“We Are All Canucks”
Over time, the marketing department may have gone in different directions, but at the end of the day, the team still wants us to feel that we are the seventh man on the ice.
Two weeks ago, the Canucks brass turned their fan base into a tizzy with the surprise announcement that rookie Cody Hodgson, who had just started to come into his own and making a push for the Calder, would see his name on the back of a Buffalo Sabers jersey for the rest of the season.
In return, the “Nucks” would get Zack Kassian (and defenseman Marc-Andre Gragnani).
Whether you are a die hard Canucks faithful or an average fan, either way you were left scratching your head….don’t lie, even if it were just for a minute!
Did Vancouver brass jump the gun with thoughts of having to play a physical style in the Stanley Cup run this year, or will they regret moving a more finesse type player when they have to play an up tempo opponent.
After six games with Vancouver, just enough time to become familiar with their line mates, have the Canucks become a better team with their new acquisitions?
Zack Kassian, the thirteenth overall pick in 2009, unfortunately takes over the role of a young fan favorite.
But what has he done lately?
Sure he has added a couple of more hits and grit to the lineup, but as far as scoring touch, that has been next to absent.
In seven games, Kassian has produced two points and eight shots. Those two points came on the night in with the traded pieces faced their former teams as Kassian tallied a goal and an assist in a 5-3 loss to the Buffalo Sabers.
In the Canucks last three games, “Big Z” has struggled to even get a shot on goal and has seen his playing time drop from just over twelve minutes to slightly over an average of seven in his last two games. Sure he has thrown his weight around, but the lack of a scoring touch has hurt the Canucks.
Granted Hodgson had his share of scoring slumps from time to time, however the ability to play him on the third line or on the wing with one of the top two lines and give that extra threat to pocket the puck made opposing defenses have to play off the Canucks big names.
Kassian on the other hand brings memories of a more talented Gino Odjick.
Kassian’s value to the team will not be measured until after the playoffs are all said and done, but unfortunately for Canucks fans, the immediate returns have not proved to be profitable.
Just as unfortunate for Kassian, is the fact that many of his attributes will not show up on the stat sheet, and the negative numbers so far outweigh the positives.
Keep grindin’ away young Zack Kassian, Hodgson only tallied two points in his first year (8 games) with the Canucks, and you have already matched that in just seven games.
Maybe there are brighter days ahead.
Zack Kassian Profile:
Position: Right Wing
Weight: 214 lbs
Birthdate: January 24, 1991
Birthplace: Windsor, Ontario, Canada
Draft: 1st round, 13th overall in 2009 by Buffalo
LAST SEVEN STAT LINE (Since Trade Deadline):
Canucks Record: 2-4-1 Goals: 1, Assists: 1, Points: 2, Plus/Minus -3