Cody Hodgson Hits Waivers: The Pros and Cons for Vancouver

When the Vancouver Canucks swapped former first round pick Cody Hodgson for Zack Kassian back in February of 2012, it was a second-chance kind of move for both players. Hodgson had put up 16 goals and 33 points through 63 games pre-trade for Vancouver during the 2011-2012 season, so 

Of course, neither Hodgson nor Kassian stuck with their ‘second-chance’ homes – and now Hodgson is available yet again. 

The Rundown

Hodgson was bought out by the Buffalo Sabres this summer, while Kassian was dealt to the Montreal Canadiens for Brandon Prust – then immediately placed in league-mandated Alcohol and Substance Abuse rehabilitation. 

Once Kassian was discharged from the rehabilitation centre, he hit waivers; once he cleared, the Edmonton Oilers swapped him for Ben Scrivens, and he’s just now been recalled to play for the Pacific Division club. 

Hodgson, on the other hand, was bought out by the Buffalo Sabres over the summer from one of the biggest contracts on the team. He was then picked up on a cheap, one year deal by the Nashville Predators, who have now placed him on waivers themselves. Each Kassian and Hodgson went from their ‘second’ chances to a third chance, and both could be on to a fourth chance by tomorrow… which is where Vancouver could come in.

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The Pros of a Pickup

As with any waiver wire pickup of a young player, Hodgson still holds potential upside. He’s got more production this season than Chris Higgins in a more limited role, and he’s only 25 – the likelihood that Hodgson could put up better numbers in a heavier offensive role is still fairly high. 

There’s obviously the risk of picking up a waiver wire player and having him fail to pan out, but players can always be placed back on waivers after a brief period of time. If Hodgson doesn’t pan out, a club can always expose him to the waiver wire again; it seems too bad to advocate the perpetuation of a journeyman season for a young player, but it could ultimately help him find the situation that fits him best. 

The Cons of a Pickup

Ultimately, though, there are more cons than pros to the possibility of a pickup – at least, in Vancouver’s case. 

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For starters, the Canucks are already strapped for roster space. Like, in a big way. 

Vancouver just waived forward Chris Higgins, but the Pacific Division club had to place winger Jannik Hansen on injured reserve in order to fit newly acquired Emerson Etem into the active lineup. Brandon Sutter and Luca Sbisa are still out as well, which means that three players will need homes in order to reactivate Hansen, Sutter, and Sbisa. That’s a situation that doesn’t lend itself well to the addition of a player, especially one that doesn’t seem like a guarantee just yet. 

In addition, the Canucks are already trying to get younger, faster, and better – while Hodgson’s 25 years isn’t old, he’s not a guaranteed improvement. He and Etem would likely be in the same situation, and that’s not enough of a gain for Vancouver to offset the potential offensive void in the lineup that both of them could provide if neither really find their stride. That’s a gamble that the Canucks shouldn’t take, unless they’re absolutely certain that adding Hodgson would pay off. 

Ultimately, though, let’s hope that Hodgson finds a good home wherever he goes. 

  • birdie boy

    No to Cody. They, Nashville, are struggling offensively, thinking they are clearing roster spot for a player such as Vrbata. Nashville is a team that is in a win now 7 have cap-space, they may be a good dance partner for us.

    • Ragnarok Ouroboros

      Well said. I suspect we’ll see Brad Marchand suiting up in blue and green before we’ll see Cody Hodgson back here. Like can you even imagine that first press conference? “Well it is true that I thought I was hot **** back a few years ago and that Kesler should have been moved out so that I could inflate my numbers and get a bigger contract. But now that I’ve been exposed as a soft, lazy one-dimensional player who isn’t even that good at the one-dimension I’m pretty stoked to be coming back to Vancouver because honestly no one else would give me any more chances. So uh ya, it’s great to be back and I look forward to many more media scrums like this one. Thanks”

  • Ragnarok Ouroboros

    Wow, he used to have so much potential. I thought he was at least a guaranteed second line player. How things have changed. I wonder how much that back injury affected his future.
    Still, I can’t shed too many tears for him. He got paid big by Buffalo; way more than I’ll make in a lifetime.

  • argoleas

    I recall Mike Gillis saying “I spent more time on Cody issues than the whole team combined”. Pass on Cody and his daddy manager.

    It hasn’t taken long for Zack to get another chance. His potential is addictive like crack. Lets see what he does in oil country.

  • Ragnarok Ouroboros

    I remember reading this on NHL.COM re. Tim Murray, Buffalo GM, before Hodgson was bought out by the Sabres:

    “Murray said Hodgson is in Sweden working with a skating coach, and said Hodgson had to improve his skating and conditioning.”

