There's a time and place for everything...

Graphic Comments
October 17 2013 05:00PM

Let me pencil you in there...

...it just so happens that it's usually on right wing while the Sedins are on the ice. And man, is Mike Santorelli ever in the right place at the right time.

The flip side, of course, is that it is also possible to be in the wrong place at the wrong time

But this post is not about Santorelli (I used a pencil for a reason) or the role that luck/randomness/chance plays in hockey (been there, done that).

No, today we get to talk about Cody Hodgson, who a couple of years ago found himself in the right place but at the wrong time.

Or should I say, at the wrong ice time?

If you recall, at the time there was plenty of speculation that Hodgson either directly or indirectly was making it know to the Canucks that he wasn't happy with his ice time. This is, of course, when he was playing for a team coming off a Stanley Cup Final appearance and playing behind a Hart Trophy winner and another guy that was probably one win away from a Conn Smythe Trophy.

We'll get to that whether or not his camp was asking for more ice time or not in a bit, but one thing is certain: Hodgson's ice time did seem to notch up a bit in January that year. But suddenly, the strategy backfired:

Suddenly, the strategy backfired.

And unfortunately for him, Cody perhaps learned the hard way that sometimes you do get what you wish for:

Sometimes, you get what you wish for.

So here we are a year and a half later and as the Canucks prepare to face the Sabres, out comes a Tony Gallagher piece on Hodgson where he, apparently, goes out of his way to say that his dad wasn't calling the Canucks all the time and that he, Cody, "never once asked for more ice time."

Well, maybe Hodgson has taken one too many pucks to the head because he seems to be suffering from concussion-like symptoms:

Rich Winter is experiencing concussion-like symptoms

Of course, this story that Hodgson is pitching shouldn't come as a surprise. It's been the same one since all of this went down in the first place. Back when it happened, though, it was Hodgson's agent, Rich Winter, riding shotgun on the spin cycle. And during one of the most memorable exchanges I've ever seen on Twitter, he spun himself into making a key slip in a response to @taj1944:

Oh did you?

So, yeah, maybe Cody didn't ask for more ice time. Maybe his dad didn't call the Canucks. But somebody sure did.

Funny story, but when I was looking for the links to those Rich Winter tweets, I found this, which is funny not just for the link to the Botchford piece on how Hodgson was the most untouchable player on the roster, but also for "Shack's Take" on it:

Hodgson isn't untouchable, it would just take one hell of an offer to get him. Until the Canucks win a cup, no player should be 'untouchable' unless it says so in his contract. Right now though, the return for Hodgson would have to be greater than any player on the roster without a NTC.

Ahhhh, good times!

Anyway, why do we care about this, it's old news, right?

Well, other than Hodgson bringing it up himself, every time these two teams meet it will be a reminder that the Canucks traded away their once promising franchise cornerstone-cum-future captain for giant man-child, Zack Kassian.

I'm not here to re-hash the comparisons. Just keep in mind that they are two different styles of players and that Kassian is a year behind in terms of development. Even still, I'm not sure that CoHo is really all he's cracked up to be. I mean, he's finally getting his ice time, but his possession metrics are horrible. And yes, I know he's on a horrible team, but that horrible team is 2.1 Corsi For percentage points higher with him off the ice.

As for Kassian, well, our own (can we still say that?) @ThomasDrance made a pretty bold statement on Twitter this morning:

Wait. WHAT??! 

Yeah, Thom is saying that Kassian is starting to look like this guy.

Gulp.

Well, I'm just going to forget I saw that. I still think there's plenty of reasons why Kassian should be given a bit more time, but I think in the back of all our collective minds, there's one thing that just keeps nagging at us:

The Neely factor.

Yes, we are all deathly afraid that Mike Gillis will fall victim to one of the classic blunders, the most famous of which is "never get involved in a land war in Asia", but only slightly less well-known, at least in these parts, is "never trade away a power forward before his 27th birthday." 

Most of all, though, I hope we keep him just for the facial expressions.

