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Sabres' Ruff curious about whether Kassian's physical game can reach full potential

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Zack Kassian is just 21 and has the potential to become an NHL stud. He’s 6-foot-3, 228 pounds and averaged a point per game in the minors this season.

Still, it seems Sabres coach Lindy Ruff wasn’t quite sold on the right winger, who went to Vancouver along with defenseman Marc-Andre Gragnani on Monday in exchange for center Cody Hodgson and blue-liner Alexander Sulzer.

"I liked what he was doing on the offensive side of it for the most part," Ruff said today of Kassian, who had three goals and seven points in 27 games with Buffalo. "Good puck protection and hanging onto pucks. I’ve got a curiosity on where his physical game is going to go, and that’s it.

"But he’s a young player. You never know with young players. It’s a little bit of hit and miss. There’s a lot of inconsistency usually, so in his case there’s a lot there. It’s whether he’s going to get it to that full potential."

The coach is glad to get Hodgson, who will make his debut Wednesday when the Sabres visit Anaheim.

"I know we’re getting a real good player," Ruff said. "I’ve heard nothing but good things about Hodgson on the offensive side of it."

---John Vogl

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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl | [email protected]

About Sabres Edge


Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

@BNHarrington | [email protected]


Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz | [email protected]

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