This was a crazy deadline around the league, albeit relatively quiet. The biggest trade of the deadline was made days before with Jeff Carter being reunited with his buddy Mike Richards in Los Angeles and Jack Johnson and a First Rounder heading to beautiful Columbus, Ohio. The most shocking thing on deadline day was Nashville making as many moves as they did, and trading a First Round pick for Paul Gaustad. But who cares about the rest of the league? This is Nucks on the Pond, not Preds on the Pond (I am Trademarking that).
First off I like the Sami Pahlsson trade. You give up two Fourth Round picks and get a shut-down Forward, that can play with just about anybody. All upside here, and a very logical move for a team looking to go deep into the playoffs. Pahlsson is a guy that instantly takes pressure off Manny Malhotra, and added with Jannik Hansen, makes the best Checking Line in the NHL. Love everything about this. Its the other move I have a problem with.
Now I have taken some crap on Twitter for this, and all I have to say is this: Shut the Hell up! I am entitled to my opinion just the same as everyone else is, and if I want to vent about my extreme dislike for this trade then let me. If you are some hipster douche, who thinks your opinion is fact and you are the true barometer for how the fans feel well take a hike because you're an idiot.
I hate this trade, a lot, but not for the obvious reasons. I was, and still am to a lesser extent, a big Cody Hodgson fan. I thought he was progressing very nicely, especially considering he missed an entire season to a back injury. He had 33 points (16G, 17A) and was a plus eight through 63 games this year before he was dealt. He was a Calder Trophy candidate and coming into his own in a city that loved him. But all was not roses, allegedly.
Rumors have been swirling that he didn't like being buried behind Kesler and Henrik on the depth chart, or that Alain Vigneault didn't like him, or that Hodgson demanded this trade. No matter what the reasons are, he was dealt, and in my opinion for that much in return. This is in no way a bashing session on Zach Kassian and Marc-Andre Gragnani. I think Kassian will turn into a very good player, and I think Gragnani was the casualty of the Sabres bringing in about 30 new Defenceman this season. But when you have a potential Calder winner, and you are a Cup Contender you have to get you something that helps right now.
Gragnani is that help, a puck moving Defenceman that adds depth, and there is no such thing as too much Blue Line depth in the playoffs, obviously. However, an inexperienced Forward is not exactly a return you want for a team that is expected to go deep into the playoffs. You take your fourth leading scorer and exchange him for a third pairing Defenceman and guy that could be something great in the future. Lets not forget Cody even got some playoff experience last year.
So lets say Cody did ask for a trade, a question both him and Mike Gillis skillfully refused to answer in the days after the trade. Asking prices were high, that was evident long before Deadline Day rolled around. If Rick Nash can finish off the season on the worst team in the league, I feel as though if Mike Gillis went to Cody with "Hey, asking prices are high. I will shop you around, but if we don;t see the deal we want, we are going to wait until the off-season." I would like to think Cody could have "stuck it out" on a Cup Contender until the summer rolled around.
The same thing goes if Vigneault was not a fan of him either. The guy is having a good year, he hasn't been accused of being a problem in the locker room, and has done what is asked of him. If the French midget is complaining about one of his players, Gillis should tell him the same thing, "prices are high, I am not giving him away."
I am just finding it very difficult to stomach that a third pairing Defenceman and potentially great Forward is what a Cup Contending team needs right now, rather than a Calder candidate, with playoff experience. It just doesn't make sense to me. I have a feeling that Cody and some nicely packaged picks could have gotten a top six Forward from a team well out of it. This seems to be one of those trades that doesn't make sense, as opposed to one of those famous Gillis trades that is made to make up for an awful signing.