 

RECENT GRAPHIC COMMENTS

C867930d1f1ba5cf2b078a93d3bd1a68
I'm not a hippie or on welfare. I don't live in Kits, wear Birkenstocks or own an umbrella. I've never been to the Capilano Suspension Bridge, but I'm sure it's very nice. I have a mayor, not a crack addict. I drink pale ale, not Blue. And I call it a cabin, not a cottage. I can proudly say my team's been to the Stanley Cup Final in the last 45 years. They may not have won, but at least they got there. I believe in sunshine, not haze; heat, not humidity. And that sushi is a healthy and tasty meal. A coho is a fish. A ski hill is a mountain. And the plural of leaf is leaves. Okay? Not leafs. Leaves! Vancouver is the country's third-largest city, certainly the most beautiful, and the best part of Canada! My name is petbugs and I am a Canucks fan! ... You can find me on Twitter @petbugs13 or send your hate mail to petbugs (at) gmail (dot) com but it better be funny or it's getting plonked.
Avatar
#1 NM00
October 17 2013, 06:22PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
4
props

"And unfortunately for him, Cody perhaps learned the hard way that sometimes you do get what you wish for"

I'm quite sure Cody is happy with the $25.5 million he earns as Buffalo's default #1 centre.

Instead of pondering whether or not Kassian is Hodgson's comparable, perhaps a better question is whether or not Hodgson was a good use of a 10th overall pick in the first place...

Cody Hodgson is a great young player. He's got terrific leadership skills.

Or so said the general manager who selected him in the first place...

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/31309-vancouver-canucks-draft-center-cody-hodgson-10th-overall

Avatar
#2 PB
October 17 2013, 06:54PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
5
props

@NM00

What GM has anything but glowing things to say directly after the pick they drafted, even if everyone in the world says they reached for the selection as happens quite often? I wouldn't read so much into it. It's clear that Hodgson is a good player -- much like Kassian it's probably still too early to pass judgement fully on him. He's neither the one-dimensional defensively challenged center nor the strong two-way team leader he's sometimes made out to be. It's clear that his camp overplayed their hand and I get the sense that there were others in the locker room who weren't terribly impressed with his sense of self-importance (though I think the NHL in general has far too much of a conservative culture when it comes to confident young players, as with Subban or Hertl).

I think Hodgson was clearly a good use of a 10th overall pick. The decision at the time was whether or not to pick him or Kyle Beech. It's quite clear that this was the better pick -- and it's useless to compare Beech to Kassian as Kassian has had a much better pro career even with such a limited samples size.

Avatar
#3 NM00
October 17 2013, 07:08PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Props
1
props

@PB

"I get the sense that there were others in the locker room who weren't terribly impressed with his sense of self-importance"

Based on what exactly?

Has there ever been a negative word spoken about Hodgson's "character" that didn't originate from Vancouver?

There was never a decision between Hodgson and Beech.

Well, perhaps in the media.

There was a lot of talent taken later in the 1st round (Myers, Karlsson, Gardiner, Sbisa, Del Zotto, Eberle, Ennis & Carlson) that the Canucks had the opportunity to take if they didn't want Hodgson or Beech...

Avatar
#4 PB
October 17 2013, 07:29PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
3
props

@NM00

Only from some of the locker room interviews/footage from that 2010-2011 season, but perhaps that's not fair as it might have really been in jest. And you're right, there's a lot of spin on both sides, from the Hodgson camp to paint the Canucks' management as the villains (not only during this but during the earlier back injury issue) and by the Canucks to portray him as a cancer. It's likely that neither is entirely the truth.

What do you base your definitive statement that "there was never a decision between Hodgson and Beech" on? I base my statement on all the talk leading up to that draft and the speculation during the draft itself (I remember clearly the whole debate on whether they should take the power forward or the talented center) -- yes, in the media, but supposedly on the basis of debates amongst the scouts. Playing the "why didn't they pick one of the other talented players who were available later in the draft" is dumb and endless -- why did LA take Teubert over Karlsson, why did Boston take Colborne over Gardiner, why did Columbus take Filatov over Eberle?

