Tag: Marc-Andre Gragnani

Marc-Andre Gragnani

Carolina signs Gragnani — one year, $800,000


The Carolina Hurricanes have agreed to terms with former Canucks and Sabres defenseman Marc-Andre Gragnani to a one-year, two-way deal worth $800,000.

Gragnani, 25, turned heads during the 2011 postseason when he led Buffalo in scoring — seven points in seven games — during the Sabres’ opening-round loss to Philadelphia.

He followed that up by scoring 12 points in 44 games last season before being dealt to Vancouver…where things didn’t go especially well.

The Canucks dressed Gragnani for 14 games (the exact number that prevented him from becoming a Group 6 unrestricted free agent) during which he proved to be a defensive liability, finishing minus-4.

Vancouver then tried to trade Gragnani at the draft but, when no suitors emerged, he wasn’t given a qualifying offer and became a UFA anyway.

Gragnani should have a decent shot of sticking in Carolina given the Hurricanes’ lack of depth on the blueline. Joni Pitkanen, Tim Gleason, Joe Corvo, Jamie McBain, Justin Faulk and Jay Harrison are the six under contract, though 2011 first-round pick Ryan Murphy will be in the mix as well.

Should Alain Vigneault’s days be numbered in Vancouver?

Vancouver Canucks v Boston Bruins - Game Six

The Northwest Division is virtually clinched for the Vancouver Canucks, but as we’ve seen with Roberto Luongo in particular, the market seems primed to turn on the team’s major figures whenever things aren’t running like a well-oiled machine.

On the heels of a listless 2-0 loss to the Minnesota Wild and a 5-6-2 mark in their last 13 games, it only makes sense – in a “Vancouver” sort of way, at least – that the cross-hairs are turning to Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault. Vancouver Province columnist Tony Gallagher thinks that the team needs a fresh approach.

Vigneault’s time with this team is surely drawing very near the end because management owes it to the group to give them another coach next year, so as to have a fresh approach before the Sedins get too old to even talk about getting something done five-on-five.

As it is now, talk of a Stanley Cup in this environment is delusional, and if you don’t believe us, just ask Jonathan Toews.

What’s going on now is so unlike the professionalism of last year’s team and you have to wonder what effect it’s having on Zack Kassian and Marc-Andre Gragnani, who came over from Buffalo in the Cody Hodgson deal. Joining a team that was leading the ridiculously tough Western Conference, they probably thought they were going into a room whereby everyone did their utmost every night to make sure the team not only had a chance to win but dominated many games. They probably thought they were coached by somebody whose every word was carefully considered and perhaps even acted upon.

I’m going to play the devil’s advocate and say that the Canucks’ hopes for a run to the Stanley Cup are far from “delusional.” Here’s why:

  • They still have a +41 goal differential which, to me, shows most simply that they remain one of the NHL’s best teams. (If their record wasn’t enough an indicator, that is.)
  • The Canucks have the Sedin twins, Ryan Kesler and fantastic depth on offense. Their defense ranges from solid-to-very-good and they possess one of the league’s best goalie duos.
  • Look at the West teams and you’ll see plenty of question marks.
  • The St. Louis Blues have been great but obviously are the new kids on the block and thus remain unproven.
  • The Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings carry deep flaws and dark bruises.
  • There are some nice stories in the Pacific Division, but is there a single team that truly inspires fear?

If anything, the Canucks might be the logical frontrunners to represent the West in this year’s finals – unless you suffer from “What have you done for me lately?” syndrome, of course.

Vigneault’s many victories in Vancouver

Vigneault seems like the sort who doesn’t always butter up media types, but how exactly has his reign been disappointing? The Canucks are on the verge of a fifth division title in his sixth season of work, last year’s team was one of the most dominant regular season squads in recent memory and he’s a one-time Jack Adams Award winner (while being a finalist three times).

What more must he do? Does he need to scream like a madman and flip over Gatorade jugs to get the respect he supposedly doesn’t receive? Is it really Stanley Cup or bust for a franchise that’s never sipped from the chalice?


