Hodgson or Shirokov

Cam Davie
September 10 2009 09:30AM

1902022

The Canucks have been given a small blessing in disguise. As Pavol Demitra recuperates from shoulder surgery to start the season, his spot in the line-up is freed up. This gives Alain Vignault a little more flexibility to slot in one of the youngsters.

The question now is: Should Coach V slot in Sergei Shirokov or Cody Hodgson?

Cody Hodgson, if you believe many of the overly excited members of the Vancouver sports media, is already the greatest player to ever wear a Canucks sweater. Admittedly, I've got a bit of Cody Fever myself. However, he's only 19. And his only real professional experience so far has been a handful of playoff games with the Manitoba Moose this past spring.

Sergei Shirokov has come from playing in the KHL, where he was the leading scorer for his club, CSKA Moscow. He played with men. He played at a higher level for an entire season. By those standards, he is more NHL ready, and he has one skill that the Canucks still need. Shirokov is a goal scorer, which the Canucks need to round out their forward lines.

There's a good chance that both Hodgson and Shirokov will start with the Canucks at the beginning of the season. Long before Demitra revealed that his recovery would delay the start of his season, many here already had a spot for Hodgson in the lineup. With Demitra gone for another six weeks, both young players could stick around.

However, after the nine-game cutoff, I think Shirokov may prove himself more prepared to play at an NHL level. There is one thing working in Hodgson's favour - he can't be sent to Manitoba because he isn't old enough, and sending him back to Junior would be seen as a regression.

It will be fun to watch these two young talents duke it out for a permanent spot in the big show. it should do nothing but benefit the Vancouver as Hodgson and Shirokov strive to get their NHL careers started with a bang.

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Cam was born in Greater Vancouver, raised in Greater Vancouver, and lives in Greater Vancouver. So, yes, he's from Vancouver. He attended his first Vancouver Canucks game on Dec 26th, 1980 and has bled orange/black/red/blue+green ever since. You can reach him on Twitter @tinfoiltuque or on e-mail at tinfoiltuque(at)gmail(dot)com.
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#1 Opiated Sherpa
September 10 2009, 09:46AM
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I, as well, have come down with Cody Fever, but a case of the Shirokov Shakes is rather entertaining. I'd be rather pleased if we saw both form a formidable third line.

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#2 Redneck 99
September 10 2009, 04:07PM
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This is a good thing - perhaps Pavel will be the one fighting to keep up with these young fellows. I can't wait for the pre-season to begin. On a completely different note, who is the PA union rep for the Canucks?

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#3 Cam Davie
September 12 2009, 10:52AM
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@ Redneck 99:

I believe the Canucks union rep is Willie Mitchell.

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#4 Hockey Or Die! - The Score
September 12 2009, 12:28PM
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[...] Davey takes a look at the two rookies who could step in now that Pavol Demitra has gone down with injury.  [...]

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#5 Sedinz
September 13 2009, 10:09PM
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@ Cam Davie:

You are correct my man.

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#6 Robert Parizek
September 14 2009, 12:40PM
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I would love to see Cody in a Nucks jersey but I WANT to see Shirokov in the jersey. I think Cody needs to play in the AHL a bit more than he has before making the move up to the NHL. I would rather not put Hodgson in the line-up like the Nedved or even Linden being put on the team too early.

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#7 sumowfbbb
October 10 2009, 06:49AM
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