Avatar
#5 NM00
October 17 2013, 07:47PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Props
2
props

@PB

Well we know the Canucks misdiagnosed his back injury and AV made some unnecessary media comments related to it.

Aside from that, yes, it's probably a lot of spin.

Though it appears there is a lot more damage control coming from the Canucks camp.

Whereas CoHo has simply answered questions and has taken the high road more often than not compared to Canucks management.

"What do you base your definitive statement that "there was never a decision between Hodgson and Beech" on?"

As far as we know, the Canucks didn't have a gun to their head to pick either CoHo or Beech.

They had the opportunity to pick anyone left on the board...

"Playing the "why didn't they pick one of the other talented players who were available later in the draft" is dumb and endless"

Perhaps the game won't need to be played when this management group drafts an NHL regular.

And preferably an impact NHL regular.

Aside from the draft selection that, for whatever reason, management chooses to vilify...

Avatar
#6 Jamie E
October 17 2013, 07:53PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
2
props
PB wrote:

Only from some of the locker room interviews/footage from that 2010-2011 season, but perhaps that's not fair as it might have really been in jest. And you're right, there's a lot of spin on both sides, from the Hodgson camp to paint the Canucks' management as the villains (not only during this but during the earlier back injury issue) and by the Canucks to portray him as a cancer. It's likely that neither is entirely the truth.

What do you base your definitive statement that "there was never a decision between Hodgson and Beech" on? I base my statement on all the talk leading up to that draft and the speculation during the draft itself (I remember clearly the whole debate on whether they should take the power forward or the talented center) -- yes, in the media, but supposedly on the basis of debates amongst the scouts. Playing the "why didn't they pick one of the other talented players who were available later in the draft" is dumb and endless -- why did LA take Teubert over Karlsson, why did Boston take Colborne over Gardiner, why did Columbus take Filatov over Eberle?

+1

Avatar
#7 andyg
October 17 2013, 08:29PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Props
1
props

Cody who?

I would take Santorelli over Cody any day.

If Kassian becomes a guy who chips in 30 to 40 points a year it is a win ,win.

Avatar
#8 Dan
October 17 2013, 08:36PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props

Honestly, when you look at the Hodgson thing... has anyone ever asked if Alain Vignault was the real problem? We as Canucks fans have observed the lack of faith in young players, some of it due to their defensive game, and some of it because, he seemed to play favorites. Maybe Alain didn't trust CoHo to play defense, and just gave Hodgson more O-zone time when he asked for more ice time.

In Buffalo, you can see him on the penalty kill, you will see him up against top lines. Booth/Higgins-Hodgson-Kesler looks pretty strong to me. With a Selkie winner on his wing, Hodgson can not only have someone to bail him out as he learns NHL level defending, but he learns from one of the best. Raymond(??) - Sundin - Kesler worked... Higgins - Henrik - Kesler? Hodgson did have a positive Corsi relative (3.8) last year with the floundering Buffalo. That's higher than half the Vancouver squad. Also is positive in rel QoC.

You slot Hodgson up in the line up then BAM you just got more depth and a fresh look to the secondary scoring that was hurting bad.

Whit Hodgson feeling important, he was an eager young, talented player who though he made camp to help the team get better. When people whined and moaned that Kesler needed a playmaker, Hodgson though "Hey, I'm that guy! I can be that guy!" Maybe I'm wrong on this but I think Cody saw a way to help his team, and AV shot it down and the Canucks were to complacent with AV to realize it. Maybe AV wasn't so bad with all those cupless season and playoff wins under his belt. Who really knows?

Avatar
#9 PB
October 17 2013, 09:37PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
2
props

@NM00

"As far as we know, the Canucks didn't have a gun to their head to pick either CoHo or Beech."