    Hodgson was making all that money with Buffalo on a four-year contract and he needed to ‘work on his conditioning’???

    Didn’t he even work out with Gary Roberts when he broke into the NHL?

  • argoleas

    Higgins, Kindl, Gormley, Gomez, Rundblad, Erixon, soon Hodgson…all first round picks that cleared waivers this year alone. Imagine the beer league team that they could become!

  • Ragnarok Ouroboros

    What makes you think that there’s a ‘high’ probability Hodgson puts up better numbers in a higher role here than in Nashville? He couldn’t beat out Ribeiro (35), Fisher and Guastad (both basically checking C’s) and Johansen’s arrival made him fully irrelevant. He got bypassed by Ennis and Girgensons in Buffalo and bringing on O’Reilly and Eichel made him a waste of money for the Sabres.

    This should be a non-starter even if he wasn’t a dude who still has no desire to back check. He wouldn’t be supplanting our top line and has shown little evidence in the past two years he can carry a second line. Would you replace Horvat, Sutter, McCann or even Vey with him? I didn’t think so…

  • Ragnarok Ouroboros

    As I recall, Hodgson was traded to Buffalo because he had a falling out with Canucks management. The Sedin and Kesler lines were leaving him with 10-12 minutes a game, and he wanted more. Otherwise I doubt the Canucks would have traded him, as he was one of their few successfully developed players back then.

    The current crop of players seem to have patience and a good attitude. I see no reason to invite a source of dissent on board.

  • Ragnarok Ouroboros

    For a stats nerd oriented site, this article is surprisingly devoid of them. Otherwise, you’d see that Cody is Corsi-ing at 57.4% this year, despite not getting sheltered minutes. That puts him in Getzlaf/Datsyuk/Thornton territory. He plays fewer minutes sure, and probably usually against weaker defensive units, but it’s still not something that can be ignored. Hasn’t scored well this year, but he seems to have figured out the problems that plagued him previously and has become a reliable possession player. Considering that he’s shown obvious scoring ability in the past, I think he’d be a great low-risk, high-reward pickup for someone.

    Having said that, it’s probably not us. Vancouver’s roster is already too big.

  • Ragnarok Ouroboros

    I’d love to say pass on Cody Cancer and his daddy issues, but I was ok with picking up Kass, and Kindl among others so ok with picking up Cody too. Of course, all that is based on trading our 6 ufas and ideally a few of our players signed longer term (and sending our rookies back to the minors before they play 40 games).

  • sh1t4brains

    Wot? he didn’t pan out the first time, didn’t pan out the 2nd time, and didn’t pan out the third time either. Who marries the same skanky ex wife the 4th time?

    • Dirty30

      NM00 … But then she’s also his sister so he gets in trouble from his mom for banishing her from the basement every time they get a divorce.

      Meanwhile, claim Cody and trade him to the Oilers for Kassian. Elem and Kassian with McCann would make a nice line.

  • sh1t4brains

    so that’s what its come to around here….

    everytime any player is put on waivers lets quickly do up a story on why this pathetic franchise should claim them.

    ellipsis as my father would say…

    ellipsis CA

  • Ragnarok Ouroboros

    I can still remember Cody Hodgson as the magnificent leader of Canada’s 2009 world junior team scoring 16 points in 6 games. That was the year he was named outstanding junior player in Canada.
    I thought he played well for the Canucks in limited minutes. He wasn’t helped by interference from a dad who had been a right-wing Ontario cabinet minister.
    Perhaps a last last chance could call forth that kid who was once the best junior in Canada.
    Hodgson would have to accept a minimum two-way contract with immediate assignment to Utica. And from there he would have to work his way up or out, master of his own fate.

  • Dirty30

    In the extremely unlikely event that Canuck management considered Hodgson worth a look, I still couldn’t see them putting in a waiver claim because they simply don’t have the roster space.

    In that again extremely unlikely scenario it would make more sense to trade him

  • Ragnarok Ouroboros

    When I saw the headline I’d assumed the article would be a joke. i.e. of course it doesn’t make sense for the Canucks to claim Hodgson, what is there to think about.

    However, I must admit to not having watched him recently so … in the extremely unlikely event that Canuck management considered Hodgson worth a look, I still couldn’t see them putting in a waiver claim because they simply don’t have the roster space.

    In that again extremely unlikely scenario it would make more sense to trade for him, the trade should include some sort of cap dump and the expectation should be he reports to Utica to prove himself there.

    At the rate he’s apparently been failing, his one way contract won’t exactly help the Preds find a trade partner for him. From a Canucks perspective if Hodgson clears Higgins for Hodgson would make sense, but I haven’t considered it from a Nashville point of view other that it’s obvious they’d be taking on the greater salary liability.