Q & A with Anton Rodin: on not getting a shift in Calgary on Saturday night

Jeff Paterson
January 09 2017 02:48PM

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Photo Credit: Sergei Belski - USA TODAY Sports

Vancouver Canucks forward Anton Rodin met the media at Rogers Arena Monday morning for the first time since sitting on the bench through all 60 minutes of the team’s 3-1 loss in Calgary on Saturday. Willie Desjardins said it was a coach’s decision to have Rodin dress as a 13th forward and be available in case of an injury during the game. Here is a transcription of Rodin’s media availability in which he addresses the situation, the health of his knee and his decision to sign with the Canucks.

Q: How hard was it to just sit on the bench and not get a shift on Saturday night?

AR: It’s always tough to be on the side and not playing. But I’m ready whenever he wants me to play.

Q: Was it complicated by the fact that Willie Desjardins mentioned you hurt your knee a little bit in the Friday night game?

AR: Yeah, a little bit. I fell on it, and it didn’t feel great. But if he wanted me to play I think I would have been able to go.

Q: Have you second-guessed your decision about coming here with the way it’s gone or hasn’t gone for you?

AR: No. No, I haven’t. As I’ve said before, this has been my dream since I was a kid and it was a pretty easy decision to come over here.

Q: Did Willie give you any indication prior to the game Saturday – and with your knee and with 13 forwards – that sitting for the entire game and not seeing the ice was a possibility?

AR: Not really. I was taking warm-up and preparing myself to play if the opportunity to play came up. That game, it didn’t. But I was ready and I’ll be ready in the future, too.

Q: Do you need a regular shift as opposed to being a specialty player that drops in for a power play to get yourself back to 100%?

AR: I don’t know. You want to be on the ice as much as possible. But it’s also up to you to earn that ice time.

Q: Willie told us he expects you to be a top-9 forward in this group moving forward. What do you feel you have to accomplish when you get that opportunity to solidify a regular spot on this roster?

AR: If I’m going to play top nine, I have to produce. If I’m not doing that, it’s hard to be in the top nine. So I have to play my best hockey.

Q: What about the status of your knee? The status of your health. What is it?

AR: It’s been good. I banged it up a bit – two games ago, the first game against Calgary – but other than that it’s good.

Q: Speed-wise, conditioning-wise, are you 80%? 90? 100?

AR: I don’t know. It’s tough to say. I haven’t played too many games, so it’s hard to know where it’s really at. But I feel good.

Q: Who were the guys who reached out to you after Saturday’s game and what was their message?

AR: There were a lot of guys. I talked a lot to Markstrom. He’s a friend of mine. We obviously talk a lot. The twins. Alex (Edler) as well. It’s great to have those guys here.

Q: Did you realize after a certain point that you probably weren’t going to play?

AR: Yeah. I was pretty much on the same page, too. If I hadn’t played in the first period, it’s pretty tough to jump in in the second and third.

Q: Willie said he felt that after the first period it’s tougher for your knee to get going.

AR: It’s tough for anyone to jump in midway through a game, but I guess for me it’s a bit tougher.

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For close to two decades now, I have covered the Vancouver Canucks on radio, in print and online. That includes time as a host of Canucks radio broadcasts on CKNW AM-980 and TSN 1040 as well as serving as a beat reporter covering the team on a daily basis. I also had a 10-year run as a sports columnist in The Georgia Straight. I am now splitting my time writing a weekly hockey column in The Province and contributing to online coverage at theprovince.com as well offering thoughts and opinions here at Canucks Army.
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#1 Bro Horvat
January 09 2017, 03:08PM
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How does it feel watching a minimally-talented player, who has 1 point in his last 14 games, continue to get penciled in on the first line with the twins?

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#2 backup bob
January 09 2017, 03:26PM
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Anton is saying all the right things, hope he means it. If he is 100%, I have to question his deployment. The frustrating thing about Megna, Skille and Chaput is their lack of finish. Effort and chances are there, just no finish. So, something smells fishy.