Yes, they never do. The point is that at that point in the draft, these were the two names most commonly discussed. There was no discussion then (or later) that CoHo was a reach at that point. What is the point of your comment? That they shouldn't have picked a center? That Cody Hodgson wasn't a top-10 selection? That they should have traded the pick? The pick they made was for a legitimate NHL player and in retrospect it was a good pick. He's not one of the (several) busts in that first round, including guys like Filatov. As you've pointed out he's a good player, by default a #1 center (though at the least a top-six forward). Whether he was misused, his relationship with the team suffered, he was a primadonna, he was still a good pick in that position, a better pick than some might have been, worse than others. It's unlikely they'd have gone for one of those offensive D's at the time or another one of the smallish C's available.

As to why Hodgson and the Canucks continue to vilify each other -- and it does go both ways -- it all seems petty and pointless on both sides, but human nature I suppose. I don't know why you want to characterize it as being one-sided.

Avatar
#10 NM00
October 17 2013, 10:32PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Props
0
props

@PB

"The point is that at that point in the draft, these were the two names most commonly discussed."

Do you have a shred of evidence that Beech & CoHo were the two names most commonly discussed amongst Canucks management?

The Canucks had the 10th overall pick in the 2008 draft.

Is it so much to ask that they select the 10th best player in said draft and get equal value back in the event they decide to trade him?

I'm not sure they did either of those things...

And where has Cody vilified the Canucks?

I'm still not sure what Cody did wrong and why a certain segment of Canuck fans parrot Canuck management and vilify CoHo.

Irrespective of his value as a hockey player, he seems like a nice enough guy and I wish him the best in the next chapter of his career...

Avatar
#11 GeezMoney
October 18 2013, 07:16AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props

I recall when the trade went down and a certain # of Canucka bloggers were quick to douse any negative reaction to the trade. It was all about Kassian's potential, Cam Neely, Milan Lucic and the Cody Hodgson is a baby defense of the trade. Plus, the blogosphere was also quick to note tha Hodgson was not a 3rd line centre and thus couldn't help the Canucks win in the playoffs.

We all know what happened: the guy they brought in to play 3rd line centre was a huge dud, they lost in 5 games to the Kings, and Kassian looks more and more like Jim Sandlak.

It was not a good trade.

Avatar
#12 PB
October 18 2013, 08:55AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
3
props

@NM00

I have exactly as much evidence of the thinking of Canucks management as you do in all your multitude of assertions and predictions. I think some of your posts are quite interesting and your take on things sometimes good if overly pessimistic and at times seeming to be almost cheering for the Canucks' failure (though I'll take all of that a thousand times over the pathetic trash talking of other teams fans here). But this contrarian streak of yours is a little strange. Are you really saying that you have no recollection of the Beech-Hodgson pick discussion leading up to and at the time of the draft? As to whether Hodgson was the 10th best player in his draft class or Kassian the 13th best in his, that is ludicrous. Do you measure every draft by that standard? That seems to be at odds with how drafts actually work. We know that Hansen and Bieksa, for example, are far better players than either their pre-draft ranking or their actual selection position suggested they'd be. Drafting, as so many have talked about previously, is as much luck as it is science. Now you can affect your luck by better or worse educated guesses -- picking Libor Polasek because you think a hulking Czech center is going to be awesome or Shawn Antoski because he fought Lindros is idiotic and as many have pointed out Gillis' strategy of picking late bloomers and NCAA-bound players may not be at all effective. But to say that it's as simple as picking the best player at the position at that time suggests that things like actual development (in some cases by the team, in some cases through things like actual physical growth by the player) means nothing.

All that said, I certainly agree with your last statement. I think Hodgson has got a bad rap here, in the same way that a lot of younger players do and have. Whether he made mistakes or not (and it's not like he claimed that he got carjacked and that's why he was late to practice a la Kevin Weekes) he doesn't deserve the kind of lambasting some give him. I'm just saying that in the context of the situation as it developed -- a seeming bad relationship between player and team in which he may not wished to be here -- the Canucks swung a trade for the best player they thought they could get. I still think it's too early to tell.

