Archives for May 2012

Canucks’ winger Zack Kassian shoulders burden

‘If there are any red flags regarding Kassian, it’s that he hasn’t been the same intimidating, crash and bang player he was in junior hockey. A feared fighter when he split four seasons between Peterborough and Windsor, Kassian was questioned by Buffalo head coach Lindy Ruff for not showing those attributes often enough at the professional level. Ruff did acknowledge Kassian’s offensive skills, though. And any first-year pro who puts up 26 points (15-11) in 30 games as a rookie in the AHL, as Kassian did in Rochester, clearly has offensive up-side.’

Enroth among NHLers out to conquer Worlds

‘Enroth is one of the three goaltenders for co-host Sweden. The Buffalo backup is the only one with NHL experience and is hopeful of significant playing time in his hometown of Stockholm.’

Clint Malarchuk, the survivor

‘The nightmares begin immediately after the accident, plaguing him night after night. Malarchuk wakes up in his bed, clutching his neck, covered in sweat and gasping for air.’

Roberts backs off on calling Gillis a ‘moron’

‘”I absolutely apologize,” Roberts told the AM radio station. “It’s a long story. I apologize for using that word. I should not have used that word. Obviously, emotion was part of my game, as you guys know, and sometimes I didn’t always make the right choice. As you can see, I’m still not making the right choices in maybe that word selection.”‘

‘If anybody knew this kid . . . ‘

‘Gillis’s first-ever draft pick was lauded for his character and intelligence when he was picked 10th over-all in 2008. But a back injury suffered in training in the summer of 2009 and its subsequent misdiagnosis – initially by the Canucks, but also by Hodgson’s own doctors – dealt some damage to that relationship. So did comments from head coach Alain Vigneault dismissing Hodgson after the 2009 preseason as a player using an injury as an excuse.’

Slamming Hodgson or Gillis for sour parting is unwise

‘The bottom line is Hodgson and his camp made it clear he was unhappy playing behind centres Ryan Kesler and Hen-rik Sedin, so the Canucks made what they felt was the best deal they could and traded Hodgson for Zack Kassian before the relationship with Gillis’ first draft pick deteriorated further.’