If you ask me, it’s a puzzling “grass is always greener” mentality, but what do you think? Should the Canucks really consider parting ways with perhaps the most successful coach they’ve ever had? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Hodgson was “shocked as anyone” after being traded

Cody Hodgson

If Cody Hodgson asked to be traded by the Vancouver Canucks, he must be a good actor.

“I was as shocked as anyone,” Hodgson told The Province yesterday after learning he’d been dealt to Buffalo for F Zack Kassian and D Marc-Andre Gragnani. “I didn’t see it coming. I really like the city and the fans and the guys are great. But I understand it’s a business and I’m moving on to a new opportunity.”

Canucks general manager Mike Gillis only added to the speculation that the 10th overall pick in 2008, or maybe his agent, had requested a move that would allow the talented 22-year-old center to play in a top-six role.

“That’s an internal thing I’m not going to comment about,” Gillis said.

He added: “Things that happen behind closed doors in our offices are not for public consumption. I’m not going to discuss it.”

Maybe Gillis didn’t mean to sound evasive, but that’s how he came off. Why wasn’t he willing to comment? Nobody would’ve blinked if he’d denied Hodgson had asked to be traded. Maybe a year ago there’d have been some blinking, but not during Hodgson’s breakout season, and not after a trade that made hockey sense. Kassian is a highly touted prospect that gives the Canucks size and toughness up front. Besides, who gets their trade request granted at the deadline when they play for a Cup contender? A player would have to be quite the distraction for that to happen.

Anyway, the trade is done – why it happened shouldn’t affect the Canucks on the ice. But sports is like a soap opera, and fans are always curious about what’s happening behind the scenes.

Who’s wearing what number after the trade deadline?

Zack Kassian

With 16 deals involving 32 players, the 2011-12 NHL trade deadline featured plenty of number switches. Here’s a quick rundown of who will be wearing what heading into Tuesday’s play.


In a weird twist, Zack Kassian has opted for No. 9 — the same number Cody Hodgson (the guy Kassian was traded for) wore this season. Marc-Andre Gragnani will wear No. 5 (his Buffalo number, 17, is worn by Ryan Kesler) while Samuel Pahlsson will wear No. 26, a number he’s had since 2001.


Hodgson will wear No. 12 (Update: This was erroneously reported by NHL Network’s Brian Duff. Hodgson will wear No. 19) while Alex Sulzer will sport the No. 52 he wore as a Predator and Canuck.

San Jose

T.J. Galiardi, who wore No. 39 in Colorado, will rock No. 37 with the Sharks (39 is property of Logan Couture). Daniel Winnik will retain the No. 34 he wore with the Avs and previously, the Coyotes.


No word on what number Jamie McGinn will wear. He’s probably free to keep his No. 64, though — he’d become the first-ever Avalanche player to wear it if he does.

New York Rangers

John Scott will wear No. 28 after donning No. 36 with Minnesota and, most recently, No. 32 with the Blackhawks.


Brian Rolston turned back the clock and chose No. 12, the same number he wore with the Bruins from 2000-04. (Note: the last Boston player to wear No. 12 was Tomas Kaberle…maybe it’s not too late for Rolston to switch.) Mike Mottau is wearing No. 27 like he did in New Jersey, while Greg Zanon is No. 6.


Johnny Oduya is wearing No. 27. His preferred number, 29 (which he wore in New Jersey, Atlanta and Winnipeg) is property of Bryan Bickell.


Matt Gilroy will continue to wear No. 97, becoming the highest jersey number in Senators history. Prior to Gilroy, the honor went to Stan Neckar (94), Mika Zibanejad (93), Alexandre Daigle (91) and Mike Comrie (89).

Tampa Bay

Brian Lee will wear No. 15, Keith Aulie No. 3 and Mike Commodore continues to disappoint his fans by refusing to wear No. 64 — instead, he’ll go with No. 23.


The Oilers Twitter feed says Nick Schultz will wear No. 15, becoming the 31st Oiler to wear that number — a long, illustrious list that includes Alex Tidey, Miroslav Frycer, Tomas Srsen and Joe Hulbig. For some reason, No. 15 has been out of circulation since Joffrey Lupul wore it in 2007.


Tom Gilbert had no problems retaining his No. 77. No Wild player has worn it since Lubomir Sekeras from 2001-03.


