyone in his way, (for stretches of time) was Backes. Then watching the Blues in the playoffs, it just reinforced this idea for me.

Then at the end-of-season presser:

"There were 6 young players on other teams I would've traded him for if any were ever made available. One of them was made available. One of them was made available at the trade deadline. It was Zack. Zack is a commodity that is impossible to get if we develop and make him into the player we think he can be. There's 5 players in the league I think are the equivalent. And you cannot get them in free agency, you cannot get them at the trade deadline."

The bolded is really interesting to me, knowing that's how they feel about Zack. And I would love to know what 5 guys he's talking about.

Thinking about the rare skillset Kassian has - a huge body, a mean streak, nice shot, good vision - I wonder if he thinks they can develop Kassian into a Backes?

2 questions:
Could Gillis see something that other people don't?
And what does this list of 5 look like? My thinking was classic powerforward types who can play first-line - maybe Backes, Lucic, Iginla, Benn, Kane. Any other guesses?

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