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#3 Donald's Hat Trick
January 09 2017, 03:32PM
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@Bro Horvat

"Did you grow up with any older / younger brothers?" (Alternately, "Are you aware that if you chuck knuckles some NHL coaches will even play you in the final minutes as the team chases the game?")

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#4 Bud Poile
January 09 2017, 05:20PM
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Rodin is battling through recovery of an injury that is not only serious but can end his career. He hurt it in the previous game,let out an audible scream and fell,holding his knee.

The coach is looking out after the best interests of his player.

I swear many writers on this site write as though they have never played this game.

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#5 wojohowitz
January 09 2017, 05:25PM
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Rodin is saying all the right things as he is on a one year contract and will be a RFA. This is the third story about Rodin I have read today and the emphasis seems to be damage control by Willie as more and more fans are questioning Willie`s competence in managing his personnel.

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#6 Ho Borvat
January 09 2017, 08:27PM
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Why not send Rodin to Utica? He's not getting the playing time and really he's been out of consistant play for amost a year now. I don't get it.....this is like Jake Virtanen all over again

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#7 TrueBlue
January 09 2017, 08:33PM
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@wojohowitz

I think the big concern is that he won't be RFA because he hasn't met the games played minimum, jah?

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#8 Roy
January 09 2017, 08:46PM
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Does he get put on waivers if he gets sent down? If yes, there's your answer. Only Hansen is injured right now so they can afford to keep Rodin in the press box for (they hope) the rest of the season.

I know what it is like to come back from a big injury and compete: you feel extremely tentative and paranoid - and it hurts - until you start to trust the process and the body starts to adjust and strengthen.

And doing that at the NHL level halfway through a season on a team with a set and seasoned roster, wow, who can imagine the pressure.

But yeah, let him play some 4th line/power play minutes for pete's sake. Willie is such a dad sometimes.

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#9 Charlie Allnut
January 09 2017, 10:24PM
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Willie is a coach that the players trust, just look at the effort through thick and thin. He looks out for them and they look out for him. This situation is no different.

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#10 Cageyvet
January 10 2017, 01:14AM
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Bud Poile wrote:

Rodin is battling through recovery of an injury that is not only serious but can end his career. He hurt it in the previous game,let out an audible scream and fell,holding his knee.

The coach is looking out after the best interests of his player.

I swear many writers on this site write as though they have never played this game.

If he's hurt you don't need him on the bench. Another head-scratching move from Willie. If this was an isolated case of unusual player deployment (or lack thereof) I would cut him some slack.

Unfortunately I did that all last season, this year I just don't have the patience. Megna, Chaput and Skille are extremely expendable. Why we are wasting ice time on them at this stage is beyond me.

This season is not going to be one for the ages, so keep the auditions coming. OK, Rodin is not up to speed, is banged up, whatever the case may be, but let's see this Boucher kid or somebody who hasn't already hit their ceiling. I liked Carcone, Labate and Rendulic in the pre-season, let's see them.

Honestly, Chaput stunk through the pre-season IMO and should have been cut earlier, and I'm no more convinced he's a real player at this stage either. Gaunce was great in the pre-season but has failed to impress, unfortunately. Still, he's on his first real NHL run, these journeymen are who you flesh out your solid roster with, not part of a rebuild. It's sad how our AHL depth players are taking ice time from players who should be capable of more. If know there's more than meets the eye at play, but how many games does it take? One less-than-stellar performance if your name is Virtanen or Rodin and you're sitting. 10 in a row if your name is Megna and you drop down a line....

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#11 Silverback
January 10 2017, 06:17AM
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If your name is Jake Virtanen, you should read this interview...over and over again.

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#12 krutov
January 10 2017, 12:47PM
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i agree with silverback

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#13 Orpo
January 10 2017, 01:25PM
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So many props to Rodin for having the right frame of mind, he's really got the right attitude! Trust in the management and belief in himself. Sooner or later things have gotta click for him. Good luck Anton!

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#14 pheenster
January 10 2017, 04:25PM
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Hey guys, what's all the hubbub? I heard Willie D benched Wayne Gretzky or something like that?

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