Andrei Kostitsyn keeps No. 46 (and, presumably, his AK-46 nickname) while Paul Gaustad keeps his No. 28.

PHT’s Top 10 trade deadline storylines

Rick Nash

The 2011-12 NHL trade deadline has come and gone. Here are the top 10 storylines to emerge from it:

Columbus doesn’t deal Rick Nash (and Scott Howson steals the spotlight)

First, the Jackets GM reportedly turned down the Rangers’ offer of Brandon Dubinsky, three prospects and a first-round pick. Then — in an unprecedented move — Howson threw the Blue Jackets captain under the bus by saying it was Nash that asked Columbus for a trade, not the other way around. Good times in Ohio!

Vancouver, Buffalo swap first-round picks

On a deadline day that was defined by moderation, the Sabres and Canucks were two notable exceptions. Both teams rolled the dice by exchanging highly touted youngsters – F Cody Hodgson went to Buffalo (with Alexander Sulzer) in return for F Zack Kassian and D Marc-Andre Gragnani. The Sabres received the best NHL player today, which is odd considering it’s the Canucks that are the Cup contenders. However, it’s possible Vancouver ends up getting two impact players for the price of one.

No blockbusters

The biggest deal happened before the deadline, when L.A. acquired Jeff Carter for Jack Johnson and a 2012 first-round pick. After that, things got awfully quiet. Big names rumored to be in play (Nash, Dustin Brown, Tomas Plekanec and Derek Roy) stayed put and phrases like “the Johnny Oduya sweepstakes” started popping up, which is never a good sign.

Motor City silence

If Detroit falls short in the playoffs, Red Wings fans might look back at the deadline and wonder why GM Ken Holland wasn’t more aggressive. Here’s his explanation after doing nothing more than ship out Mike Commodore: “There wasn’t a fit. We tried to do a couple of moves, but either our (draft) picks weren’t high enough because our team is high in the standings, or we didn’t have the young players (other teams wanted).”

Nashville goes for broke

There was heat on GM David Poile to show his players — specifically Shea Weber and impeding UFA Ryan Suter — that Nashville was serious about contending for the Stanley Cup. Well, mission accomplished. Poile paid a big price to rent Paul Gaustad, Andrei Kostitsyn and Hal Gill for a couple of months.

A lack of action

Only 32 players were traded today, the fewest on a deadline since 2000 (23). When all was said and done, the glut of bubble teams meant a dearth of assets being sold for cheap. Of course, you could argue whether some of those bubble teams are actually on the bubble, but there’s something noble about never saying never.

Boston adds depth, experience

The Bruins needed bodies given injuries to Nathan Horton, Rich Peverley and Johnny Boychuk. But Peter Chiarelli wasn’t prepared to pay large, so he scored three veteran NHLers — Brian Rolston, Mike Mottau and Greg Zanon — without giving up any draft picks or full-time roster players. Not the deadline’s flashiest moves, but ones that could be crucial for Boston’s Stanley Cup defense.

Goalies problems go unsolved

Toronto, Philadelphia and Chicago each went into the trade deadline with goaltending concerns, yet neither did anything about it. In fact, no goalies were traded today. To be fair, there weren’t many temporary solutions available. The Islanders didn’t want to give up Nabokov and a general manager would have to be pretty desperate to go after Edmonton’s Nikolai Khabibulin. Josh Harding was a possibility, but he hasn’t been very good since Christmas.

Washington stands pat

GM George McPhee’s silence was deafening, especially with his team fighting for the playoffs. (Or in Roman Harmlik’s case, fighting with the coach.) Many expected McPhee to get some help at center to replace the injured Nicklas Backstrom, or to move one of his eight healthy defensemen…but neither move happened. In fact, no moves happened. A strange day all around.

Expiring assets

The pressure will be on for GMs like Jim Rutherford (Hurricanes) and Garth Snow (Islanders) to re-sign their pending UFAs that weren’t dealt at the deadline. Despite their teams’ slim playoff hopes, Rutherford didn’t trade defensemen Bryan Allen and Jaroslav Spacek while Snow held on to forward P.A. Parenteau and goalie Evgeni Nabokov. If those guys walk for nothing on July 1, it won’t look good.


PHT’s NHL Trade Deadline Tracker