Sabres pick up Cody Hodgson, ship Kassian & Gragnani to Vancouver

Hey, Darcy… good work, pal.

While many fans were pulling out the pitchforks with 3:00 approaching, Regier was making moves, and while many might’ve been fine with the previous trade with Nashville, he had something up his sleeve.

Buffalo sent rookie Zack Kassian and defenseman Marc-Andre Gragnani to Vancouver in exchange for Calder candidate Cody Hodgson and German defenseman Alexander Sulzer.

Hodgson, 22, has 16 goals and 33 points in 63 games for the Canucks. He has worked his way into “rookie of the year” talk after playing eight games last season for Vancouver. He made 12 playoff appearances in their run to last season’s Stanley Cup Finals, picking up one assist.

Sulzer, 27, has played just 12 games this season. In 74 games with Vancouver, Florida and Nashville, he has one goal and seven assists. He takes over Gragnani’s role as the team’s #7 defenseman. The Kaufbeuren, Germany native has been on Team Deutschland for the last two Olympic games.

The return was solid, but it was still a shocking move for the Sabres to give up on Kassian, who’d quickly become a fan favorite with his alleged physical play.

In 27 games for Buffalo, Kassian picked up three goals and added four assists. His legendary physicality was largely absent, as he proved to be a more passive big body than people expected. He was the Sabres’ first pick in the 2009 NHL Draft, 13th overall.

Vancouver also gets Marc-Andre Gragnani, a once promising young defenseman who had fallen out of the lineup. In 44 games, the guy who had been penciled in as a powerplay quarterback had just one goal and 12 assists. He had been the team’s leading scorer in last year’s first round series against Philadelphia, and it was his overtime goal against Carolina in April 2011 that helped secure a playoff spot.

Hodgson is currently signed to his entry-level deal, which expires after next season at a $1,666,666 cap hit. Sulzer is a pending unrestricted free agent at $700,000 for the season.

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Posted on February 27, 2012, in Sabres/NHL and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. This may turn out to be a good move though it’s not going to have an impact on the Sabres making any significant improvement this year. Buffalo needed another center and Gragnani failed to improve on his dazzling play at the end of last season and the one and done playoff with Philly. As far as Sulzer? Do we need another German on the squad? I say no.

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