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Canucks send Kassian to AHL for conditioning; recall Jensen, Sweatt

Mar 31, 2013, 2:42 PM EDT

Zack Kassian, Getty Images

After being run out of the building by Edmonton last night, the Canucks are making some moves.

Vancouver is sending Zack Kassian to AHL Chicago on a conditioning assignment and calling up forwards Nicklas Jensen and Bill Sweatt. Brad Ziemer of the Vancouver Sun reports what the team’s motivation is for sending Kassian down.

“He needs to play,” Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault said before the team left Edmonton for San Jose late Sunday morning.

“We want him to get a little bit more ice time. He has been out for a little bit more than two weeks, on and off, and we felt for now he needed to play and we are going to send him down there.”

Kassian hasn’t played since March 19 against St. Louis, a game where he saw just 2:48 of ice time before leaving with a back injury. With Vancouver in a battle with Minnesota atop the Northwest Division, letting Kassian work out the kinks in a playoff battle didn’t seem wise.

All that aside, Kassian’s struggles this season and seeing Cody Hodgson having a solid season for Buffalo while the Canucks having holes to fill at center has some fans looking back on that trade last season with some grumbles.

  1. bigtganks - Mar 31, 2013 at 3:40 PM

    The crowning jewel of MG’s errors.

    Trades a top young center (knowing keslers fragility) for a fourth line (at least bottom six) winger
    Signs two goaltenders for big money at the same time further crippling this team and ability to make changes
    Lets ehrhoff, salo, and walk for nothing (offensive and PP contributors. PP was #1 in the league. Now it’s the worst in the league)
    Trades Grabner for Ballard
    Continues to stand status quo the center position knowing what he knew on Malhotras situation (now no one can win a face off where again they were #1 in the league now they’re in the bottom half)
    Hasn’t replaced the offense samuelsson provided with booth.
    With injuries most of the bottom six on this team are AHLers who will never belong or play 82 games for any NHL team)

    Those just quickly come to mind. Anything else??

    • sunderlanding - Mar 31, 2013 at 4:26 PM

      He did get a defensive prospect as well for Hodgson…obviously I’m joking. He needs to relent a little on his Luongo price and bring in a center who can score. Obviously no one wants to trade a top six center, a prospect and a draft pick for Luongo’s massive contract, so just go for the center. It’s not like this team is getting any younger, and if he thinks he’s going to win with the team the way it is he’s crazy.

    • ikillchicken - Mar 31, 2013 at 6:13 PM

      Which hole at center would that be? The hole on the second line? Because sure, if you want to be Captain Hindsight, had we known Kesler would suffer several major injuries one after the other, it might have been tempting to hold on to Hodgson. But at the same time, fans need to ask themselves what’s more important: A temporary replacement for Kesler or a player that can actually help us long term. Come playoff time, Kesler will be back and we’ll be right back to where we were last year with no spot in the top 6 for Hodgson. Which brings us to the other possibility: Using Hodgson on the third line. No thanks. Sure, his scoring touch would be nice. (Although obviously he isn’t gonna score nearly as much playing in that role) But the guy is a defensive liability. He’s soft and slow. There’s a reason he’s still a minus player in Buffalo despite playing in a top line role. He’s pretty much gotta be a top 6 scoring center to be effective at all. So no. Even if we had him still, we’d still be looking for a third line center right now.

      • bigtganks - Mar 31, 2013 at 7:40 PM

        So today you’d trade Hodgson for Kassian? Would you? That’s my point. Trading him for Kassian. Trade him for a more veteran winger. I understand what you’re saying on Hodgson but don’t trade him for a project winger.

      • bigtganks - Mar 31, 2013 at 8:00 PM

        I meant, “trade him for a more veteran center”

      • bigtganks - Mar 31, 2013 at 8:05 PM

        Trust me, I would’ve traded him as well, especially after all the info of him being a “diva” coming out. I certainly believe all that and agree with you on Hodgson. I just feel Mike Gillis should have gotten more out of that trade than a project winger like Kassian. His mantra is “if we can make the team better then I will trade someone”, and I just don’t feel that this in any way made the team better, but that the team has taken a another step backwards

    • ikillchicken - Mar 31, 2013 at 7:34 PM

      Sorry but I just have to address this ridiculous comment as well.

