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Canucks recall Zack Kassian

Apr 3, 2013, 7:15 PM EDT

zackkassiangetty Getty Images

Vancouver Canucks power forward Zack Kassian showed tantalizing promise – and was probably a little lucky – in his first few games riding shotgun with the Sedin twins this season, but things haven’t gone so well lately. The team recalled him from the AHL on Wednesday.

Some, like the Vancouver Province’s Ben Kuzma, wonder if his “conditioning stint” might have stemmed from some off-ice issues along with giving him time to rehab a back injury.

Nothing tangible has surfaced on that subject, but Kassian admitted to Kuzma that he’s had to adjust to more media scrutiny (and widespread attention) since being traded to Vancouver from Buffalo.

“Definitely, especially in a market like this,” Kassian said. “It’s not Buffalo. There are a lot of people who are fans a lot of people who are always watching. You definitely want to be pro on and off the ice. We have an older team and everybody expects a lot from each other and guys are going to have your back. It’s kind of the way we work.”

In a heated race for the Northwest Division title/playoff positioning, the Canucks need to get the most out of the 22-year-old forward.

  1. kaptaanamerica - Apr 3, 2013 at 7:28 PM

    Vancouver is a lively place at night. nuff said.

  2. cameltoews - Apr 3, 2013 at 7:40 PM

    I don’t know much about Kassian since I’m over on the east coast but was the Hodgson trade a bad one. I mean Kassian didn’t do squat for buffalo when they traded him and he seems to be doing the same for Vancouver. Does this guy show any promise?

    • desertfan - Apr 3, 2013 at 7:48 PM

      Evidently shows great moves and promise at the bars in Yaletown!!!

    • ikillchicken - Apr 3, 2013 at 8:14 PM

      Well, obviously in the short term Cody is scoring at a nice pace. Much more than Kassian. Mind you, Buffalo’s situation necessitates giving him top line minutes with a variety of elite wingers where as Kassian has been playing with a rotation of atrocious centers thanks to the Canucks injury woes. And when he did play with Henrik he looked vastly better. So there are definitely some mitigating circumstances. Still, it is certainly the case that Hodgson is a better player right now. No denying that.

      That said though, Kassian is about a year behind Hodgson in his development. He’s more or less able to contribute in a secondary role but there are still some major consistency issues (basically what we saw from Hodgson a year ago). Next year Kassian will likely be forced into a bigger role as other players depart. At that point we’ll really get a better picture of what he is capable of at the NHL level. For now though, he still has just as much potential as Hodgson has. Both are likely future elite players. In the end, it will be years before anyone can really evaluate these two and say whether it was a good or bad trade long term. Both guys have their whole career ahead of them.

      Plus, even in the short term, even with Hodgson scoring more, it is still a trade that makes a lot of sense for both teams. Once Kesler is healthy the Canucks really won’t have much of a spot for Hodgson. He’s a pure offensive goal scorer and needs to play as a top line center to be effective. His defensive play is still atrocious though so doesn’t work as a third line player. But on the other hand, a big, strong, grinding winger for the 2/3 line? That’s exactly what the Canucks need. Hence, it is worth sacrificing a player like Hodgson, even if he is a little further ahead in development, for someone that fits our needs.

      So yeah, I definitely wouldn’t call it a bad trade. Maybe it will turn out to be in the long run but the opposite could just as well turn out to be true. We really can’t say right now.

  3. ikillchicken - Apr 3, 2013 at 7:46 PM

    Ug. Kuzma is full of it. He doesn’t even attempt to back up his assertion with anything specific. Just some vague allusion to “professionalism”. Plus, notice how he hides behind the word “if” rather than actually stating it to be the case. (And then in turn O’Brian hides behind the phrase “some wonder” to the same effect). It’s all one big load of media manufactured BS.Kassian was sent down to give him a game or two to readjust after his back injury. He’s had that. Now he’s back up. End of story.

  4. jkibler1 - Apr 3, 2013 at 7:56 PM

    @ikillchicken. I rehab backs for a living. Explain to me going to the minors will “readjust” his back??? I cannot wait to read your response.

    • ikillchicken - Apr 3, 2013 at 8:21 PM

      It’s rather impressive that you rehab backs despite being partially illiterate. What I actually said was to “readjust AFTER his back injury” not to “readjust his back”.

      Is that self explanatory now or do I need to also explain to you why it is helpful for a player to go play a couple easy games in the minors and readjust to playing before being tossed back into the NHL after a layoff?

  5. desertfan - Apr 3, 2013 at 7:56 PM

    Evidently shows great moves and promise at the bars in Yaletown!!!

    • kirkmcleansbaby - Apr 4, 2013 at 4:56 AM

      Wasn’t funny when you said it the first time……. 8 minutes before this last post you made!! *facepalm*

  6. kgun80 - Apr 3, 2013 at 7:59 PM

    The guy showed a ton of promise in Buffalo. He was tough and had some good hands and quick for a guy his size. I think if he gets healthy and with a little experience he can be a very good player.

  7. cameltoews - Apr 3, 2013 at 11:14 PM

    Ikillchicken

    Thanks dude I appreciate that response. I was wondering why this trade was made but now it makes a lot more sense.

    • ikillchicken - Apr 3, 2013 at 11:22 PM

      You’re welcome. Happy to help.

  8. ray2013 - Apr 4, 2013 at 4:34 AM

    This always struck me as a boom or bust type of trade. You knew CH was going to put up points, which every team needs. But elite power forwards don’t grow on trees. If Kassian matures into the elite player he was projected to be, then it was a great trade for the Canucks. But if he can’t make the jump from elite prospect to elite player, then this was a bust of a trade for the Canucks.

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