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So…did Hodgson ask to be traded?

Feb 27, 2012, 7:35 PM EDT

Cody Hodgson Getty Images

It hasn’t been easy for Cody Hodgson since being drafted by Vancouver in 2008. A highly decorated junior, Hodgson was hampered by injuries after being picked 10th overall and wasn’t able to jump right into the NHL like many in his draft class. Meanwhile, the pressure built in a rabid market and the talk of a rift between player and club intensified.

Today Hodgson was traded to Buffalo, and even though the rift talk subsided this season as he proved he belonged in the NHL, it’s no surprise there are rumblings he asked to be moved.

Rumblings that general manager Mike Gillis didn’t exactly quash when asked by reporters.

Via The Province:

Hodgson’s camp and head coach have not always seen eye to eye. Because of that Gillis was asked if Hodgson’s crew asked for a trade.

“That’s an internal thing I’m not going to comment about,” he said.

It was pointed out to Gillis that his non-answer will lead to rampant speculation that Hodgson did in fact ask for a trade.

“Well, there will be speculation that he did, then,” Gillis said. “Things that happen behind closed doors in our offices are not for public consumption.

“I’m not going to discuss it.”

Well, that wasn’t evasive at all.

Two weeks ago, Province columnist Tony Gallagher suggested that Hodgson’s lack of ice time could lead to trouble:

At some point, somebody is going to have to acknowledge there is something coach Alain Vigneault doesn’t like about this kid. Maybe he doesn’t like his smile or the deodorant he uses or something. Maybe it goes back to that long-distance exchange the coach had with Hodgson, after he was dispatched from his first Canucks camp. Who knows? But when your team is struggling to score the way this team is these days, you would think finding a way to get him out there more would be a good idea.

When Hodgson was put out with Chris Higgins and Jannik Hansen in the third period, they produced the winning goal. What’s clear is this can’t go on. At some point the kid is going to get fed up and asked to be traded. This doesn’t mean the team has to grant that request, but it’s not usually a good situation when you have a player who doesn’t want to be there.

Of course, that doesn’t mean Hodgson asked to be traded. Besides, it’s not like he was blown out the door for peanuts. Zack Kassian may be raw, but he’s exactly the type of player the Canucks have been looking for, save for a few years experience.

“We felt we needed better balance on our team,” Gillis said. “We needed some size and we needed some toughness.”

Yet the Canucks are arguably a weaker team today than they were with Hodgson in the lineup, as even Gillis admits that Kassian’s “still got a ways to go at the NHL level.” And for a Cup contender, making a deadline move that weakens the team with an eye towards the future is rare.

  1. rob1986s - Feb 27, 2012 at 7:44 PM

    CoHo was a fan favorite in Vancouver. Could it be that Gillis is being intentionally cagey about this the quell the masses in Vancouver who feel that they were ripped off?

  2. crusty14 - Feb 27, 2012 at 7:56 PM

    Normally not a fan of gillis, but at least he answered the question like a gm should (take note howson). When pushy reporters ask you questions like this, you say, “we’ll deal with this in house” and let the media speculate as they may!

  3. Tristan - Feb 27, 2012 at 8:03 PM

    Anyone who listened to Hodgson’s interview on TSN after he learned of the trade doesn’t think he asked to be moved. If he did, he’s a surprisingly good actor.

    • cableguymike - Feb 27, 2012 at 8:13 PM

      Surprised by timing maybe?

  4. vanchuk - Feb 27, 2012 at 8:05 PM

    Apparently Hodgson was visibly rattled when interviewed at the Canucks hotel in Phoenix. So, I would say this is BS.

    Also, Tony G has beaten this dead horse many times before. Cody was given as much opportunity as anyone could have expected him to, seeing as how he was a #3 center on a cup contender. Did he deserve more ice time than a recent Art Ross/Hart trophy winner? Or more ice time than the reigning Selke trophy winner? Hodgson did a lot with the 10-15mins/game he was given, but it would be idiotic to give him any more than that. I guess he could have played 20mins/game in the AHL… Tony Gallagher, you’re deplorable.

  5. danphipps01 - Feb 27, 2012 at 8:13 PM

    You guys have the truth of it. Nobody who asks for a trade sounds that hurt that he was traded. He didn’t want to go anywhere. Curious that Gillis didn’t just say that, but then, he’s not one to dance to the media’s tune, so this might just be him blowing them off for the sake of blowing them off.

  6. elvispocomo - Feb 27, 2012 at 8:15 PM

    It’s odd since he was so forthcoming with his other answers, but hearing Cody’s reaction it doesn’t suggest anything that Cody had asked for or was expecting a trade. He seemed genuinely surprised and even a little sad about leaving the team he’d been drafted by. He did sound complementary and a little excited about a new opportunity as well though, not trying to say he doesn’t want to go to Buffalo at all.

  7. taytay099 - Feb 27, 2012 at 11:48 PM

    I wouldn’t take anything Tony Gallagher writes too seriously.

  8. rainyday56 - Feb 28, 2012 at 3:34 AM

    1st off, it was this commenter who called the Cody trade months ago when everyone else was speculating about Schneids and Raymond moving. (Thankyou very much) There are many factors why Cody was holding his nose wihile playing out here. #1, he’s an easterner. You have to live out here a while to see that the odd Ontario born individual does not “get” the west coast life style, will not get the west coast life style and wants nothing to do with the west coast life style. The fact that Cody invited his first grade teacher to watch him at the Leafs game kind of tips off that he’s one of those confirmed easterners. Secondly, those smoother talking Vancouver media types not named Brough or Halford did not exactly endear Cody to the west by mis-pronouncing his family name as HOG-son instead of the correct HOD-son. A seemingly small matter unless you have read up on your Dale Carnegie. Finally there was that unfortunate misunderstanding that arose when a dry weight routine prescribed by Canucks scout Dave Gagner nearly crippled him for life. I believe the gap in trust between Canucks mgt and Hodgson camp never fully healed over that.

    • cmutimmah - Feb 28, 2012 at 9:43 AM

      Did you eat paint chips as a kid?

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