      “Signs two goaltenders for big money at the same time further crippling this team and ability to make changes”

      And what would you have done? Do tell me Mr. Armchair GM. I mean you seem to have this all figured out so explain to me how you would have handled it? Should we have…not resigned Schneider last summer? Just cut him loose? Let one of the best young goalies in hockey go? Or…not resigned Luongo back in 2009? Even though Schneider was still just a prospect and really hadn’t shown anything at the NHL level back then? It’s easy to sit back and complain about the current situation but there really wasn’t any plausible alternative to signing both guys for now and then trying to trade one of them.

      “Lets ehrhoff, salo, and walk for nothing”

      By that logic he was able to acquire Garrison and Hamhuis for “nothing” and they’ve been our most reliable defensemen this season. This is how free agency works. You have a limited amount of money to spend. By opting to let some guys walk you free up more to spend thus allowing you to acquire other players. If you simply refuse to ever let anyone go “for nothing” then you can’t ever add anyone either.

      “Continues to stand status quo the center position knowing what he knew on Malhotras situation (now no one can win a face off where again they were #1 in the league now they’re in the bottom half)”

      It’s pretty dumb to complain about this a couple days before the trade deadline. If the deadline passes and he doesn’t get anything done, fine. But wait until that actually happens before jumping on him.

      “Hasn’t replaced the offense samuelsson provided with booth.”

      You do realize that Booth has put up better numbers than Samuelsson since the trade right? And please, do tell me how Gillis is responsible for Booth’s injuries.

      “With injuries most of the bottom six on this team are AHLers who will never belong or play 82 games for any NHL team)”

      As opposed to all those other NHL teams who can lose a half dozen starters and not have to resort to any AHLers in their bottom 6?

      • bigtganks - Mar 31, 2013 at 7:59 PM

        1. Don’t sign Luongo to a 12 year deal. That’s on the gm. Trade either of them before signing Schneider. They knew a long time coming how good Schneider was and staved him off long enough.

        2. Yes my point exactly. Garrison is a lesser replacement than Salo. I’ll give him Hamhuis. That’s a good signing. You can’t argue the PP sucks without Salo and ehrhoff and edler and garrison on the PP is not the answer.

        3. I’m just stating that a year ago MG knew what he knew with malhotra which we didn’t know and their little talk they had. Kesler was also struggling mightily. At that point I wouldn’t have traded Hodgson or at least not for a project winger. Get another center for depth.

        4. Samuelsson put up 48 goals in two years. I’m not saying. He shouldn’t have traded samuelsson. But who he’s brought in to REPLACE that goal scoring has not happened. Is that or is it not on the GM to do that? Canucks depth scoring is way down even with Raymond Hansen and Higgins scoring what they have in the past. Scoring is not being replaced. Sedins are down. And not much from other second and third line guys outside of those three I mentioned.

        5. Right. Many teams suffer injuries. But thanks to points 1-4 above no one is scoring and the Sedins are being relied upon to provide all the offense. He can’t make moves to help with this depth because of poor trades and goaltenders signed into the next decade that are untradeable because he refuses to accept reality.

        Bottom line is because if everything above this team in two years has gone from first in the NHL in scoring, PP, faceoffs to almost last or much much lower. 1.5 goals per game the last 15 games or so. Now that the Sedins have peaked theres no one to help on any other line and MGs moves have been poor. Sure he meant well but it has not panned out well and that’s in the GM. There’s zero depth on this team if someone is hurt and part of that is because we have a 4M defenseman either healthy scratched or playing 4th line winger minutes. Booth constantly injured, and 3.5-6M sitting on the bench doing nothing every game. That’s on MG.

        Just my opinion but I respect yours.

  2. colby7 - Mar 31, 2013 at 3:49 PM

    Buffalo is currently having a fire sale because they are so far out of the playoffs. Cant really say anybody is having a solid season in that situation?

  3. blackhawks2010 - Mar 31, 2013 at 4:26 PM

    Bummer, he’s so talented…

  4. bigtganks - Mar 31, 2013 at 4:30 PM

    Lest we forget in the Buffalo trade Sulzer for Gragnani too. Sheesh MG.

  5. thomasvanek - Apr 1, 2013 at 10:28 AM

    On a completely unrelated note Hodgson has one less point than Daniel Sedin this season. Thanks Vancouver.

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