Fantasy Impact: The Vancouver Canucks trade forward Cody Hodgson and defenseman Alexander Sulzer to the Buffalo Sabres for forward Zach Kassian and defenseman Marc-Andre Gragnani
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The Sabres get: a potential No.1 center who at this point could probably slot in at No.2. They also get a depth defenseman who can play a few games when needed to be a PP QB on the second unit, if one of their top guys are hurt.
The Canucks get: a future power forward and an underrated power-play quarterback.
Fantasy Players Impacted: Gragnani will slide into the void left by Christian Ehrhoff as the No.2 PP QB in Vancouver. His fantasy value just went from zero to decent. Look for at least 12 points going from now until the end of the season, plus playoff value - remember that he had seven points in seven games in the playoffs last year.
Kassian may see some NHL time, but that is not certain. The Canucks added Pahlsson, which is essentially trading offense (Hodgson) for defense (Pahlsson). Eventually, though, the Canucks would like to see Kassian do what Milan Lucic has been doing for the Bruins. Warning - he may be a 40-point guy for three or four years before reaching his potential of close to 70.
In Buffalo, I don't like this fit for Hodgson. With Derek Roy, Luke Adam and Tyler Ennis already there, how many offensive centers can they use? It just doesn't fit, something has to give - their points/production will cannibalize each other. If things loosen up this summer in terms of the logjam, I will like this better.
Andrej Sekera will benefit from the added PP time, potentially.
Other thoughts - let's not forget that Cody Hodgson had the back problems a couple of years ago, and refused to go to Vancouver to train with their specialist and rather go off with his own in Brampton. That didnt' sit well with the Canucks and at that point I knew that he wouldn't be a career Canuck. I was surprised that he was with them this long. But what they did was "sell high". They waited until he was healthy and proven, and highly-regarded. Then they moved him. I think what you will find is that he gets hurt a lot. Just a hunch, but that's how I look at the player. A 45-point rookie with upside gives people a lot of hope, but Kassian could/should be a 45-point rookie with upside next year. And he's huge, which fits a need. Adding mobility in Gragnani is just icing on the cake. Don't underestimate how well Vancouver did here. In my opinion - give me the Vancouver side. I know I'm in the minority, but let's talk in 2015.
Fantasy Players this helps, in order:
Fantasy Players this hurts, in order:
2. Hodgson - although in the long run, he has a better chance of being the go-to guy.
3. Roy - increases offseason trade odds
4. Kevin Bieksa takes a small hit.