When it comes to the trade between the Sabres and Canucks that was made on this year’s Trade Deadline, it appears to be sliding more and more towards a win for the Sabres. Of course the main fixtures of the deal were Zack Kassian and Cody Hodgson, but two defenseman were thrown in as well. The Sabres sent young offensive defenseman Marc-Andre Gragnani out west for Alex Sulzer, who had spent most of the season as Vancouver’s 7th defenseman. The Canucks hoped Gragnani would be a solid anchor on their powerplay. It took them 14 games to decide that he wasn’t.
The Canucks did not give Gragnani a qualifying offer, as he was an upcoming Restricted Free Agent. Because of this, he will be an unrestricted free agent and on the market for anyone to sign with no consequence. This all coming after the Sabres signed their defensive piece, Alex Sulzer, to a new one year deal with the club.
With the Sabres happy with the production of Hodgson and Sulzer, and the Canucks unhappy with Kassian and Gragnani, year one goes to the Sabres. Now it will be strictly a comparison of Hodgson and Kassian over the coming years. As for Gragnani, I don’t think you’ll see many “Bring Back Gragnani” movements here in Buffalo.
The Canucks also did not extend offers to another three defenseman, Mike Duco, Ryan Parent, and Victor Oreskovich. All will be Unrestricted Free Agents come July First.