…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:
And unfortunately for him, Cody perhaps learned the hard way that sometimes you do 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:
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:
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:
Yeah, Thom is saying that Kassian is starting to look like this guy.
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:
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.