A lot of people were caught off-guard when the Zack Kassian trade came to fruition. For all the speculation around why it happened, at the end of the day Cody Hodgson went to Buffalo and Kassian joined the Canucks.
Kassian came from a team where he was getting limited ice-time – and seriously less quality ice time than Hodgson – and, fairly or not, was expected to step straight into Cody’s shoes.
But that’s unrealistic. Completely unrealistic. And the last thing Kassian needs is this city and the media to run him out of town so I write this post pre-emptively after two comments really nailed home how I feel about the kid.
The first was from Steve “Dangle” Glynn:
RT @steve_dangle: Thing about Kassian is he really is the type of animal the Canucks needs, but not yet. He will be, but he’s a rookie
Kassian is exactly what this team needs. He’s a year younger than Hodgson, and he’s going to need a little more time to fall into the team’s system. Cody took a couple of year to develop. Even some of the team’s veterans took time to find their step within Vigneault’s system. Kassian had a matter of weeks to gear up for the playoffs and was dispatched on every forward line trying to find a fit. Finding a fit on this team isn’t easy for the best of players, but Kassian will soon, and those dividends will start to pay off after a full off season with the team. Don’t believe me? You’ll see it in David Booth as well.
The other was from Brian Wawryshyn of Canucks Corner:
RT @canuckscorner: Don’t spew venom at Kassian. He didn’t trade Hodgson. He’s a young kid with potential who is rarely getting on the ice. #canucks
Kassian has a whack load of potential. He’s been compared to guys like Lucic (which I don’t necessarily agree with) but he also looks to me like he can evolve into a young Todd Bertuzzi. This kid’s going to be wreaking havoc on the ice for the Canucks and his experience in the playoffs this season, whether it goes for just one more game or longer, is going to be big for his development.
The Canucks need someone to step up and lead this team. And while it would be great for Kassian to contribute more, it may be a bit much to expect such from a raw rookie. Instead, look at the veterans before him – guys like Hank, Kes, Booth, Higgins and May Ray have combined for 0 goals in the first 3 games in this series. I know fans are looking for a scapegoat, but this kid is hardly it.