What Would You Do Wednesday: Re-Trading Cody Hodgson

Welcome to a new feature here on Canucks Army and all sites on the Nation Network: What Would You Do Wednesday, where we put you, yes YOU, in charge of your own imaginary Vancouver Canucks. We’ll present you with a different scenario each week, and you tell us how you’d solve it in the comments section below. Give props to the answers you do like and trash the ones you don’t. Easy! So let’s get started:

First and foremost, last week’s best answers on what Vancouver should do with their powerplay. Readers bossram:

The 1-3-1 set Willie is trying to employ does rely somewhat on having a RH player at the top. They’re essentially aping Washngton’s PP, with Vrbata in the OV spot and Vey playing the Brouwer slot presence.
One of the keys for Washington’s set though is that their PP QB is usually Green or Carlson and they’re both right-handed. When they take a pass from the right-wall (where Hank/Danny would be for us) they’re immediately on their forehand and can throw a quick shot/one timer on net that Brouwer can make a play on, OR quickly and easily slide it over to Ovechkin for the one timer.
For us, if Edler is the QB when he receives a pass, he can’t shoot right away or throw it to Vrbata right away for the one-timer. He has to make a shift and put it on the forehand first. This takes away a lot of the speed from a potential shot or Vrbata back-door play and allows PKers the extra second to get into position. This shift will also probably result in a few more fumbles and misplays at the blueline.
Now as for who I’d put there, if we are going to continue this PP setup, I would prefer a RH player there. But I don’t think Bieksa or Tanev are really smooth enough for the role. If you’re going to dress Weber and be afraid to use him at ES, you may as well use him in his only strength. So in the 1-3-1 we run, I’d use Weber.
BUT I think it’s probably more important to put your best PP players on the PP. I think a better solution would be to tweak the system somewhat and get Edler out there. He is our best PP pointman. Maybe run more of a traditional umbrella set up.

And van Malmsteen:

I would try very hard to score more goals.

On to this week’s order of business. Buffalo Sabres beat writer John Vogl dropped this little nugget on Twitter this morning:

I’m no expert, but “not good enough to play for the Buffalo Sabres” seems alarming to me.

Now, Cody Hodgson has been a bit of a hot topic around town in the past, and for good reason. The lauded young centre had finished up a stellar CHL career with the Brampton Battalion, was a Canadian World Junior hero, and did this to the Boston Bruins a few short months after they did that thing in Vancouver in 2011 that one time:

But then, at the trade deadline that season, Mike Gillis unexpectedly dealt the young pivot away for a big goofy power forward named Zack Kassian, citing “ongoing issues” with Hodgson, and noting that he and Alain Vigneault had built Hodgson “into something we could move” by feeding him tons of offensive zone starts and seeing a huge PDO spike.

Well, how this deal worked out for Vancouver is still up for debate. Kassian has struggled to gain footing with three coaches now, but has been saddled with some pretty poor 5v5 players, never really been given an extended shot in a top-6 role, but has generally built himself into a useful hockey player.

Hodgson, on the other hand, has been moved to the wing and been in a free fall down the Sabres depth chart. He has a 45.9% Corsi in the past 3 seasons – among the worst marks of all regular Sabres – and a 37.6% Corsi this season to go along with 2 points in 10 games. Still, he’s scored 88 points in 150 games with Buffalo, while Kassian has about half of that total in Vancouver, but Kassian has also carried a better points/60 since the start of last season.

Regardless of what you think of Kassian, Mike Gillis also targeted other young players in a Hodgson deal, including John Carlson of the Capitals (who wasn’t made available), Brandon Sutter of the Hurricanes (who wasn’t made available), Erik Gudbranson of the Panthers (who we don’t know if he was made available), and Kyle Clifford of the Kings (who would have been a disaster), and another mystery player.

So here’s the scenario for you: it’s the 2012 trade deadline. Assuming you’re some sort of future seer and you know then what you know now, including everything about their career paths and the behind-the-scenes issues involving all the players, do you trade Cody Hodgson for Zack Kassian? Do you trade Cody Hodgson for someone else? Where do you trade Cody Hodgson and who do you trade Cody Hodgson for? Let us know in the comments below!

  • GrogZilla

    Hodgson is apparently on the block again along with Myers, Stafford and most of the rest of the Sabres. I wonder what he would fetch today. Given his contract and various issues I am guessing not more than a late 1st or a 2nd. This is not to say that you’d get more for Kassian (you’d likely get no more than a 2nd/3rd) but in my view Kassian’s trajectory is on the upswing as opposed to Hodgson’s.

    • Mantastic

      the only time Hodgson would have returned a 1st round pick would have been his draft +1 year, after that with his injury troubles and off ice issues, he wouldn’t even bring back a late 1st.

  • Mantastic

    I’d rather have Kassian than Coho on the team. The Coho trade asset didn’t give any immediate help to the cup run, however I think Kassian will further develop into a very good player.

    I like his game towards the end of last season and enjoyed many dominating shifts with Richardson & Booth. He’s been less visible this year and has slightly fallen down the depth chart.

    Kassian’s game (and Matthias’ too) would benefit if he managed to use his body more to seperate players from the puck. His passing/playmaking is good and he’s fairly mobile for his size. I think he still needs to mature and will need to play with talented players to do well. He’s 4-5 years away from his prime IMO.

    All that said, you can’t deny the possibility that Buffalo are chasing McDavid and not really making the best choices to win games.

  • Mantastic

    Hodgson is a highly skilled player with great vision of the ice and able to make passes the average NHLer can’t. The problem is that he’s not able to keep up with the speed of the game. I believe Tavares had the same Issue and he must of really busted his butt and worked on it and now has the whole package. Hodgson has been in Roberts boot camp / training programs every summer, but I don’t yet see the dividends. Roberts defended Hodgson one Gillis said Hodgson had issues. That was a pathetic excuse after he got so much back lash for what at the time looked like a disaster trade. That showed Gillis’s true colors, unprofessional. I remember Gillis on Team 1040 for an interview and trades were mentioned, Gillis got very demeaning and shot them down like they were idiots. We all understand trades are difficult, and we can sit here and talk about it without the whole picture, true, but to be a jerk and look down on his own fans, actually he lost me as a fan, sorry, to look down on Canucks fans, that was a major major mistake.

  • Mantastic

    Hodgson is a highly skilled player with great vision of the ice and able to make passes the average NHLer can’t. The problem is that he’s not able to keep up with the speed of the game. I believe Tavares had the same Issue and he must of really busted his butt and worked on it and now has the whole package. Hodgson has been in Roberts boot camp / training programs every summer, but I don’t yet see the dividends. Roberts defended Hodgson one Gillis said Hodgson had issues. That was a pathetic excuse after he got so much back lash for what at the time looked like a disaster trade. That showed Gillis’s true colors, unprofessional. I remember Gillis on Team 1040 for an interview and trades were mentioned, Gillis got very demeaning and shot them down like they were idiots. We all understand trades are difficult, and we can sit here and talk about it without the whole picture, true, but to be a jerk and look down on his own fans, actually he lost me as a fan, sorry, to look down on Canucks fans, that was a major major mistake.