Avatar
#13 NM00
October 18 2013, 11:48AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
2
props

@PB

"Are you really saying that you have no recollection of the Beech-Hodgson pick discussion leading up to and at the time of the draft?"

Yes, I remember that.

But that "discussion" was amongst the media and fans, was it not?

When the Canucks traded Schneider for the 9th overall pick, some assumed the team was going to select Shinkaruk or Nicushkin.

We know for a fact, though, that both of those players were lower on the Canucks board than Horvat.

Point being, there is a big difference between what is being discussed by fans/media and what is being discussed in the front office...

"As to whether Hodgson was the 10th best player in his draft class or Kassian the 13th best in his, that is ludicrous. Do you measure every draft by that standard?"

Pretty much.

Hansen, Bieksa and probably Corrado are all hugely successful selections.

By the same token, White & Ellington were gigantic disappointments and it's pretty easy to say the Canucks were one of the losers at the 2007 draft.

Though I'd suggest they were a big winner in 2004 and did pretty well in 2005 & 2006 considering the unfortunate passing of Luc Bourdon.

Aside from possibly CoHo (since he may very well be around the 10th best player in his class) we're still waiting for a successful and preferably impactful selection.

And we're also waiting to see if the Canucks are going to be reaping the benefits of a successful selection.

The Canucks have drafted 3 legit NHL regulars in the salary cap era and they are all working in other organizations (Raymond, Grabner & Hodgson).

"I'm just saying that in the context of the situation as it developed -- a seeming bad relationship between player and team in which he may not wished to be here -- the Canucks swung a trade for the best player they thought they could get. I still think it's too early to tell"

Is management not culpable in souring the relationship, though?

I'm still not sure what Cody did wrong to be honest...

Avatar
#14 PB
October 18 2013, 12:50PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
2
props

Yes, agreed with much of what you've written, as also that the Gillis record of drafting has been poor but seems improving (though early days still). I'm just saying that it's much easier in hindsight to say that teams should have predicted how well an 18-year-old will turn out in the long run.

Avatar
#15 J21
October 18 2013, 12:53PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props

"Beech" is Kris. Kyle is "Beach".

Avatar
#16 NM00
October 18 2013, 01:38PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props

@PB

If Hodgson were the lone "mistake", it would be easy to write off.

But there's Grabner, the 2010 1st rounder, Rodin, Mallet, Sauve and quite possibly Schroeder & maybe even Gaunce...

The "it's early" stuff means little. Gillis has had the GM job for nearly 6 years.

It's a privileged position (only 30 people have the job at any given time).

Sure, it's difficult to predict the path of an 18 year old.

But find me a single organization that has as little pre-UFA (26 and under) talent on their roster as Vancouver does.

Dallas is an organization that has arguably done worse at the draft than Vancouver in recent years.

At least Kassian isn't Glennie or Campbell, right?

If you want to see a reset, have a look at what their new GM did.

He makes a very creative trade centred around an elite player in Eriksson and acquires a potential frontline centre to match the timeline with Benn.

And his 2013 1st rounder is already in the NHL (someone whom the Canucks had the opportunity to select, as you know).

Vancouver may very well do better than Dallas this season. Though I doubt either team is a contender.

But Dallas may very well have opened up a new window in a matter of months...

Avatar
#18 PB
October 18 2013, 05:20PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
1
props

@NM00

By early days I meant it's early to assess whether or not the recent drafts tick the trend upwards. It's clear that some of the earlier drafts were unsuccessful in terms of the players they produced though one could argue turning some of the horrendous picks into useful players (i.e. White and Rahimi for Ehrhoff) were good moves.

At any rate this conversation is getting both tired and circular in that we've both expressed pretty much the same opinions previously. As I said previously, I agree with much of what you've said about Hodgson (though I certainly don't consider him to have been a mistake of a draft), so let's leave it at that.

Comments are closed for this article.