Thursday, February 21, 2013

Should Zack Kassian Be Returned To Sedin Line?

Perhaps I need to stop listening to local Vancouver sports talk radio, but over the last 2 weeks there has been an influx of angry callers demanding that Zack Kassian be returned to the first line with Daniel and Henrik Sedin. Kassian scored 5 goals in the first two weeks while playing on the top line, but over that time the Sedins did not play well at all. It was not until being reunited with Alex Burrows that they resumed producing at an elite level. The Sedins are great for Kassian, but Kassian is not good for the Sedins. Burrows is the perfect player to complement what the Sedins do, and the Canucks maximize the output of all three players by playing them together.

So why are all these Canucks fans calling the local radio station demanding that Kassian be returned to the top line? It's clearly not what's best for the team. Are these people who have Kassian in their hockey pool? Maybe. When he got off to that fast start, Vancouver fell in love with the power forward, but his production has dried up since being taken off the Sedin line (he's stuck at 7 points while Cody Hodgson is up to 15 points in Buffalo). Last spring when the LA Kings eliminated Vancouver in the first round, I listened to talk radio for my entire hour long drive home from work. Every second caller brought up Hodgson, traded for Kassian straight up before the trade deadline. The Canucks were eliminated because they couldn't score goals, and last season Hodgson scored 19 goals, Kassian scored 4.

That trade has been a point of contention among the fan base all summer. Kassian's fast start won over the hearts and minds of many Nuck fans. Anybody who has been arguing that Hodsgon for Kassian was a good trade for Vancouver does not want to see Zack's production come to a crashing stop. That's not helping them win their argument, especially while Cody is transforming into a superstar in Buffalo. Is that why a segment of Canucks fans are making angry phone calls to the radio station demanding that Kassian be put back on the Sedin line? I'm trying to make some sense of it all, why you would be demanding a move that diminishes the production of 3 of your best players, just to boost the output of one guy? It seems completely illogical to me as an outside observer, a non-Canucks fan who lives in the city of Vancouver. Then again, at this point the irrational behavior of Canucks fans should no longer be a shock.

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