"Do you love me?"
Yesterday's trade that sent Cody Hodgson to the Buffalo Sabres for Zack Kassian was a tough one to digest. I have been a huge Cody Hodgson fan since Vancouver drafted him in 2008, and have defended him through the injuries and the controversies, and thoroughly enjoyed watching him break out this year. I, like most of us, thought he would be a career Canuck, the heir apparent to one of the top center positions and possibly the club's next great leader. This belief is likely what Puck Daddy's Ryan Lambert was referring to when he said "losing the idea of Cody Hodgson is going to sting more than losing the physical presence of Cody Hodgson." He's absolutely right.
Personal feelings towards Hodgson aside, Mike Gillis made one heck of a hockey trade. He dealt from strength (center) to address a need (size), and it wasn't on a rental or a player on the wrong side of 35. It was for an equally-elite prospect in Zack Kassian, who may not have the offensive tools that Hodgson does, but brings a combination of size, grit and skill that is quickly becoming as coveted around the league as goal scoring. And here's what I like about Mike Gillis: he isn't afraid to make a deal like this. He's the GM of the league's current #1 team, yet the Canucks made more trades than anyone else yesterday. That means something.
Vancouver Canucks News & Notes
Mike Gillis talks about the deadline acquisitions and departures. This includes an emotional sequence where guys like Alex Burrows, Manny Malhotra and Max Lapierre are seen bidding Hodgson goodbye:
And Laurence Gillman:
If you're still feeling bummed about losing Cody and aren't that familiar with Kassian, this should give you a boost:
So, uh, what the heck just happened? [PITB]
Thomas Drance gives his take, which is always worth a read. [Canucks Army]
Cam Charron takes a look at Hodgson's history and suggests that given that, the club got a pretty good return for him. [Legion of Blog]
The inevitable question: did Hodgson ask for a trade? I don't really care either way. [The White Towel]
Cody is adamant he never asked to be traded. [The Province]
A nice round-up of the media's reaction to the Hodgson-Kassian swap. [Canucks Army]
The Rock reviews the trade deadline. [Legion of Blog]
Jesse Spector counts the Canucks amongst the winners from deadline day. I like this analysis. [Sporting News]
Back to business. The Canucks finish off a long road trip tonight in Phoenix. Here's the preview. [Canucks]
Today in Canucks History
[Feb 28, 1986] Richard Brodeur becomes first Canuck netminder to register 100 career wins in a 3-1 victory vs. Philadelphia.
NHL News & Notes
Aside from the big Canucks-Sabres trade, it was a pretty uneventful trade deadline. Colour me shocked. [CBC]
The Predators were active, acquiring Paul Gaustad (while paying a heavy price with a 1st round pick), adding even more size after getting Hal Gill last week. Will these moves be enough to convince Ryan Suter and She Weber that Nashville is serious about winning? [PHT]
Check out this infographic of which player names were Tweeted the most in the hours leading up to the deadline. [Backhand Shelf]
After another slow trade deadline, it's looking like the draft is fast becoming the easier place to make good deals. [Kukla's Korner]
Brian Burke whining about the deadline and talking about the deals he didn't make is becoming a tradition. We get it, Burkie, it's distracting and easy to make a bad trade. Your history on deadline day proves that. [National Post]
Today in NHL History
[Feb 28, 1929] The Chicago Blackhawks lose record NHL 15th straight game at home.
 Pat Verbeek becomes the 1st New Jersey Devil to score 4 goals in a game.