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Vancouver Canucks

Vancouver Canucks Cody Hodgson - Should He Stay Or Should He Co?

Cody Hodgson was the Vancouver Canucks first round draft pick in the 2008 NHL entry draft. Since then he has become the most coveted Canuck since Trevor Lindon. Cup starved fans proclaim him to be a modern day messiah who will lead their team to the Holy Grail! At 19 he has achieved more than most could ever envision. Last year he was voted the CHL’s player of the year and also helped team Canada to win gold at the IIHF World U18 Championships, he also happens to be the son of former cabinet minister in the Mike Harris government.

With all the hopes, dreams and desires of the fans and Canucks organization on his shoulders, he is under an immense amount of pressure, of which most people will never encounter in an their entire life time. Did I say that he is only 19? At this time in a persons life it can be difficult trying to adjust to the biological and emotional changes that we naturally all face. At this age a person may feel that they are in a virtual state of limbo akin to the Brittany Spears song where she sings “I’m not a girl, not yet a woman”. The guy can’t even buy a drink in most US states!

For Cody Hodgson he will have to learn to mature in an environment where he could be playing with men who are as old as 40 who have been in the NHL for 20 years or more. Players who are no longer the superstar and feel disgruntled with the new crop of hot young rookies.

Unfortunately Hodgson could actually cause a dilemma for the Canucks organization. In his three year major junior career with the Brampton Battalions of the Ontario Hockey League he has probably achieved all he really can. The problem the Canucks have is this do they send him back to the juniors, which could be more detrimental to his confidence and make him feel frustrated to spend another year at the junior level? Or a second option is to have him play with the Canucks. Some players find this transition from junior to NHL hockey very easy, eg the Alex Ovechkin’s or Sidney Crosby’s of this world. Then there are other players like Andy Hilbert who was drafted by the Boston Bruins in the second round of the 2000 NHL entry draft. Hilbert excelled playing in the minor level but has struggled to make the grade in the NHL.

Finally, to fit Hodgson under the team’s salary cap, GM Mike Gillis may be forced to trade players to free salary that is already threatening to exceed the NHL limit. Who then can be traded and at what cost to the team? Especially if Hodgson suits up for the Canucks, but fails to produce and ends up being another Hilbert. I personally feel that it would be better for all concerned if Canucks management were to send him back to his OHL club on the premise once he turns 20 in Febuary 2010, he plays with The Canucks farm team the Manitoba Moose of the AHL, for the remainder of that season. That way he can gain some experience at adult level and be called up to Canucks if he his needed. One other note, Hodgson currently has a back injury sustained during off-season conditioning. He has been taking part in the Canucks prospect camp this week but on a non-contact level.

So I ask the question should he stay or go?!

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Discussion

One comment for “Vancouver Canucks Cody Hodgson - Should He Stay Or Should He Co?”

  1. Hey Canucklehead,

    Welcome to the post. Living on the west coast of the United States, we don’t get a lot of exposure to the minor hockey leagues or juniors, but I remember the coverage on Cody Hodgson during the draft. It’s a good problem to have because he will be a good player. Like you said he is only 19. He did play in Manitoba for 11 games last year, so my guess is he ends up there. 6 feet and 185 and he is probable still growing. He makes $1.7 Mil a season, so that is a hunk of change you need to clear if he is recalled to the Canucks. You have 9 defensemen (two former Sharks), so some of the defensemen will need to be moved. Ryan Kessler and Ryan Johnson are both RFA’s next year. Kessler makes the same as Hodgson. Not saying Kessler gets replaced by Hodgson, but he is going to get called up for a few games this year, just to see how well he performs.

    This from TSN:

    Canucks’ head coach Alain Vigneault is doing his best to temper expectations on the young sniper.
    “We’re looking forward to see what he can do at this level,” Vigneault told reporters. “He’s definitely going to get every opportunity to show his stuff and I’m confident that’s he’s going to do real well.”
    One thing that has impressed his head coach is Hodgson’s maturity and how he has dealt with the stress of being a highly rated prospect.
    “I think all players have to be able to handle pressure, and pressure in a market like Vancouver is there on a daily basis,” said Vigneualt. “I think Cody, in the past, has handled himself really well in situation where there has been a lot of pressure and I don’t see why it should be any different.”
    While Hodgson is champing at the bit to resume normal hockey activity, he will not be with the team at the upcoming prospect tournament in Edmonton, however he should be ready when the Canucks’ main camp gets underway on Sept. 12.
    “I’m pretty excited,” stated Hodgson. “I want to get back and it’s driving me nuts not being able to have contact but I know it takes some time.”
    Should he make the team out of camp, Hodgson will have a great opportunity to skate on one of the team’s top two scoring lines as the Canucks appear to be lacking a bit of depth at centre. Despite this, Hodgson is not taking anything for granted.
    “I look at the opportunity like maybe there is a spot for me and I can take it.”

    Posted by FC Sharks FanNo Gravatar | September 11, 2009, 3:15 pm

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